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Studies Show Potassium Might Lower Stroke Risks

It’s been a long known fact that potassium holds some very beneficial results for men and women alike, but a new study has shown that older women who ingest natural sources of potassium are at lower risk for death and stroke than women who don’t. Dr. Wassertheil-Smoller, lead on the study, has been quoted by The U.K. Telegraph in stating: “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.”

Potassium rich foods, such as beans and bananas reap great advantages for older women who don’t already have high blood pressure, especially since most women in North America don’t ingest the recommended amounts in their normal daily diets. These findings are based on mostly postmenopausal women, and was published in the American Heart Association’s Journal, which is entitled Stroke.

Study On Potassium

In past years, studies have shown that potassium rich diets can lower chances of high blood pressure, but it was never one hundred percent proven that it would help in the prevention of death or stroke at all. New research conducted by Sylvia Wassertheil-Smoller, Ph.D. of the department of epidemiology and population health working out of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in Bronx, New York, now shows positive results that this is true. This gives women one more reason to seek out potassium rich foods and to eat all of their fruits and vegetables regularly. The study was conducted with women ages fifty to seventy-nine over an eleven year period. 90,137 women were monitored during this time and their potassium intake, as well as ischemic and hemorrhagic strokes were accounted for. Science Daily writes: “Researchers suggested that higher dietary potassium intake may be more beneficial before high blood pressure develops. 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.”

All of the women being viewed were stroke free when the study commenced, and their intake for potassium began at 2,611mg each day. Results showed that women who had more potassium than others had a 12% chance of not suffering from a stroke with 16% being less likely to have an ischemic stroke in comparison to women who ate less. These women were also 10% less likely to die early than those who consumed less potassium. Other findings suggested that women without hypertension or high blood pressure and who ate high potassium levels had a 21% less risk for a stroke than those who ate the least amount of potassium per day. The recommended level of potassium intake as noted by the United States Department of Agriculture is 4,700 mg per day. During the study there was a very small percentage of women who exceeded this, and most women were not ingesting the recommended amount on a daily basis.

Signs of Potassium Deficiency

When your body becomes deficient of a vitamin or mineral there are negative consequences associated with it. Potassium can lead to inactive reflexes, terrible headaches, high blood pressure, swollen glands, anemia, and an abnormal heart beat. When your body doesn’t get enough potassium from natural sources, through a balanced diet of citrus fruits, grains, and vegetables, problematic disabilities and diseases can occur, such as diabetes. Whole milk, salmon, almonds, and other nuts are also a good source of potassium. You can mix and match ingredients to find suitable meals to increase potassium levels as well as other required nutrients.

Other Benefits Associated With Potassium Rich Foods

High blood pressure and a lower risk for stroke are now recognized benefits of potassium rich diets, but there are other benefits as well, including a lower chance for anxiety, stress, and kidney disorders. Advantages also include a faster metabolism, enhanced muscular abilities and better electrolytic functionality; explains: “Potassium, the third most abundant mineral in human body, is a powerful element in improving health. It contains the components for maintaining a high level of well-being and an improved lifestyle. You should not underestimate the importance of potassium in your dietary plan.”

Common results of lowered levels of potassium in your blood stream include a cramping condition known as hypokalemia. This is a muscle cramp that can be quite painful, and very uncomfortable if not cared for. Your bone health also suffers if you don’t get the recommended dose of bananas and avocado; while calcium is the most notable nutrient compared to bone health, it takes potassium to preserve your body’s calcium to make it accessible.

Eating more avocado and banana, among other ingredients is not asking much in the grand scheme of life, and with the multitude of possible health benefits linked to potassium, it’s well worth the added grains, fruits and vegetables to stay healthy. If you suffer from any of the above signs or symptoms of potassium deficiency, or if you have high blood pressure or have had a stroke, speak to your physician or clinician about the possibilities of including more potassium in your diet, and ask whether or not your current nutrition plan is giving you enough of what your body requires to stay healthy and fight disease and possible disorders. This is especially important for older women, but older men also need to ingest the correct amount of vitamins and minerals, including potassium, in order to lead a happy and healthy life.

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