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Potassium for Heart Health

I have heard that potassium is important for heart health. Why is it needed and what foods contain it?
Potassium for Heart Health

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Potassium has many jobs in our body. It helps our heart beat, our muscles move and our nerves fire. Having enough potassium in our diet may keep our blood pressure at a healthy level. In fact, by cutting back on sodium in our diet and increasing potassium-rich foods, we may protect ourselves from stroke. However, do not take a potassium supplement unless your health-care provider recommends it.

To get enough potassium, aim to fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables and have plenty of low-fat dairy as recommended by MyPlate. Some of the best sources of potassium are sweet potatoes, tomatoes, beans (pinto, lima, kidney), split peas, yogurt, potatoes, bananas, oranges, orange juice, strawberries, raisins, dates, spinach and milk.

Julie Garden-Robinson, Food and Nutrition Specialist, NDSU Extension Service

Featured in Food Wise February 2016 newsletter (PDF)

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