The recommended daily amount of potassium that you should include in your diet so as to ensure that it is balanced is 4,700 milligrams. However, many people do not get enough of this nutrient due to the fact that they mainly dine in restaurants or snack on convenience foods. While you may be tempted to take the easier route via supplements to get your potassium, you should note that this is frowned upon by health practitioners. What’s more, getting your potassium from foods enables you to gain other nutrients as well such as fiber, which are beneficial to your overall health. Some of the healthy potassium rich foods you should include in your diet are fresh and lightly processed foods such as meat and dairy.
Potassium is one of the key nutrients that promote good health in the body. Potassium makes up every cell in the body such that without it, life would be impossible. Potassium is great for the maintenance of body fluid balance, as well as keeping your heart, brain, muscles and nerves in optimum functioning. Potassium rich foods are great because they help lower blood pressure by contributing to more flexible arteries and aiding the body in ridding itself of excess sodium. This in turn enables you to avoid the occurrence of stroke or heart disease. Potassium is also great for bolstering the strength of your bones to prevent bone loss, as well as reducing your risk for kidney stones.
Determinants of Potassium Levels
In addition to being dependent on your dietary intake of potassium rich foods, your bodily levels of this nutrient are also influenced by factors such as your hormones, kidney function, as well as over-the-counter and prescription medications. For instance, if you take thiazide diuretics which are typically used in treating high blood pressure, you may require more potassium in your diet. This is because thiazide diuretics are known to promote the loss of potassium from the body. Other medications that deplete the bodily potassium levels include laxatives and steroids. On the other hand, certain medications such as beta-blockers and ACE inhibitors which are designed to lower blood pressure tend to raise the potassium levels in the body.
If you suffer from reduced kidney function, you may need to limit your daily intake of potassium rich foods as well. Be sure to first consult your doctor or pharmacist to find out whether your body requires more or less potassium, as well as whether medications you are taking will impact potassium levels in your body.
List of Foods That Are Rich in Potassium
- Roasted or extra steamed vegetables
- Fruit cups
- Dishes with a bean base
- Low-fat milk
It is possible to shop and stock up on potassium rich foods only to have this nutrient levels depleted during cooking. Note that boiling foods will deplete the potassium levels in them. For instance, a boiled potato will contain almost half the potassium in a baked potato. In order to preserve your potassium levels, try eating your fruits and vegetables raw, or lightly steaming or roasting them.