You are probably not getting enough potassium in your diet. Find out ways to make sure you’re not one of the millions who do not meet their RDA.
Are you getting enough potassium?
According to the RDA guidelines, an adult needs 4700 milligrams a day. There are estimates that Americans and Europeans only eat about half of the recommended daily allowance of potassium. This is not good! Half of the western world isn’t eating enough potassium.
Potassium is one of the most important nutrients, and it is said that life could not exist without it. Potassium is an electrolyte and a mineral that is essential to a human being’s health. It contributes to tissue health, gastrointestinal function and skeletal contraction. Potassium deficiency, or hypokalemia can cause high blood pressure, stroke, muscle cramps and gastrointestinal distress. Getting enough potassium can decrease a person’s risk of stroke, high blood pressure and other cardiovascular disease, kidney stones (Ouch!) and osteoporosis.
I have read that potassium is also important for the immune system as it actually absorbs the water right out of viruses.
So, how do you know you’re getting enough potassium?
Eat a healthy, diverse diet!
Here is a list of some of the highest concentrations of potassium.
Tomato Paste = 2657 mg
Yeah, it’s true, tomato paste has about 2657 mg a cup! That’s over half of the daily recommended value. A tomato has nearly 430 mg, so be sure to eat plenty of tomatoes.
Legumes = 700-1189 mg
White beans have the highest concentration of potassium at a whopping 1189 mg a cup! All legumes though are potassium rich, so eat as many beans as you possibly can, especially before a blind date! Wait, speaking of dates…
Dates = 1168 mg
A cup of dates will give you 1168 mg of potassium. Hear me out, you don’t want to be deprived of potassium on that blind date. So eat some beans and dates before you meet that potential soulmate. Trust me on this one. Raisons have almost the same amount of potassium, so be sure to eat plenty of them too.
Baked Potato w/ Skin = 1000 mg
Potatoes take about three months to bake, but when they are done they are packed to the gills with potassium, having about 1000 mg. Make sure to leave the skin on as it has a bunch of nutrients in it so you can get enough potassium.
Roasted Chestnuts = 847 mg
I first had roasted chestnuts in a massive train station in Zurich. I was starving and the only vegan food I could find was a cart that was selling roasted chestnuts. Honestly, they were delicious! I wasn’t concerned about eating enough potassium, but little did I know that a cup of them gave me about 847 mg. I eventually found this massively overpriced Indian restaurant that was as horrid as it was expensive. Yup, just figured I’d mention that.
Spinach = 839 mg
A cup of cooked spinach will net you close to what those chestnuts do. If you make a salad, don’t forget about spinach. Baby spinach is easier to make a salad with, so just do it. Check out this recipe.
Fruits and vegetables
The highest ranking fresh fruits are plantains (893 mg), bananas (537), papaya (553 mg) and pears (332 mg). Most all fruits have some potassium so eat as many as you can throughout the day.
As for vegetables, the list is as follows, per cup: Brussels sprouts (480 mg), broccoli (485 mg), carrots (367) and celery (426).
To make you you are getting enough potassium just eat a variety of fruits and vegetables and legumes. Pretty simple, huh?