Most people are not really aware of what potassium does in the body, but it is incredibly important. This essential electrolyte helps to build muscle, digest proteins and carbohydrates and most importantly helps to control the electrical activity of the heart. Inadequate potassium levels can cause serious problems like irregular heartbeats and severe muscle weakness, so here are some foods which will keep those levels where they need to be!
This is not a well-known fact, but potatoes are incredible potassium-rich, with one small spud clocking in at a whopping 738 grams (provided it is eaten with the skin). Healthy toppings like reduced fat cheese, broccoli, salsa or onions can make it even better!
Many common fruit juices will also provide a good portion of the needed potassium intake for the day. Prune, carrot, tomato and orange juice top this list, giving anymore from 500-700 grams for an 8 ounce serving.
Tomato paste can be used in pasta sauces, soups or casseroles and is also a rich potassium source. A quarter of a cup can bring in around 664 grams of potassium, as well as being rich in lycopene, Vitamin C and protein.
Beet greens can be sautéed, braised, served fresh or added to soups. A mere half of a cup of them will clock in around 655 grams of potassium. They also save on the greens simply being thrown out when the beets are eaten.
Whether served Greek style in pasta or Southern American style over homemade cornbread, white beans will bring in 595grams of potassium for a half-cup serving and are also rich in dietary fiber and will help aid digestion and metabolism.
Whether used in dips for fresh vegetables or a as a basis for a fruit-yogurt salad with strawberries and blueberries, yogurt is a good choice for a high-potassium diet. It will yield between 530 and 590grams for an single cup.
A single sweet potato contains around 542grams of potassium. In addition, these vegetables are also rich sources of Vitamin A and C, calcium, iron and dietary fiber. They are great in potato salad or oven-roasted.
Try clams the next time it’s the night to eat out – three ounces, either fresh or tinned, will bring in around 534grams of potassium. They are excellent in a variety of pasta dishes as well as in miso soup or curries.
Fish Friday, anyone? For only three ounces of halibut, the body will receive 490 grams of potassium in addition to minerals such as selenium and magnesium, B Vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids.
So if the potassium levels are a bit low, try any of these food above. The increased dietary intake should have a healthful effect.