Potassium, calcium, and magnesium for high blood pressure

Not eating enough foods containing potassium, calcium, and magnesium may contribute to high blood pressure. Most people will get enough of these minerals by eating a balanced diet that contains plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, dairy foods, whole grains, and legumes (cooked dried beans and peas).

Some people may be able to lower their blood pressure if they increase the amount of potassium in their diets.

Good sources of potassium

All fresh fruits and vegetables and meats are good sources of potassium. Examples include the following:

  • Bananas, cantaloupe, oranges, and orange juice
  • Raw or cooked spinach, lima beans, zucchini, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, and artichokes
  • Potatoes
  • Legumes (cooked dried beans and peas) such as pinto beans, chickpeas, and lentils
  • Nuts and seeds

Good sources of calcium

  • Low-fat dairy products (yogurt, skim milk, cheese)

Good sources of magnesium

  • Legumes (cooked dried beans and peas), seeds, and nuts
  • Halibut
  • Milk and yogurt
  • Brown rice and potatoes
  • Tomatoes
  • Bananas and watermelon
  • Leafy green vegetables

The data on the effects of low levels of calcium and magnesium and how they contribute to high blood pressure are still inconclusive. A study on the prevention of high blood pressure recommends that you get 3,500 mg of potassium a day from the foods you eat.1 But people who have kidney disease may need to limit their potassium intake.

Very large amounts of any of these minerals taken in the form of a supplement can cause problems, including possible death. See your doctor before taking large quantities of any supplement.


  1. Whelton PK, et al, (2002). Primary prevention of hypertension: Clinical and public health advisory from the National High Blood Pressure Education Program. JAMA, 288(15): 1882–188.

related physicians

related services

Bon Secours International| Sisters of Bon Secours USA| Bon Secours Health System

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Privacy Policy. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

© 1995-2010 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.