6 April 2019
When many people think of the best potassium foods, banana is often the first thing that comes to mind. But there is so much more to potassium and so many more options than that to boost your intake! Potassium is a key nutrient for everyone, especially for those who are active.
The current daily value (%DV) of potassium is 4700 milligrams (mg), up from 3500 milligrams previously recommended by the FDA. However, potassium is a nutrient of concern for many people, as this daily intake is not often met.
The health benefits of potassium include: osteoporosis protection, reduced risk of Type II diabetes, reduced risk of kidney stones, and reduced risk of stroke.
Potassium can also help with the alleviation of high blood pressure. According to the FDA, “Sodium and potassium both affect blood pressure, and eating foods higher in potassium can help lower blood pressure by reducing the adverse effects of sodium on blood pressure.”
So, now we understand that potassium is very important for everyone, especially those who do sports or consistent activity. Let’s now consider what foods are rich in potassium, in addition to banana. Here is a potassium rich foods list for your reference. ‘DV’ refers to ‘daily value’, so you can compare and choose foods to get to 100% DV of potassium per day.
Fish is one of the best foods for potassium. Salmon provides the highest percent of DV, followed by snapper and mahi-mahi. For a potassium and vitamin-rich meal, include a portion of seafood along with a serving of one (or two!) of the vegetables listed below.
Fruit is a source of nourishment that is easy to bring with you wherever you are. If you are in a pinch or are on the go, pick up a piece of the following fruits so you can boost your potassium intake.
Vegetables should be incorporated into each meal and eaten throughout the day. Potassium is just one of the crucial vitamins that vegetables provide, along with fiber, folate, and vitamins A, E and C.
Note: when you boil vegetables in water and discard the water they are cooked in the potassium content gets reduced.
If you eat primarily a plant-based diet or eat a reduced amount of animal protein, beans are vital to nourish your body. You can incorporate beans into your main dish or enjoy them as a simple side.
For each meal, it is helpful to focus on a plant-based dish. This way, you can build meals that are delicious, nourish your body and meet the recommended intake of required vitamins for a healthy body. The more active you are, the more likely your appetite and intake needs will increase as well. So you want to be sure that you are nourishing your body with the proper vitamins and fuel to sustain the increased activity. If you do so, you will feel stronger, have more energy and feel better overall! So next time you think of ‘potassium’, know that you can reach for plenty of food options, not just a banana!
As with all minerals, be sure to pay attention to your daily intake of potassium. While you want to reach 100% of your DV, you do not want to surpass it as too much potassium (called hyperkalemia) can have negative impacts on your body.
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