Kick-Ass Potassium Rich Foods! What It Means For You And Your Health
There are so many reasons you need to make sure you consume an adequate amount of potassium-rich foods daily and as you know Potassium is an essential nutrient used to maintain fluid and electrolyte balance in the body.
It’s also the third most abundant mineral in the body and a required mineral for the function of several organs, including the heart, kidneys, brain and muscular tissues.
Potassium also plays an important role in keeping the body hydrated and works with sodium to support cellular function with your body’s sodium-potassium pump.
Symptoms of low potassium — aka hypokalaemia — are highly undesirable and can include severe headaches, dehydration, heart palpitations and swelling of glands and tissues.
Potassium from natural food sources, like the list of potassium-rich foods below, is considered to very safe and very healthy. The current recommended dietary intake for male and female adults is 4,700 milligrams of potassium per day.
If that sounds like a lot, it’s because it is, and many people have trouble getting as much potassium as they should on a daily basis.
Using the potassium-rich foods we’ll cover here, you can learn what kinds of food you need to eat regularly to meet your requirements and avoid a deficiency.
As both an alkaline mineral and an electrolyte, you really don’t want to miss the mark when it comes to your potassium intake.
Top 4 SANE Super Potassium Foods
What foods are rich in potassium? There are a lot of foods that contain some potassium… but there are only a few key super-potassium foods that will help optimize your health and energy, while lowering your Set point Weight.
Be very careful with other “high potassium” food lists you find online as many contain insane foods which happen to contain potassium.
Just like putting a vitamin pill in a Pepsi doesn’t make the Pepsi good for you, if an insane food contains some potassium, it’s still insane and will not get you to your goals.
SANE Super Potassium Selections:
2. Acorn Squash
1) Potassium Rich Food ->Avocado: 1 whole: 1,067 milligrams (30 per cent DV)
Avocado is definitely one of my favourite potassium-rich foods. A 2013 study published in the Nutrition Journal revealed epidemiological data from 2001 to 2008 that describes the effects and benefits of avocado consumption on metabolic disease risk factors. Overall, researchers found that people who ate avocados tended to have healthier diets overall, as well as an increased nutrient intake and a decreased likelihood of developing metabolic syndrome.
2) Potassium Rich Food ->Acorn Squash: 1 cup: 896 milligrams (26 per cent DV)
Acorn squash is a vegetable source of potassium that really should be more popular than it is because it also contains high levels of antioxidants. Most impressively are the carotenoids contained in just one serving of acorn squash. This type of antioxidant is well-known for helping prevent and fight various types of cancer, including skin, breast, lung and prostate cancer.
3) Potassium Rich Food -> Spinach: 1 cup cooked: 839 milligrams (24 per cent DV)
There’s a reason why spinach was the cartoon character Popeye’s power food of choice. Not only is spinach a potassium-rich food, but scientific research has shown that spinach contains plant chloroplast glycoglycerolipids, which are believed to act as cancer-fighting agents.
4) Potassium Rich Food -> Salmon: ½ fillet: 772 milligrams (22 per cent DV)
In addition to potassium as well as other vitamins, minerals and protein, salmon is loaded with health-promoting omega-3 fatty acids.
The benefits of these essential fatty acids include decreasing the risk of heart disease and stroke while also helping reduce symptoms of depression, high blood pressure, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, joint pain and chronic skin ailments like eczema.
Benefits of SANE Super Potassium Rich Foods
1. Boost Heart Health
One thing a healthy heart definitely does is beat as it should. I’m talking about your heart rhythm, and potassium plays a direct role in making sure that rhythm is healthy and as it should be.
If you’re having trouble with your heart rhythm, a potassium deficiency could easily play a role.
2. Decrease Cramps
One of the main benefits of consuming high-potassium foods is decreased muscle cramping and improved muscle strength. Muscle weakness, muscle aches and muscle cramps are common side effects of low potassium levels.
This can happen if an athlete becomes dehydrated and doesn’t consume enough potassium-rich foods before and after exercise. Potassium is also helpful for cramps related to premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
3. Reduce Risk of Stroke
Several observational studies have found that those with high potassium levels experience a lower risk of stroke.
The risk of ischemic stroke in particular is lower in high potassium consumers. The positive relationship between increased potassium intake and decreased stroke risk is believed to be from dietary sources rather than supplements, which do not appear to provide the same positive effect.
4. Alleviate High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)
According to a recently updated Harvard Medical School publication, “the average American diet delivers too much sodium and too little potassium,” this is highly counterproductive when it comes to discouraging high blood pressure.
Studies show that a diet high in potassium, especially potassium from fruits and vegetables, lowers blood pressure. This is especially true if the increase in potassium foods is not accompanied by an increase in high-sodium foods. One group that shouldn’t aim too high with potassium intake is people with kidney problems.
5. Lower Cellulite Appearance
One of the main causative factors of cellulite build up is fluid retention. Most people consume far too much sodium and not near enough potassium. Sodium brings nutrients into your cells where potassium helps flush excess waste out of your cells.
For this reason, if you reduce sodium intake and start consuming potassium-rich foods, you may reduce the appearance of cellulite.
6. Osteoporosis Protection
Research has found a direct relationship between increased bone density and increased intake of dietary potassium.
Citrate and bicarbonate are two potassium salts that are naturally found in potassium-rich fruit and vegetables, and a recent study reveals that these potassium salts can actually improve the health of your bones and ward off osteoporosis.
This 2015 study out of the University of Surrey published in the journal Osteoporosis International found that a high consumption of potassium salts significantly decreases the urinary excretion of both acid and calcium. Why is this significant?
Because the potassium salts actually help the bones not to reabsorb acid and also to maintain vital mineral content.
So by consuming potassium-rich fruits and vegetables, you can actually help preserve your bones and prevent serious bone-related health issues like osteoporosis.
7. Proper Food Processing and Growth
Your body actually requires potassium in order to process and utilize the carbohydrates you consume. As a child or an adult, you also require potassium to build protein and muscle.
If you’re younger in age and your body is still growing, then potassium helps ensure that your growth continues at a normal, healthy rate.
Dangers of Low Potassium
Your body continuously performs a balancing act between two electrolytes: potassium and sodium. When sodium levels go up, potassium levels go down, and when sodium levels go down, potassium levels go up.
It’s important not to overdo it on dietary sodium while it’s also crucial to keep your potassium intake up.
A deficiency in potassium can lead to:
– Muscle cramps
– Weight gain
– Blood pressure problems
– Heart palpitations
– Cellulite build up
– Abdominal cramping, bloating
– Abnormal psychological behaviour, including depression, confusion or hallucinations
How Much Potassium You Should Be Taking In
According to the Food and Nutrition Centre of the Institute of Medicine, the recommended daily intake of potassium is:
- Infants 0–12 months: 400–700 milligrams/day
- Children 1–8 years: 3,000–3,800 milligrams/day
- Teens 9–18 years: 4,500–4,700 milligrams/day
- Adults age 19 and older, men and women: 4,700 milligrams/day
- Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding: 5,100 milligrams/day
- Athletes who work out for more than an hour most days may need even more potassium, and intakes vary based on muscle mass, activity levels, etc.
Final Thoughts on Potassium-Rich Foods
There’s no doubt that potassium is an absolutely essential part of a healthy diet.
Not only is it an essential mineral, moreover it’s also an electrolyte.
With this double identity comes a plethora of potassium benefits when you consume enough on a regular basis.
The opposite is also true — if you don’t get enough potassium in your diet regularly, then you open yourself up to a lot of unwanted potassium deficiency symptoms, including renal issues and more.
Hopefully, these key SANE potassium-rich foods will help you to see that bananas aren’t your only option (or even a set point weight lowering SANE option) when it comes to getting your daily dose of potassium.
There are actually many green vegetables and even fish, that rank even higher than bananas when it comes to their content of this vital mineral.
There are so many delicious potassium-rich foods that can be eaten alone or in healthy recipes and this makes it easy not to fall short in the potassium department.