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Postmenopausal women who eat a lot of potassium-rich foods like bananas, white beans, and sweet potatoes have a lower risk for stroke, according to a new study published in the journal Stroke.

Potassium and Stroke

The study, which looked at 90,000 women between the ages of 50 and 79 for an average of 11 years, found that women who ate the most potassium had a 12 percent lower risk for stroke and a 16 percent lower risk of ischemic stroke than women who ate the least. The study also found that women who ate the most potassium were 10 percent less likely to die than women who ate the least.

"Our findings give women another reason to eat their fruits and vegetables,” Sylvia Wassertheil-Smoller, Ph.D., study senior author and distinguished university professor emerita, department of epidemiology and population health at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY, said in a statement. “Fruits and vegetables are good sources of potassium, and potassium not only lowers postmenopausal women’s risk for stroke, but also death."

The study found that most women do not get enough potassium and may be increasing their risk for stroke. The average dietary potassium intake of women in the study was 2,611 mg a day.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says women should eat at least 4,700 mg of potassium daily but the World Health Organization says they should take in at least 3,510 mg a day, the study says.

Why Is Potassium Important?

Potassium helps relax blood vessel walls, which can help lower blood pressure. It also helps lessen the effects of salt in the body. Getting too much salt can cause blood pressure to go up. 

Women whose blood pressure was normal benefit the most from eating potassium-rich foods, the study found. They had a 21% lower risk of all kinds of stroke and a 27% lower risk of ischemic stroke. Women with high blood pressure or who were taking blood pressure medications did not have a lower risk of stroke but had a lower risk of death.

Potassium-rich Foods

• Bananas
• Oranges and orange juice
• Sweet potatoes and potatoes
• Spinach and other greens
• Lima beans and peas
• Mushrooms
• Tomatoes, tomato juice and tomato sauce
• Cantaloupe and honeydew melon
• Raisins and dates

The Bottom Line

The authors suggest that potassium can be an important part of lowering stroke risk. However, older people and people with kidney disorders need to be cautious about increasing potassium.

Your doctor can help you determine what’s best for you.

New From JACC Cardiovascular Imaging: On-Line Visualization of Ischemic Burden During Repetitive Ischemia/Reperfusion

Are you or a loved one living with diabetes?

Quit Tip: When you get the urge to grab a cigarette, grab a healthy snack instead. Fruits and veggies are great alternatives to keep your hands and mouth occupied so you don’t think about smoking.

Have you ever wondered what exactly Coca Cola is?

After 10 minutes: Ten tea spoons of sugar contained in a glass of Cola, cause devastating “strike” on the organism and the only cause, by reason of not vomiting, is the phosphoric acid which inhibits the action of sugar.

After 20 minutes: A leap of insulin levels in bloodstream occurs. The liver converts all the sugar into fat.

After 40 minutes: Ingestion of caffeine is finally completed. The eye pupils are expanding. Blood pressure rises, because the liver disposes more sugar into the bloodstream. The adenosine receptors get blocked, thereby preventing drowsiness.

After 45 minutes: Body raises production of dopamine hormone, which stimulates the brain pleasure center. Heroin has the same principle of operation.

After 1 hour: Phosphoric acid binds calcium, magnesium and zinc in the gastrointestinal tract, which supercharges metabolism. Releasing of calcium through urine also rises.

After more than 1 hour: Diuretic effect of the drink enters in “the game”. The calcium, magnesium and zinc are removed out of the organism, which are a part of our bones, as well as sodium. At this time we have already become irritable or subdued. The whole quantity of water, contained in a coca cola, is removed by the urine.

Actually, when having a cold bottle of Coke and enjoying its undeniable freshness, do we know what chemical “cocktail” we pour into our throats? The active ingredient of Coca-Cola is orthophosphoric acid. Due to its high acidity, cisterns used for transporting of the concentrate have to be equipped with special reservoirs designed for highly corrosive materials.

Let’s have a look at “the anatomy” of one of the most advertised products of “Coca-Cola Co.” – Coca-Cola Light without caffeine. This drink contains Aqua Carbonated, E150D, E952, E951, E338, E330, Aromas, E211. Aqua Carbonated – this is sparkling water. It stirs gastric secretion, increases the acidity of the gastric juice and provokes flatulency – plenty evolution of gases. Furthermore, spring water is not used, but is used regular filtered water.


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The Vons grocery store two miles from my home in Los Angeles, California sells 12 cans of Coca-Cola for $6.59 — 54 cents each. The tool chain that created this simple product is incomprehensibly complex.

Each can originated in a small town of 4,000 people on the Murray River in Western Australia called Pinjarra. Pinjarra is the site of the world’s largest bauxite mine. Bauxite is surface mined — basically scraped and dug from the top of the ground. The bauxite is crushed and washed with hot sodium hydroxide, which separates it into aluminum hydroxide and waste material called red mud. The aluminum hydroxide is cooled, then heated to over a thousand degrees celsius in a kiln, where it becomes aluminum oxide, or alumina. The alumina is dissolved in a molten substance called cryolite, a rare mineral first discovered in Greenland, and turned into pure aluminum using electricity in a process called electrolysis. The pure aluminum sinks to the bottom of the molten cryolite, is drained off and placed in a mold. It cools into the shape of a long cylindrical bar. The bar is transported west again, to the Port of Bunbury, and loaded onto a container ship bound for — in the case of Coke for sale in Los Angeles — Long Beach.

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Are you at risk for cardiovascular disease? Use our handy Body Mass Index Calculator to see if your weight’s a factor.

When it comes to BMI, there’s no such thing as TMI.

Nutrients You May Be Missing 

A little salt goes a long way flavoring food – but be cautious about how much you add!

A little salt goes a long way flavoring food – but be cautious about how much you add!

Sodium: A Good Thing… in Moderation