This summer, it’s probably best to skip the salty foods and increase your intake of bananas, as three studies published in the British Medical Journal and reported on reveal that lower sodium intake and higher potassium levels may decrease the risk of hypertension, heart disease, and stroke.

In the first study, researchers observed how a moderate reduction in salt intake affected the hormones, blood pressure, and blood fat of 3,000 volunteers. The results showed that more than four weeks of reduced sodium intake significantly lowered blood pressure.

The second study revealed that reducing salt intake does not have negative effects on “hormone levels, blood lipids, or kidney function.”

The third study involved 33 reports that studied the potassium intake of 128,000 participants. Results showed that an increase of potassium levels in the body reduced the chances of stroke in adults by 24 percent.

In order to keep things in check, the World Health Organization recommends that both children and adults should only take less than two grams of sodium a day, while adults should consume at least 3,510 milligrams of potassium a day. As much as you can, try to lessen salt in the dishes you cook, and avoid packaged food with high levels of sodium. Try to add potassium-rich munchies to your diet, such as bananas, white mushrooms, baked potatoes (with skin), avocados, and salmon as well.

(Photo by robin_24 via Flickr Creative Commons)

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