Foods high in potassium

Eating foods high in potassium is important to maintain good health. Potassium is an electrolyte and is also referred to as a mineral salt. Healthy levels of potassium are needed to maintain the healthy functioning of the human nervous system and various other important functions of the body. The heart, kidneys, adrenal glands, muscles, etc all need a sufficient amount of potassium to function properly. When people have a potassium deficiency one of the first symptoms they will experience is a generalized feeling of overall muscle weakness and fatigue. Potassium deficiencies can also manifest in feelings of confusion as well as poor muscle coordination. Persons may also experience heart irregularities such as palpitations. The modern lifestyle and diet in the United States often results in potassium deficiencies because of the high sodium content. Individuals who go on fad diets often end up becoming patient in potassium as well. Since potassium is a mineral salt, not getting enough from the foods that we eat can cause a mineral imbalance in the body.

People who take diuretics, who exercise a lot and sweat heavily normally will have a higher need for potassium and should take supplements to balance out their electrolytes. They should also concentrate on eating more foods high in potassium. Individuals who have certain health problems like kidney failure need to avoid foods high in potassium. This is because their body can no longer metabolize minerals properly and can lead to health complications.

Healthy people should be eating foods high in potassium so they can meet their daily requirement of 2000 to 3500 mg per day. One should be careful not to eat too many high sodium foods as this can result in a potassium deficiency. Unfortunately most of the processed foods and prepackaged foods that we eat today in the United States generally have high sodium content. Try to cut out high sodium foods and at more foods high in potassium to your diet.

If you are trying to eat more foods high in potassium add more meat to your diet. All meats are high in potassium. Poultry and fish are high in potassium. There are particular fruits that are higher in potassium than other fruits. These include apricots avocados, bananas, cantaloupe, honeydew melons, kiwi fruit, oranges, and prunes which are the fruits that are highest in potassium. Other foods high in potassium to add to your daily diet include dairy products, lima beans, potatoes, spinach, tomatoes, winter squash and vegetable juices.

Moderate levels of potassium are found in certain foods like apple juice, blackberries, grapefruits, peaches, cherries, pears, raspberries, strawberries, tangerines and watermelons. Asparagus, beets, broccoli, carrots, corn, eight plant, mushrooms, loose leaf lettuce, onions, and summer squash also contain moderate levels of potassium. Although these foods are not as high in potassium as the ones mentioned above they are still good to eat to help balance out your potassium levels if you are not on a diet that restricts potassium intake for medical reasons.

The Institute of Medicine actually encourages Americans to consume 4,700 milligrams of potassium each day to maintain optimum health and to keep from developing hypertension. Soya flour, Black Treacle, ready to eat apricots, wheat bran, tomato puree, sultanas and raisins are the foods listed as being the highest in potassium. They all contain higher than 1000 mg of potassium per serving. Examples of foods that will give you 1,000 mg of potassium per serving include 1 cup of avocado, 1 baked potato with skin or 1 cup of shelled and cooked edamame. Good foods to eat that contain around 750 mg of potassium are 1 cup of winter squash, 1 cup of tomato paste or 6 ounces of salmon. Bananas and oranges only have around 400 mg of potassium per serving.

Last updated on Mar 1st, 2010 and filed under Healthy Eating. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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