Encouraging Health and Happiness

Why Foods High in Potassium Are Good For You

A healthy diet is one which contains foods rich in vitamins and minerals. While you may spend a lot of time counting calories and looking at how much saturated fat is in your foods, how often do you look at the potassium levels?

Potassium is actually essential for the body. It has many health benefits yet not many of us actually bother about it. If you want to improve your health then eating foods rich in potassium is definitely a good idea.

The Health Benefits of Potassium

The main health benefit of potassium is that it lowers the blood pressure. It is also particularly good for athletes. Many athletes have a potassium rich diet as it helps to prevent cramps and cardiovascular irregularities. A lot of potassium is lost during exercise which is why athletes need to have more potassium in their bodies than the average person.

Potassium works alongside sodium to maintain a healthy water balance in the body. It is thought that an increase in potassium leads to an increase in sodium excretion. This is thought to help to prevent hypertension.

It is recommended that the body receives 4.7 grams of potassium each day. Many people think that it is just as good to take a potassium supplement as it is to eat fresh foods. This isn’t true. Obviously taking a supplement is better than not increasing your potassium intake at all. However, you should always aim to eat foods rich in potassium instead of just relying upon supplements.

The question is, which foods are high in potassium and are they easy to include in your daily diet?

Foods Rich in Potassium

The most well know food that is high in potassium is bananas. The average banana typically includes 400mg of potassium. It also has around 1mg sodium too. This gives you around 11% of your daily recommended potassium needs. It is easy to include banana into your daily diet. You can eat one after lunch or you can even use them as an ingredient in baking for a tasty treat!

Surprisingly soya flour has one of the highest potassium content levels. It contains around 1650mg of potassium. It also has 9mg Sodium. This gives you a huge 47% of your recommended potassium intake. Including soya flour into your diet isn’t always easy however.

Another food high in potassium which is easy to include in your diet is ready to eat apricots. They contain 1380mg potassium in an average serving. This is 39% of your recommended daily intake. These are particularly nice when you have them as a snack throughout the day.

When cooking a main meal, try to include tomato puree. An average serving will give you 1150mg potassium. You can use tomato puree in recipes such as spaghetti Bolognese and lasagna.

Overall these are just some of the food that are high in potassium. Some are easier to include in your daily diet than others. Why not take a look online for other foods that are high in potassium?

Courtesty of Dinner Tool December 6, 2010 | by Aimee R.

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