When I have a detailed look at my food record, I see that I am rarely getting the recommended amount of potassium during the day (although there is no specific daily recommendation, I have see values ranging from 3500-4700 mg per day).
Potassium (chemical symbol ‘K’) is a mineral required by the body. The Dieticians of Canada (http://www.dietitians.ca/Nutrition-Resources-A-Z/Factsheets/Minerals/Functions-and-Food-Sources-of-Common-Minerals.aspx) list the befits of Potassium:
- regulates blood pressure ( I take medications to control high blood pressure)
- keeps fluids balanced between tissues and blood
- allows nerves and muscles to work together
Since the body does not manufacture Potassium, it needs to obtain Potassium from the food we eat.
Foods rich in Potassium include:
- bananas, papaya, sweet potato
- dark leafy greens
- prune juice, tomato juice, orange juice
- milk, yogurt
- dried beans such as navy, pinto and black beans, chickpeas, lentils
- beef, pork, fish
- nuts and seeds
Think ORANGE – oranges, cantaloupe, apricots, peaches, sweet potato!!!
So, in order to increase the Potassium in my diet, I am going to do the following:
- put sweet potato, cantaloupe, dried apricots, spinach, avocado, prune juice and sunflower seeds on my shopping list
- have an occasional banana (my husband likes bananas and we always have them on hand)
- continue to include nuts as a source of protein in my breakfast
- report on my daily potassium intake for one week (to keep track, I use ‘MyFitnessPal‘ (http://www.myfitnesspal.com/).
Best always, Alexandra