Foods high in potassium
|Sweet potatoes, baked||1 potato||694 mg|
|Tomato paste,||¼ cup||664 mg|
|White beans||½ cup||595 mg|
|Lima beans, cooked||½ cup||484 mg|
|Soybeans, green, cooked||½ cup||485 mg|
|Spinach, cooked||½ cup||419 mg|
Potassium is one of the most important minerals in our body. The blood level of this mineral can be influenced by commonly used medications such as diuretics and blood pressure medications as well as our daily diet.
A blood potassium level above or under recommended levels can be harmful and sometimes deadly. Therefore, I decided to write about this interesting mineral or electrolyte.
How potassium can help us to prevent disease?
This element can help us to prevent and manage many common health issues.
Try to answer the following question before we continue any further!
Which of the following diseases can be improved by maintaining a good blood potassium level?
What do you think?
In other words low potassium= higher blood pressure and high potassium= lower blood pressure.
Patients who had a daily potassium intake between 90-120 meq had the largest reduction of blood pressure (7.2 systolic and 4.1 diastolic pressure). Let me explain what systolic and diastolic blood pressure means. Systolic blood pressure is the pressure in the arteries when the heart pumps and contracts. The diastolic blood pressure is the pressure in the arteries when the heart is resting.
Potassium also has other benefits such as keeping the heart rate regular. A variety of rhythm problems can develop with a low blood potassium level or hypokalemia, including extra beats and slow heart rate.
Muscle weakness is another complication of a low blood potassium level. The weakness usually starts in the lower extremities and extends later to the upper extremities.
One interesting but undesirable consequence of hypokalemia is its effect on reducing insulin secretion. Impaired insulin secretion can result in a high blood glucose level. Insulin is the hormone that is required to push sugar into the cells.
Since having a great blood potassium level has so many positive effects on our body, shouldn’t we all increase our daily potassium intake?
The answer is yes and no.
If you are truly deficient then you need to increase the intake of this mineral. However, if you already have a high blood level of this electrolyte then you will need to be very cautious with adding too much potassium to your daily fluid intake. This is especially true for individuals who have kidney dysfunction because good functioning kidneys are necessary for regulating the potassium level in the blood.
How much potassium should you take every day?
The recommended daily amount of this mineral for an average adult is 4700 mg per day.
Did you know that infants have higher blood potassium levels than adults? Their higher potassium level is primarily due to their diminished kidney function and consequently, lower excretion level of this mineral.
Patients who have a problem with a high blood level of potassium should avoid or reduce the intake of above foods. However, if your body doesn’t have any problems with regulating this electrolyte, don’t forget to add enough potassium rich foods to your daily diet.
Don’t forget, knowing about your food is the first step to long-lasting health.