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3 Nutrients That Help Prevent High Blood Pressure

3 Nutrients That Help Prevent High Blood Pressure

The time-worn axiom “good things come in threes” was said by ancient Romans (omne trium perfectum) and has been advocated by as distinguished a mind as Albert Einstein. He had a rule of three that he believed was the key to good scientific discoveries: 1) out of clutter find simplicity, 2) from discord find harmony and 3) in the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.

Another good scientific discovery that uses the rule of three was announced at the Experimental Biology 2017 meeting. Researchers tracked 2,600 men and women who had normal blood pressure at the start for 16 years. They found the secret to avoiding high blood pressure is sufficient intake of potassium (bananas, fish, dark leafy greens), magnesium (dark leafy greens, dark chocolate) and calcium (dark leafy greens, almonds, broccoli, nonfat dairy). Low sodium intake didn’t help.

In fact, the research found study participants who consumed less than 2,500 milligrams of sodium a day had higher blood pressure than participants who consumed greater amounts. Participants with combined intakes of sodium (3,717 milligrams per day on average) and potassium (3,211 milligrams per day on average) had the lowest blood pressure!

If you do not yet have high blood pressure (more than 32 percent of adults in the U.S. do), your best move is to make sure you have five to nine servings of fresh veggies and fruit daily, eat fish (salmon and sea trout) at least twice a week and enjoy a little dark chocolate. That’ll keep the pressure off.

Medically reviewed in November 2019.

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