A'peeling potassium

Posted December 6, 2012

Picture of banana being peeledI love bananas. Along with being tasty, they’re medicinal, being typically thought of as THE natural source of potassium. But are they?

What’s the big deal about potassium?

Potassium is a very important mineral. This electrolyte helps to maintain proper blood pressure, aids in muscle building, and facilitates heart and kidney functions.

Most people who eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, low in sodium, and limited in processed food usually get enough potassium in their diets.

Foods with potassium

Though I think of bananas when I hear the word “potassium,” there are other fruits, vegetables and legumes that contain more or just as much as the banana.

  • Fruits and veggies with the skins left on such as sweet potatoes, white potatoes, tomatoes and pears are excellent sources of potassium.

  • Preserve the nutritional value of potassium-rich veggies -- like broccoli, asparagus, winter squash, spinach and Brussels sprouts -- when you steam them instead of boiling or roasting.

  • Pinto beans, lentils, salmon and soy milk head up the list of foods that are both great sources of protein and potassium.

  • Most surprising potassium source: molasses

Check before making changes

Medication, activity and medical conditions can all affect your body’s need for potassium. The average recommended daily amount is 4,700 mg, but every body is different.

While some people may need to add extra potassium to their diet, others need to limit their potassium levels. Before you begin to make any changes to your potassium intake, be sure to check with your doctor.

Blogged by Katie Crommett
Reviewed by Patricia McHugh, R.N.

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The information written about in this blog is not intended to be medical advice. Please seek care from a medical professional when you have a health concern.