Nearly half of the population does not receive the recommended daily dose of this mineral. It is important to understand that potassium does much, much more than just preventing cramps.
Some of the things that potassium can help With:
✓ Preventing stroke/heart attack,
✓ improve bone health,
✓ Increase metabolism,
✓ Lowering blood pressure.
There are many benefits in addition to these that I will discuss. It is vital to stay healthy. So sit back and enjoy this article!
Why do we need potassium?
To decrease blood pressure:
As I mentioned, it is more important to stay healthy than most people think. The biggest benefit that potassium can reduce blood pressure.
This happens because it has an inverse relationship to sodium, and the more you consume potassium, the more it pushes the sodium out of your body. This is important because most people get much more sodium than they need, so they suffer from deficiency leading to high blood pressure, heart attacks and strokes.
In addition to helping to rid the body of excess sodium, acts as a vasodilator, which relaxes the blood vessels: a potassium deficiency increases the risk of fatal blood clot.
The reason why many people get spasms during exercise is due to an electrolyte irregularity. A low level of potassium called hypokalemia and that could be painful depending on the severity of the irregularity.
Having balanced electrolytes is vital for those who are active and work their muscles through contractions. When suffering from a potassium deficiency, the muscles have problems to contract properly and relax. Most potassium in the body is located in the muscle, and when it is maintained, our reflexes and contractions are at their maximum performance; otherwise cramps and bad reflexes come into play.
Avoid neurological disorders:
It is vital for the health of the brain and nerves. A deficiency can cause many adverse effects such as epilepsy and other neurological disorders.
For our nervous system to function properly, many electrical signals must circulate between the brain and the bottom of the spinal cord. Without natural potassium levels, these signals will be much slower, and some may not even work.
A deficiency can lead to many physical problems. There are many other functions that potassium controls and regulates in the body, but I will not all detail them.
Foods high in Potassium
The recommended daily amount of potassium for an average adult should be about 4,700 mg, and most people get less than half of it. In our culture, which bathes salty foods and high-sodium sauces, it is no surprise that blood pressure is rising and that foods high in potassium are consumed less and less!
However, it is not too late! Getting a good source of potasium in every meal to help you to be healthy in many ways!
The foods rich in potassium that you should eat are:
White and sweet potatoes:
One should mention the potatoes with 925 and 950 mg per cup. Most people forget that sweet potatoes are not the only nutritious plant in the tuber category! White potatoes have almost as much potassium per gram.
So do not be fooled into thinking that white potatoes are empty carbohydrates, they can be delicious and wholesome (when not in the form of fatty fries).
Spinach and cabbage:
With 838 and 296 mg per cup. They represent a magnificent source and should be part of your diet. However, to split them, spinach has more than double the amount of potassium per serving compared to kale (maybe you could combine them in salads?)
Containers 727 mg per cup. In addition to being a powerful source of healthy fats, avocados are part of potassium-rich foods, so they are ideal for avoiding deficiency
Brussels sprouts and broccoli:
With 494 and 457 mg per cup. In addition to being very healthy in micronutrients, cruciferous vegetables like these are not very caloric, but will still fill you up. Among other similar potassium-rich foods are bok choy, with 630 mg per cup and rapeseed with 222 mg per cup.
I kept the best for the end, among all foods, beet leaves are the one that contains the most, with 1308 mg per cup. That is almost a third of your recommended daily intake.
The beets themselves are also a good source with 518 mg per cup, but the leaves remain the best natural source we know. Add these green vegetables to salads and recipes as you would with cooked spinach or broccoli to add flavor!