In The News: Three Bananas Per Day Could Keep Stroke Risk Away

Reader Contribution by Justine Patton
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Move over, apples. There’s a new fruit in town. Researchers now believe that eating three bananas per day could slash your risk of a stroke, the No. 3 leading cause of death in the United States, by about 21 percent.

During their research, scientists analyzed the results of 11 different studies, dating back more than 50 years, to see if the previous claims about the bright yellow fruit lowering stroke risk held any truth. Their findings, which are published in the Journal of American College of Cardiology, stated that if people eat about 1,600 milligrams of potassium a day, or the equivalent of three bananas, they could reduce their risk of a stroke by more than 20 percent. More than 140,000 people die each year from stroke in the United States. It is also the leading cause of long-term, serious disability in the country.

Bananas and other potassium-rich foods could help reduce overall stroke risk.
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The most important risk factor for a stroke is high blood pressure, which is where potassium-packed fruits, like bananas, can come into play. Studies have shown that low levels of potassium in the diet are commonly associated with high blood pressure.

Researchers believe that if people eat more foods rich in potassium and reduce their overall salt intake, annual death rates caused by strokes could be reduced by more than 1,000,000. If you’re not a banana fan, don’t worry–noshing on a banana isn’t the only way to get your potassium for the day. There are many other delicious foods that contain this crucial mineral, such as citrus juices, avocados, cantaloupes, tomatoes, potatoes, lima beans, flounder, salmon, cod and chicken.

To discover a few scrumptious ways to add potassium to your diet, check out these Herb Companion recipes:

• Peanut Butter Banana Bread
• Avocado Pico de Gallo
• Tomato Salmon Rice with Cucumbers
• Twice-Baked Garlic Potatoes

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