Ask Dr Libby

Marlborough Express - The Saturday Express, Marlborough - - BACKYARD BANTER -

Email your ques­tions for Dr Libby to askdr­libby@fair­fax­me­ Please note, only a se­lec­tion of ques­tions can be an­swered.

mag­ne­sium in­clude green leafy veg­eta­bles, nuts and seeds.


In­creas­ing potas­sium in­take has been shown to re­duce blood pres­sure in peo­ple with hy­per­ten­sion. Potas­sium is found in many fruits and veg­eta­bles, with av­o­cado, ba­nana and sweet potato be­ing par­tic­u­larly potas­sium-rich.

Potas­sium ex­cre­tion can be im­paired in some med­i­cal con­di­tions (such as chronic kid­ney dis­ease) so if you have any med­i­cal con­di­tions, it’s im­por­tant to con­sult your qual­i­fied med­i­cal pro­fes­sional be­fore mak­ing di­etary changes.


There is good ev­i­dence that re­duc­ing sodium (salt) in­take can help to lower blood pres­sure. How­ever, the im­pact of this can vary from per­son to per­son – some peo­ple are more ‘‘salt­sen­si­tive’’ than oth­ers.

When con­sid­er­ing their salt in­take, many peo­ple think of the salt they add at the din­ner ta­ble, but the big­gest con­trib­u­tor to sodium in­take for peo­ple liv­ing in West­ern coun­tries tends to be ‘‘hid­den salt’’ in pro­cessed foods.

Salt isn’t ‘‘bad’’ – our body re­quires a cer­tain amount of sodium to func­tion prop­erly – it’s just that when we re­place real whole foods with pro­cessed foods, we can tip the bal­ance of our elec­trolytes (in­clud­ing sodium, potas­sium and mag­ne­sium) in the wrong di­rec­tion. Choose real whole foods.


Reg­u­lar and/or ex­ces­sive con­sump­tion of al­co­hol is


In­creas­ing potas­sium in­take from foods like ba­nanas has been shown to re­duce blood pres­sure in peo­ple with hy­per­ten­sion.

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