Bananas protect against strokes

Bananas protect against strokes

Vanessa Vlajkovic, ECU Daily Reporter

New research by the University of Alabama has shown that the potassium in bananas could play a part in preventing heart attacks and strokes.

An article published on 5 October in the peer-review journal JCI Insight stated that a reduction in potassium intake in one’s diet has been linked to cardiovascular diseases, such as incidental stroke.

ECU Daily chatted with Senior Physiotherapist of Senses Australia and former Cardiology Senior at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital Melissa Evans, who has been working in the field for 32 years.

Ms Evans said that although the study in question was actually done on mice, not humans, there was another study conducted in Hawaii which produced interesting results.

This human study was performed over eight years, with 5600 participants of both genders over 65 years of age.

“Those with the least potassium in their diet were 1.5 times more likely to have a stroke than the general population.

“This clearly indicates that there is a need to think seriously about the consumption of potassium.

“Bananas are great sources, but so are dried apricots, spinach, coconut water, sweet potatoes and avocados,” she said.

And what about all the banana cake lovers out there?

We have bad news for you…

“Banana mixes not only have extremely low percentage of bananas in their make-up, they also contain high levels of unwanted ingredients, such as sugars and artificial flavouring.”

Evans emphasises that it’s “definitely not an alternative choice.”

So if you’re thinking banana smoothies and muffins will give you your daily 0.5 grams of potassium, think again.

The term used to describe the condition of low potassium in the body is Hypokalaemia.

Potassium reduces stiffness in the aorta and arteries are less hardened as well.

It is a vital mineral that aids in the intracellular and extracellular activity in the blood.