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5 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Potassium

Potassium doesn’t get as much attention as sodium in the press, but it is—and should be—a vital component of your daily diet. The mineral maintains muscle health, keeps you alert and conserves energy. It protects the heart, bones and kidney health too.

The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for potassium is 4700 mg. But a recent report published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that only 2 per cent of Americans meet that goal. The pattern has remained unchanged since the 1990s, and women are seen to consume less potassium than men. One of the reasons for potassium deficiency, say experts, is that foods rich in sodium are also good sources of potassium; and cutting down on them can compromise potassium consumption, too. While cutting down on sodium is widely recommended, not many will tell you that increasing your potassium intake is important as well.

Here are some essential facts about potassium to help you regulate your intake and boost your health:

  • Think potassium and you think banana. But guess what, a medium baked potato contains 900 mg of potassium. That’s more than twice as much as is found in a banana (400 mg)! Just half a cup of tomato paste deliver about 664mg of potassium; just make sure you don’t load it with salt. Other rich sources of potassium include beet greens, white beans, avocados, plain non-fat yogurt and prune juice. It isn’t hard to raise your intake of potassium: simply cut down on sugary, fried foods and make way for veggies, fruits and whole grains. After all, that is how Nature intended us to eat!

 

 

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