Peel This Tropical Treat for Blood Pressure

Peel This Tropical Treat for Blood Pressure

Your blood pressure could be lower just by indulging more in this sweet tropical treat: bananas.

Cheap and plentiful year-round, bananas are bursting with potassium. And a review of several major studies suggests that people who add the potassium equivalent of an extra 1 1/2 to 2 bananas to their day could drop their blood pressure 2 to 3 points.

More Points for Potassium
Dropping BP by 2 or 3 points is nothing to sneeze at. In fact, it's enough to lower stroke risk. In other research, people with the highest potassium intake levels cut their stroke risk by a whopping 38 percent compared with the people who got the least potassium. This magical mineral works by encouraging your kidneys to filter more pressure-boosting sodium out of your bloodstream. It also helps tiny blood vessels relax and makes pressure sensors in artery walls function more efficiently. (Here's another sweet treat that snares high blood pressure.)

Mass A-Peel
Aim for 3,000 milligrams a day of potassium to get optimal RealAge benefits. But don't rely on pills; they can be dangerous if you have kidney problems. Go with fruits and veggies instead -- not just bananas but prunes, watermelon, baked potatoes with the skin, mushrooms, tomatoes, and other produce, too. Produce will also give you a head start on these important blood pressure control strategies:

Bananas aren't the only fruit with benefits. Get the good-for-you details on other healthy fruits.

RealAge Benefits

Keeping your blood pressure at 115/76 mm Hg can make your RealAge as much as 12 years younger.