What is K+ ( Potassium ) Read this article from the NIH ( National Institute of Health )
It is an essential mineral salt found in foods that can help our bodies regulate a variety of functions:
- Blood pressure ( stimulating relaxation of blood vessel walls )
- Recover from muscle spasms ( as a result of sodium (Na+) imbalance
- Regenerate muscle so you can workout again ( speeds up mineral absorption to push harder during a workout )
Unfortunately, most people do not eat enough potassium rich foods to adequately store K+ in their bodies. Due to the types of meals we eat or SKIP we don't consume as much of this important nutrient. If anything we eat foods high in SODIUM (Na+. aka "salt" ) that can lead us to have:
- Muscle Cramps ( low potassium K+ )
- Dehydration ( body needs to flush out by sweating )
- Fluid retention ( increase pressure blood vessels )
Dieting ( The Zone Diet, The Keto Diet ) is the biggest culprit in this nutrient deficiency due to the propensity of refined processed foods in the supermarket. In particular the KETO Diet. Which due to its reduction in Carbohydrates ( both complex and simple ) increases the excretion of potassium from the body due to the high fat and protein food choices. This "drainage" results in the imbalance shown above between Na+ and K+. Remember that insulin ( the hormone that absorbs sugars) is lower and therefore, are initial first energy source to "get up and go" is idle or worse shut off.
Plus, ( K+ ) that is added back into processed foods is in the form of Potassium citrate which is not the most biologically available form of K+. It's the cheapest. Potassium chloride is a better biological form for absorption. When purchasing supplements if you can't eat adequate quantities of ( K+ ) rich foods is to supplement with Potassium Chloride.
Recently the NASEM ( National Academy of Science, Engineering and Medicine recommends that we increase our intake of ( K+ ) to :
- Women 2600 mg ( 2.6 grams )
- Men 3400 mg ( 3.4 grams )
Traditionally, Bananas had the distinct honor of the food most associated with Potassium. But over the years other foods have shown promise in providing this essential mineral into our bodies. Here is a list below:
|Whole Avocado ( not packaged ! )||1||690|
|Wild Caught Salmon||3 oz||534|
|Orange Juice||8 oz ( 1 cup )||450|
|Sunflower Seeds||2 oz||480|
|Baked Sweet Potato ( with Skin )||1||450|
Please review the NIH link above to see a wide range of foods that have this vital nutrient in foods. Focus on eating as much fruits and vegetables as possible to attain this nutrient. Remember that if you are dieting that you do so incrementally and then cycle off the diet to "replenish" what was lost. Dieting at best should always be temporary and in essence be about "smart food choices" rather than "food elimination" .
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