- Increasing your potassium intake helps lower blood pressure.
- One good source of potassium is a refreshing Caribbean drink — coconut water.
- Potassium helps kidneys maintain their ability to remove extra water from the body. More fluid in the body means higher blood pressure.
High blood pressure is a problem that can lead to all kinds of health issues if you leave it untreated. This includes heart and kidney disease. So doing what you can to keep your blood pressure reading under control is very important to your health.
Watching what you eat, like avoiding foods high in salt and eating lots of fruits and vegetables can help, but watching what you drink can help too. An increased potassium intake, according to experts, can help in lowering your blood pressure. One great source of this is a popular drink in the Caribbean- coconut water.
As explained by Blood Pressure UK, “[Potassium] helps to lower blood pressure by balancing out the negative effects of salt.” Your kidneys are responsible for regulating the amount of fluid in your body. Blood pressure is higher the more fluid is stored in your body.
In order for the kidneys to do this, they need a delicate balance of sodium and potassium. When you eat foods with a lot of salt, the extra sodium destroys the balance needed by the kidneys to remove the extra water. Increasing your potassium intake brings this balance back.
Coconut water contains over 600mg of potassium per serving, which is more than what you can get from a serving of any other food or drink.
A study observed 29 patients with high blood pressure over the course of two weeks. They were given either bottled drinking water, coconut water, mauby (a bark-based beverage also popular in the Caribbean), or a mix of coconut water and mauby. Their blood pressure was taken two weeks before the trial and during the trial.
The drop in the mean systolic blood pressure was noted in 71% of those taking coconut water, 40% taking mauby, and 43% of those drinking a combination of the two.