Could my tap water be causing my high blood pressure?  I’ve been avoiding salt because my doctor was threatening to put me on meds for high blood pressure.  My BP has dropped, but I’m not in the clear yet.  When I told a friend, she said my softened water could be to blame.  But why?

 Most softeners use crystals of sodium chloride (better known as salt) to treat water, which may very well account for your elevated blood pressure.  Perhaps the easiest and most affordable fix is to switch to potassium chloride crystals (available at home-improvement stores), which are just as effective at softening water and won’t raise blood pressure.  Or have your kitchen sink fitted with a sodium filter or a reverse osmosis filter, both of which can remove the mineral.  (Log on to or call 888-297-4887 for sodium filters)  Also smart: Aim to consume four daily servings of food containing potassium and magnesium, two nutrients that flush excess sodium from cells.  Good choices include bananas, oranges, spinach, avocados and squash.

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