Pump up your potassium.

The new mantra among heart specialists such as Ohio State University cardiologist Martha Gulati, MD:

Improve your sodium-potassium ratio, by either lowering your sodium or raising your potassium—or, better yet, by doing both. That’s because potassium blunts the blood-pressure-raising effects of sodium.

The latest research finds that people with the unhealthiest ratios are more than twice as likely to die from a heart attack as those with the lowest.

Another study reveals that raising your daily potassium intake by 1,600 mg (the equivalent of, say, a cup of milk, two bananas, a quarter avocado, and a half cup of raisins) will lower your risk of stroke by 21 percent.

New guidelines recommend 4,700 mg daily. Other good sources include cocoa, dried apricots, fish, prunes, spinach, plain yogurt, and potatoes with the skin.

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