You can experience several symptoms if you don’t have the right balance of potassium. It’s a mineral that’s necessary for your body to function correctly. Too little potassium is called hypokalemia and too much is hyperkalemia. If you have too little potassium, it can lead to muscle weakness, an abnormal heartbeat, inactive reflexes, heart palpitations, anemia, high blood pressure, gland swelling, diabetes and headaches. Too much potassium can also lead to muscle weakness and irregular heartbeat, but also to tingling and numbness, nausea and vomiting and shortness of breath. Having a well-balanced diet can help achieve the best levels of potassium. It should include foods that are high in potassium.
Potatoes are a good source of potassium, but make sure you eat the healthy type.
Eating a serving of potato chips or fries every day may contain potassium, you need to consume the healthier type of potato, baked potatoes, both sweet potatoes and white ones. When you eat any type of potato, eating the skin is important, since the potassium is there, too. The skins also contain vitamin C, B vitamins, fiber, calcium, phosphorus, manganese, iron zinc and copper. A large baked potato contains 1600 mg of potassium and a large baked sweet potato contains 1110 mg of potassium.
Beans are a good vegan alternative for protein and also high in potassium.
Whether you’re serving beans or other lentils as your protein source, you’re giving yourself a good dose potassium, too. White beans are at the top of the ladder when it comes to potassium content. They contain 421 mg for just one half cup. White beans also have calcium and iron. These potent vegan protein sources can also reduce the risk of diabetes and heart disease, while decreasing inflammation and providing benefits for your colon.
Beets are a superfood that has a load of potassium.
Even if you aren’t trying to boost your potassium intake, you should include beets in your diet. They are high in nitrates, which can boost your exercise performance, improve blood vessel functioning and help prevent high blood pressure. A half cup of beets has 259 mg of potassium. It also contains manganese, folate and betanin, an antioxidant that gives beets their color.
- A cup of spinach contains 839 mg of potassium. It also contains 10 times the reference daily intake—RDI—for vitamin K, 4 times the RDI for vitamin A, over 80% of the RDI for manganese and 25% of the RDI for calcium.
- A cup of tomato sauce has 728 mg of potassium. It also contains high amounts of lycopene, which fights inflammation, vitamins A, C, B6 and E and manganese.
- Bananas are often the go to food when you want to prevent muscle cramps after exercise. They’re high in vitamin C, fiber and B6, too. a medium banana contains 451 mg of potassium.
- You’ll get healthy bacteria if you buy live culture yogurt, plus one cup contains 380 mg of potassium. It’s also a good source of calcium, too.
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