Are you suffering from heart issues? If yes, you might want to include more potassium in your diet. With the rising number of cardiovascular diseases, maintaining good heart health has been seen as a challenge.
For our heartbeat to stay normal, it is important to have the right amount of potassium in our bodies. Too high or too low levels of potassium in the body can increase the risk of a cardiac arrest. Unfortunately, humans are more prone to have high sodium levels and low potassium levels in their bodies.1 2
Having enough high-potassium foods in our diet can also help us lower our blood pressure. Not getting enough potassium is also a common risk factor for atrial fibrillation or irregular heartbeats.3 Read on to find out the sources of potassium for the good health of our hearts.
Most of our potassium needs can be met by eating a diet that includes foods that are high in potassium. These foods are easily available and can be incorporated into your diet without any hassle.
1. One medium-sized banana has 420 mg potassium
2. One-fourth of a cup of apricots has 380 mg potassium
3. One medium-sized orange has 237 mg potassium
4. Half a cup of cantaloupe has 214 mg potassium
1. One medium-sized potato has 926 mg potassium
2. One medium-sized sweet potato has 540 mg potassium
3. Half a cup of ½ cup of cooked spinach has 290 mg potassium
4. Half a cup of cooked zucchini has 280 mg potassium
5. Half a cup of fresh tomato has 210 mg potassium
Nuts And Legumes:
1. Half a cup of cooked soybeans has 440 mg potassium
2. Half a cup of cooked lentils has 370 mg potassium
3. Half a cup of cooked kidney beans has 360 mg potassium
4. Half a cup of split peas has 360 mg potassium
5. One-third of a cup of almonds has 310 mg potassium
Start eating more fruits and vegetables but less sodium and less fat to stop hypertension and keep high blood pressure in control. Such a diet can also help you control your body weight.
Potassium Reduces The Risk Of Stroke After Menopause
After menopause, those women who get enough potassium on a daily basis reduce their chances of getting a heart stroke. Improved mineral balance has also been observed in women treated with potassium bicarbonate.4
According to a September 2014 study published in the journal Stroke by the American Heart Association, women who had potassium in their daily diets were 12 to 16 percent less likely to suffer from a stroke. In the research study, women who aged between 50 years to 79 years were included. It was also seen that those women who consumed a high amount of dietary potassium reduced their chances of dying by 10 percent during the 11-year span of the study. The potassium in their diet mostly came from foods and not from supplements.
Controlling Blood Pressure
More than 32 percent of the American adult population has been suffering from high blood pressure or/and hypertension.5 High blood pressure raises the risk of getting a heart attack, a heart stroke, and a cardiac arrest. This is why it is very important to maintain normal blood pressure.
While normal blood pressure should be at or below 120/80 mmHg, prehypertension keeps blood pressure between the normal range and high range, i.e. 139/89 mmHg. High blood pressure is at or above 140/90 mmHg. One of the most natural ways of bringing your blood pressure back to normal is consuming more potassium-rich foods listed above.6
Are You Taking Too Much Potassium?
The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans has set the potassium intake per day at 4,700 milligrams. A 2012 study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that less than 2 percent of American adults consume the recommended daily amount of potassium. 7 If you have a well-balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables, you don’t have to worry about getting enough potassium. However, remember that on a hot summer day, excessive sweating can make you lose potassium.
Also, if you are not suffering from a kidney failure or not taking certain medicines that increase potassium levels abnormally in the body, you don’t have to worry about getting too much potassium. The good news is that our kidneys can easily regulate the body’s potassium levels.
If you are a healthy person without any serious health issues, start having enough high-potassium foods in your diet to stay healthy.
|↑1, ↑3||Macdonald, John E., and Allan D. Struthers. “What is the optimal serum potassium level in cardiovascular patients?.” Journal of the American College of Cardiology 43, no. 2 (2004): 155-161.|
|↑2, ↑5||Yang, Quanhe, Tiebin Liu, Elena V. Kuklina, W. Dana Flanders, Yuling Hong, Cathleen Gillespie, Man-Huei Chang et al. “Sodium and potassium intake and mortality among US adults: prospective data from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.” Archives of internal medicine 171, no. 13 (2011): 1183-1191.|
|↑4||Sebastian, Anthony, Steven T. Harris, Joan H. Ottaway, Karen M. Todd, and R. Curtis Morris Jr. “Improved mineral balance and skeletal metabolism in postmenopausal women treated with potassium bicarbonate.” New England Journal of Medicine 330, no. 25 (1994): 1776-1781.|
|↑6||Whelton, Paul K., Jiang He, Jeffrey A. Cutler, Frederick L. Brancati, Lawrence J. Appel, Dean Follmann, and Michael J. Klag. “Effects of oral potassium on blood pressure: meta-analysis of randomized controlled clinical trials.” Jama 277, no. 20 (1997): 1624-1632.|
|↑7||Cogswell, Mary E., Zefeng Zhang, Alicia L. Carriquiry, Janelle P. Gunn, Elena V. Kuklina, Sharon H. Saydah, Quanhe Yang, and Alanna J. Moshfegh. “Sodium and potassium intakes among US adults: NHANES 2003–2008.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 96, no. 3 (2012): 647-657.|