Do bananas lower diastolic blood pressure?

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a serious health condition that can lead to heart disease, stroke, and other problems. About 1 in 3 American adults have high blood pressure, which is defined as a systolic blood pressure of 130 mm Hg or higher or a diastolic blood pressure of 80 mm Hg or higher.

Diastolic blood pressure is the pressure in the arteries when the heart rests between beats. Lowering diastolic blood pressure can reduce the risk of health complications. Diet and lifestyle changes are recommended as the first line of treatment for high blood pressure before medication.

Do bananas lower blood pressure?

Some research suggests bananas may help lower blood pressure due to being high in potassium. Potassium helps balance sodium levels and relax blood vessel walls. This may lead to lower diastolic blood pressure.

How could bananas help lower blood pressure?

Bananas are rich in potassium but low in sodium. Having a high potassium intake and low sodium intake helps lower blood pressure. Bananas also contain magnesium and fiber, which may improve blood pressure.

The Role of Potassium

Potassium is a mineral that plays an important role in controlling blood pressure. It helps balance out the negative effects of sodium in the diet. Getting enough potassium can help relax blood vessel walls and excrete more sodium through urine.

This helps lower blood pressure, especially diastolic pressure. Studies show people with higher potassium intake generally have lower blood pressure levels.

Banana’s Potassium Content

Bananas are one of the best dietary sources of potassium. A medium banana contains about 422 mg of potassium. The daily recommended intake of potassium for adults is 4700 mg.

Eating one banana per day would provide about 9% of your daily potassium needs. Some other good sources include:

  • Avocados
  • Spinach
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Beans
  • Salmon
  • Yogurt

However, bananas provide potassium in a convenient, portable, and tasty package. Adding just one banana per day to your diet can make a big difference in potassium intake.

Other Blood Pressure Lowering Nutrients

In addition to being a great source of potassium, bananas contain other nutrients that may help lower blood pressure.


Bananas contain magnesium, a mineral that helps relax blood vessels and allow blood to flow more easily. Studies suggest getting enough magnesium may lower high blood pressure.

One medium banana has about 32 mg of magnesium, fulfilling 8% of the daily need for men and 10% for women.


Bananas are also high in fiber, providing about 3 grams per medium fruit. Fiber helps reduce blood pressure by binding to sodium and eliminating it from the body.

One study found eating 10-15 grams of fiber per day lowered systolic blood pressure significantly in people with hypertension.

Research on Bananas and Blood Pressure

Several studies have looked directly at the effects of bananas on blood pressure.

Study 1

A 2012 study had 34 women eat two bananas per day for 10 weeks. They also received dietary counseling to lower sodium intake.

At the end of the study, the women had significantly lower systolic blood pressure by about 10 mmHg. They also had lower diastolic pressure by 7 mmHg.

Study 2

Another study from India looked at men and women with high-normal blood pressure. Some participants ate two bananas per day for two months.

The banana group reduced both systolic and diastolic blood pressure by a significant amount compared to the control group.

Study 3

Researchers studied postmenopausal women with mild hypertension. Eating one banana per day for 12 weeks resulted in lower systolic blood pressure compared to the control group.

While more studies are needed, this research suggests bananas may effectively lower blood pressure due to their potassium, magnesium, and fiber content.

How Many Bananas Per Day for Lower Blood Pressure?

Most studies showing blood pressure lowering effects used around 1-2 bananas per day.

One medium banana has about 422 mg of potassium. Two bananas would provide over 800 mg potassium, or about 17% of your daily needs.

Two bananas per day in addition to a diet rich in other potassium sources like vegetables, beans, dairy foods, and fish can help maximize potassium intake.

However, even one banana per day can make a difference in blood pressure.


  • If you don’t like bananas, other high potassium foods can also help lower blood pressure.
  • Focus on unsweetened sources for maximum benefit.
  • Add banana to smoothies, oatmeal, or other dishes if you don’t want to eat them plain.

Other Lifestyle Changes to Lower Blood Pressure

While bananas and other high potassium foods can help lower blood pressure, they are most effective when combined with other lifestyle changes.

Follow a Healthy Diet

A healthy diet focused on whole foods can help lower blood pressure. Emphasize fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, low-fat dairy and healthy fats from nuts and avocados. Limit processed foods, which tend to be high in salt and low in nutrients.

Reduce Sodium Intake

Reducing sodium intake helps lower blood pressure for most people. Aim for less than 2300 mg of sodium per day. Limit processed foods, salty snacks, and added table salt.

Increase Physical Activity

Regular cardiovascular exercise like brisk walking, jogging, cycling or swimming for 30-45 minutes most days of the week can help lower blood pressure.

Lose Weight if Overweight

Carrying excess weight strains the cardiovascular system and increases blood pressure. Losing even 10 pounds can make a major difference in blood pressure readings.

Limit Alcohol Intake

Drinking more than moderate amounts of alcohol regularly can raise blood pressure over time. Men should stick to one or two drinks per day, women just one drink per day.

Don’t Smoke

Smoking damages blood vessels and causes immediate spikes in blood pressure. Quitting smoking helps lower blood pressure.

Manage Stress

Learning to manage stress in healthy ways and make time for relaxation can help keep blood pressure levels in check.

Are Bananas Safe for Everyone with High Blood Pressure?

Bananas are safe for most people trying to lower blood pressure. However, some people may need to enjoy them in moderation.

Kidney Problems

If you have impaired kidney function or are on dialysis, you may need to limit high potassium foods like bananas. Check with your doctor for personalized advice.


Since bananas are fairly high in natural sugars, portion control matters if you have diabetes. Stick to one small banana per day if you are diabetic.

The Bottom Line

Research suggests bananas may help lower blood pressure due to their high content of potassium, magnesium, and fiber. These nutrients help relax blood vessels and support healthy blood flow.

Aim for one to two bananas per day as part of an overall heart-healthy diet and lifestyle for the best effects on blood pressure.

While bananas and other produce can help control high blood pressure, be sure to work with your doctor and take prescribed medication as directed.

Sample Data Table

Food Serving Size Potassium (mg)
Banana 1 medium 422
Avocado 1 cup sliced 740
Spinach 1 cup cooked 840
Sweet potato 1 medium baked 542

Leave a Comment