The lifesaving food you should be eating

bananasWANT to decrease your chances of having a heart attack or stroke? It may be as simple as adding these everyday foods to your diet, research says.

Bananas can help prevent heart attacks and strokes, research reveals.

The potassium in the fruit combats the hardening and ­narrowing of arteries, scientists discovered.
The vital mineral — which spuds, broccoli and sprouts are also rich in — was found to aid blood flow to the heart and brain and reduce the risk of clots.

Other good sources of potassium include parsnips, seeds, fish and poultry.

Its effect on the arteries emerged in US lab tests on mice.

Researchers at the University of Alabama fed some of the mice a diet low in the mineral while ­others got extra.

Those that ate potassium-rich foods ended up with a better blood flow.However, eating too much can cause stomach ache, nausea and diarrhoea.

Older people may be more at risk because their kidneys may be less able to remove potassium from the blood.

Dr Mike Knapton, from the British Heart Foundation, said the study in mice showed that not eating enough potassium leads to the hardening of arteries.

He added: “With more research, we might be able to see if the disease forms in humans in a similar way and develop treatments.”

Despite these results, the NHS urges people to see their GP before making any dramatic changes in diet.