Potatoes are a good source of potassium and contain no sodium, making them a desirable food to incorporate into a dietary pattern for managing hypertension. Research indicates that diets low in sodium and rich in potassium may reduce the risk of hypertension and stroke (1).
- One medium potato (5.3 ounces) with the skin provides 620 milligrams of potassium (18% Daily Value) (2).
- In one study, participants were instructed to “eat a potato a day” for four weeks, while following either a low-sodium, high-potassium diet rich in fruit and vegetables (LNAHK), a high-calcium diet rich in low-fat dairy foods (HC), or a moderate-sodium, high-potassium, high-calcium diet high in fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy foods (OD). The results indicated both the LNAHK and OD diets produced statistically significant decreases in blood pressure compared to the HC diet; however the decrease was greatest in the LNAHK diet (3).
- A randomized cross-over trial of overweight, hypertensive adults showed that consumption of purple potatoes, twice daily for four weeks, resulted in a significant reduction in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure, compared to baseline (4).
See how potatoes’ potassium content compares to other foods:
- Potassium content of commonly consumed fruits and vegetables
- Potassium content of commonly consumed starchy foods
- Potassium content of commonly consumed starchy foods per calorie
For more information on potatoes and blood pressure:
- Read Potatoes, Nutrition and Health: A Review, pages 12-14.
- Appel LJ, et al. Dietary approaches to prevent and treat hypertension. A scientific statement from the American Heart Association. Hypertension. 2006;47: 296–308.
- USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference.
- Nowson CA, Worsley A, Margerison C, et al. Blood pressure response to dietary modifications in free-living individuals. J Nutr. 2004;134:2322-9.
- Vinson JA, et al. High-antioxidant potatoes: acute in vivo antioxidant source and hypotensive agent in humans after supplementation to hypertensive subjects. J Agric Food Chem. 2012;60:6749–54.