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Why should you boost potassium if you have blood pressure?

Potassium can minimize the effects of sodium on blood pressure.

The more potassium you eat, the more sodium you lose through urine. It also helps to ease tension in your blood vessel walls, which helps further lower blood pressure. Increasing potassium through diet is recommended in adults with blood pressure above 120/80 who are otherwise healthy. The best source of potassium is food, such as fruits and vegetables, rather than supplements.

Potassium-rich foods include:

  • Apricots and apricot juice

  • Avocados

  • Cantaloupe and honeydew melon

  • Fat-free or low-fat (1 percent) milk

  • Fat-free yogurt

  • Grapefruit and grapefruit juice (talk to your healthcare provider if you’re taking a cholesterol-lowering drug)

  • Greens

  • Halibut

  • Lima beans

  • Molasses

  • Mushrooms

  • Oranges and orange juice

  • Peas

  • Potatoes

  • Prunes and prune juice

  • Raisins and dates

  • Spinach

  • Tomatoes, tomato juice, and tomato sauce

  • Tuna

Potassium can be harmful in patients with kidney disease, any condition that impacts how the body handles potassium or those who take certain medications. The decision of whether to take excess potassium should be discussed with your doctor.

Can you have too much potassium?

Frequently like high blood pressure, there aren’t many symptoms of high potassium (hyperkalemia). Abdominal (belly) pain and diarrhea, Chest pain, Heart palpitations, or arrhythmia (irregular, fast, or fluttering heartbeat), Muscle weakness or numbness in limbs, and Nausea and vomiting can occur with high levels of potassium.

Take advice from a healthcare professional before taking any over-the-counter potassium supplement. You should also ask your doctor before trying salt substitutes, which can raise potassium in people with certain health conditions and those taking ACE inhibitors for high blood pressure.

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