Eating potassium foods is a necessary part of a healthy diet. While there are medical conditions that require low-potassium diets, most people need at least 4000mg of this electrolyte-mineral a day. Research suggests that people who eat potassium rich diets have much lower incidence of degenerative diseases including insulin resistance syndrome, hypertension, stroke, obesity and adult onset diabetes.
A high potassium diet is also one of the first moves doctors employ to fight hypertension in their patients. Here are 5 foods to consider eating if you want to raise your potassium levels.
Many fruits are high in potassium. Apricots are actually of the highest non-meat potassium foods available. While healthy in their fresh state, even if apricots are dried, they serve 850mg of potassium per half cup. Avocado, cantaloupe and prunes are also good sources, offering a fresh and easy way to eat potassium.
All meat, including beef, chicken, pork and fish, are among the highest sources of potassium. Of these, fish, roasted, braised or broiled, usually contains the highest concentrations. Six ounces of wild salmon can contain up to 850 mg of potassium, while four ounces of cod offers an impressive 580mg. Pay attention to you preparation of meats. Don’t let high-fat preparations, such as breading or frying, detract from the inherent health benefits of the food. Also, be wary of boiling, as it causes much of the potassium to be lost in the water.
Eating bran wheat is a great way to introduce more potassium into your diet. It contains 1160 mg of potassium per 100 gram serving. It isn’t difficult to find bran-based versions of many of your most common foods, including breakfast cereal and bread. Bran flour can be used liberally in your at-home baking to make health-conscious baked goods.
Pouring non or fat-free milk over your bran based cereal is a great start to a potassium-rich day. Dairy contains a great deal of potassium. Milk averages about 400mg per cup, and fat free yogurt offers 380mg per cup.
Beans and nuts are another strong source of potassium. When eating canned beans or salted nuts, be sure and pay attention to the amount of sodium that is accompanying your potassium. Pre-packaged foods often attach high levels of sodium to their potassium, even in a product as seemingly plain as beans. Raw beans and nuts that your prepare yourself are a healthier option. Home-made baked beans can deliver 900 mg of potassium per cup.
Not getting enough potassium in your diet can result in general weakness, confusion, irregular heart beats and trouble with muscle coordination. Tracking your potassium intake is important, and is one of the many nutrition tracking services offered on FitDay’s website. Make sure you are performing at your peak by consuming plenty of potassium-rich foods.