A banana a day keeps the doctor away? A recent large study found that older women who eat foods with higher amounts of potassium may be at lower risk of stroke and death, when compared to women who eat fewer potassium rich foods. The association was with ischemic stroke (caused by clot) and not hemorrhagic stroke.
Some good food sources of potassium are: bananas, cantaloupe, grapefruit, oranges, white and sweet potatoes, and white beans. The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends that women eat at least 4700 mg of potassium daily, but in this study the average intake of the postmenopausal women was 2611 mg per day.
This study followed 90,137 postmenopausal women (aged 50 to 79 years at baseline), and followed them an average of 11 years. Now this same study needs to be done with men and women of all ages. From Science Daily:
Older women who eat foods with higher amounts of potassium may be at lower risk of stroke and death than women who consume less potassium-rich foods. The health benefits from potassium-rich foods are greater among older women who do not have high blood pressure. Most older American women do not eat the recommended amounts of potassium from foods.
"Our findings give women another reason to eat their fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are good sources of potassium, and potassium not only lowers postmenopausal women's risk of stroke, but also death."
Researchers studied 90,137 postmenopausal women, ages 50 to 79, for an average 11 years. They looked at how much potassium the women consumed, as well as if they had strokes, including ischemic and hemorrhagic strokes, or died during the study period. Women in the study were stroke-free at the start and their average dietary potassium intake was 2,611 mg/day. Results of this study are based on potassium from food, not supplements.
The researchers found: -Women who ate the most potassium were 12 percent less likely to suffer stroke in general and 16 percent less likely to suffer an ischemic stroke than women who ate the least. -Women who ate the most potassium were 10 percent less likely to die than those who ate the least. They also said there was no evidence of any association between potassium intake and hemorrhagic stroke, which could be related to the low number of hemorrhagic strokes in the study.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends that women eat at least 4,700 mg of potassium daily. "Only 2.8 percent of women in our study met or exceeded this level. "Our findings suggest that women need to eat more potassium-rich foods. You won't find high potassium in junk food. Some foods high in potassium include white and sweet potatoes, bananas and white beans."