Why potassium helps

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Potassium helps your kidneys work more efficiently

Potassium helps your kidneys to work more efficiently

Potassium is a key mineral that the body relies on heavily to function properly. It helps to lower blood pressure by balancing out the negative effects of salt.

Your kidneys help to control your blood pressure by controlling the amount of fluid stored in your body. The more fluid, the higher your blood pressure.

Your kidneys do this by filtering your blood and sucking out any extra fluid, which it then stores in your bladder as urine. This process uses a delicate balance of sodium and potassium to pull the water across a wall of cells from the bloodstream into a collecting channel that leads to the bladder.

Eating salt raises the amount of sodium in your bloodstream and wrecks the delicate balance, reducing the ability of your kidneys to remove the water. By eating more fruit and vegetables, you will increase your potassium levels and help to restore the delicate balance. This will help your kidneys to work more efficiently - and help to lower your blood pressure to a healthy level.

However, it is possible to have too much of a good thing. To make sure that you don't overdose on potassium, it is best to get your daily potassium from natural sources (fruit, vegetables and other foods) and avoid taking supplements.

To help your kidneys, please read our How to eat more potassium page.

Why salt is bad

Why salt is bad

How salt damages your body by raising your blood pressure

How to eat less salt

How to eat less salt

From finding lower salt foods to healthy cooking ideas, here's how to cut down

Low-salt recipes

Low-salt recipes

Vegetarian or meat-lover? We have low-salt meals for all tastes

How to eat more potassium

How to eat more potassium

Easy ways to benefit from getting more potassium in your life

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Blood Pressure Association Home Page

Salt and blood pressure

Cutting down on the white stuff could save your life

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