Calcium helps blood vessels tighten and relax when they need to. Magnesium does that, too, and is also needed for energy production and moving calcium and potassium around the body. Potassium lowers blood pressure and protects against muscle cramping and an irregular heartbeat.
How much of these nutrients do adults need? Here are the Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA) for all three:
These minerals are found in many common foods. Good sources of calcium include milk and dairy foods, fish with bones (such as canned salmon and sardines), and dark, leafy greens. Magnesium is plentiful in dark, leafy green vegetables, unrefined grains, and legumes. Good sources of potassium include sweet potatoes, prunes, apricots, and lima beans.
"People eating a healthy diet probably have nothing to worry about. But people eating a diet of processed and canned foods might need to be concerned" that they aren't getting enough of these key minerals, says Dr. Randall Zusman, director of the Division of Hypertension at the Massachusetts General Hospital Heart Center.
Read the full-length article: "Key minerals to help control blood pressure"
Also in the August 2014 issue of the Harvard Health Letter:
The Harvard Health Letter is available from Harvard Health Publications, the publishing division of Harvard Medical School, for $16 per year. Subscribe at www.health.harvard.edu/health or by calling 877-649-9457 (toll-free).
For ad rates, call Mike McCurdy at 877-634-9180 or email at [email protected] We have over 7,000 journalists who are subscribers.
Top of Page
Us | Job Listings
| Help | Site
Map | About Us
Advertising Information | HND Press Release | Submit Information | Disclaimer