Tomato Products, a Potassium Fix for Blood Pressure
Potassium is an important nutrient that can help you keep your blood pressure under control in order to protect against heart attacks and strokes. Tomatoes and tomato products are the second greatest source of potassium among fruits and vegetables in the American diet.
Tomato products are like natural medicine for your body, since they contain an array of powerful nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin A, fiber, and carotenoids that work together to protect your body from chronic diseases. Tomato products have an added bonus of potassium that can help you maintain normal blood pressure. Since tomato products are one of our favorite sources of fruits and vegetables, it’s not surprising to discover that they are the second greatest source of potassium among fruits and vegetables to our diet.
The 2005 USDA Dietary Guidelines recommend that adults and adolescents get 4,700 milligrams of potassium per day, but most Americans are only getting about half of that amount. Thus, a key recommendation of the Dietary Guidelines is to boost your potassium intake, not through supplements, but by eating healthy, whole foods rich in potassium like fruits, vegetables, and legumes.
If you’re battling high blood pressure, it’s prudent advice to lower your sodium intake. High blood pressure (or hypertension) is one of the leading risk factors for heart attack and stroke.The DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet has been shown to help lower blood pressure for those with hypertension. The essential mineral, potassium, helps regulate blood pressure. When you don’t get enough potassium in your diet, your blood pressure can rise, especially if you consume too much sodium in your diet. A potassium-rich diet blunts the effects of eating salt on your blood pressure. Because potassium and sodium work in opposition to one another, pushing up your potassium intake can help flush sodium from your body in order to decrease blood pressure.
The DASH diet is not only low in fat and sodium; it is also high in potassium, magnesium, and calcium. Experts believe that the synergy in these nutrients may be responsible for the success of this dietary approach. With its emphasis on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low fat animal products, the DASH diet is a healthy way of eating for just about everybody.
While certain processed tomato products may contain high levels of sodium, many tomato products on supermarket shelves today are both delicious and light in sodium. The nutrition facts label and ingredients list can steer you towards lower sodium alternatives to help you make the most of including potassium-rich tomato products in your diet.
Tomato Products Powerful Potassium Punch
See how much potassium your favorite tomato products contain.
|Tomato Paste||1/4 Cup||668 mg|
|Tomato Juice||1 Cup||556 mg|
|Tomato Sauce||1/2 Cup||406 mg|
|Spaghetti Sauce||1/2 Cup||404 mg|
|Tomato Soup (prepared with water)||1 Cup||278 mg|
|Canned Whole Tomatoes||1/2 Cup||226 mg|
|Ketchup||2 Tablespoons||114 mg|
Source: USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference