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Can Eating Bananas Lower your Blood Pressure?

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Can Eating Bananas Lower your Blood Pressure?

Hypertension is one of the leading risk factors for cardiovascular disease, with many people prescribed medication to keep it under control. That being said, there are some simple natural measures that can help significantly reduce your blood pressure, one of which is eating more bananas! 


Why Bananas?

The mighty banana (of which there are over 1000 species) is already well known for being an excellent fruit that naturally helps balance blood sugar levels, keep you feeling fuller for longer, and even aids in post exercise recovery. Now, healthcare professionals are recognising that they may also have a role to play in helping lower blood pressure due to their high potassium contents! 


What’s the Evidence Behind Increasing Dietary Potassium?

Over the years, there has certainly been lots of evidence suggesting potassium supplementations can help lower blood pressure, it’s also well known that a diet low in potassium can elevate blood pressure, as well as raise the risk of strokes [1]. Additionally,  there is increasing evidence that eating potassium rich foods can be even more effective at lowering your blood pressure than other recommended measures — such as reducing your salt intake! Food processing reduces the potassium content in food, so a modern Westernised diet high in processed foods (and low in fresh fruits and vegetables) is often lacking in potassium [2]. 

The British Medical Journal (BMJ) conducted a large review of high-quality research that showed not only did increased potassium intake reduce blood pressure in people with hypertension, but also had very little adverse effects in adults. Furthermore, it showed that higher potassium intake was associated with a 24% lower risk of stroke [3].

Interestingly, the British Heart Foundation found the benefits of increasing dietary potassium were slightly greater in women. 


How Does Potassium Lower your Blood Pressure?

Potassium is one of our most important essential minerals – it’s vital for nerve conduction, muscle contractions and for our fluid balance. It counterbalances sodium intake, making us excrete more sodium as well as helping to relax blood vessels causing dilatation (vessels widening)- this conversely lowers your blood pressure. 


How Can I Increase the Amount of Potassium in my Diet?

  1. Eat potassium rich foods such as: bananas, spinach, avocado, sweet potato, and salmon!
  2. Steam foods – or eat them raw (if safe to do so!) -alternative methods of cooking can reduce the amount of potassium in it. 
  3. Keep hydrated - to maintain a good fluid balance.
  4. Reduce sodium (salt) intake.


So, Can a Banana a Day Keep Hypertension Away? 

It can definitely help!

Like with most things in life, we would still recommend that you eat everything in moderation as part of a balanced diet, since high levels of potassium can be dangerous (especially if you have kidney disease). Remember, increasing your potassium intake is not the only natural way to help lower your blood pressure! You could also keep active, lower your salt and alcohol intake as well as monitor your own blood pressure regularly from home.



  1. Uptodate: https://www.uptodate.com/contents/potassium-and-hypertension#:~:text=A%20low%20dietary%20intake%20of,always%20lowers%20elevated%20blood%20pressure.
  2. Cordain L, Eaton SB, Sebastian A, Mann N, Lindeberg S, Watkins BA, et al. Origins and evolution of the Western diet: health implications for the 21st century. Am J Clin Nutr2005;81:341-54.
  3. BMJ: https://www.bmj.com/content/346/bmj.f1378#ref-10
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Dr. Serena Jones


About me

Dr. Serena has extensive experience as an NHS and private GP as well as in medical advisory roles. She has over 7 years’ experience in the digital health sector and is a Clinical director and advisor to private health companies alongside working two days a week in the NHS.  Serena qualified as a doctor from Manchester University in 2008, she holds the MBChB, MRCGP and also the DRCOG and DFSRH. Serena has a special interest in Women’s Health, preventative medicine and health tech.

GMC Number: 7017336

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