January 4, 2011

Potassium Rich Foods - List of Foods High in Potassium

The Importance of Potassium:
Potassium is a mineral salt (electrolyte) that is essential for maintaining the balance of pH levels in our body fluids. It plays an important role in regulating our blood pressure, bone mass, nervous system, muscle function, and heart, kidney, and adrenal functions. Low levels of potassium can cause potassium deficiency and bring on a whole host of health problems.

People with a potassium deficiency are said to be suffering from Hypokalemia. There are a number of causes that can bring on potassium deficiency The usual suspects are a poor or inadequate diet that precludes potassium rich foods, or too many experimental and fad diets. People with diabetes and kidney problems are also likely to suffer from mineral imbalance.

You will know that you are deficient in potassium if you find yourself experiencing an overall weakness and seem to be constantly fatigued. You're also likely to have trouble concentrating on your daily tasks, and may have difficulty with muscular coordination. Potassium deficiency can lead to high blood pressure problems, hypertension, strokes, and heart irregularities. So, if you suspect something of the sort, go see your doctor.

The Importance of Potassium Rich Foods:
If you follow a healthy, well-balanced, and plentiful diet of foods high in potassium, it is not likely that you will need to worry about suffering from mineral imbalance. Potassium is naturally found in fresh fruit, vegetables, whole grains, and dairy products. Meat, Poultry and Fish foods are high in potassium too, but an entirely carnivorous diet will be detrimental to your health, causing a rise in acid levels and depleting potassium levels.

A number of potassium supplements are available too in the market, and quite a few people include these in their daily regimen. This is not really necessary if, as mentioned, your meals contain enough potassium high foods, and it is best not to go for any kind of potassium supplements without first consulting your doctor. An excess of potassium is equally likely to spell trouble. Unless your doctor gives you the go ahead, you would be better off really just reaching for another cantaloupe slice, another banana, a handful more of strawberries, and adding a pinch of turmeric to many of your cooked meals.

Some people, of course, don't have much choice. Various ailments deem it necessary for them to monitor their potassium intake, and so it is necessary for them to take supplements which inform them about the exact amount of potassium that is daily ingested.

Athletes and other sports people also require potassium supplements. If you exercise rigorously, keep it mind that sweating overmuch brings about mineral imbalance and you should take frequent breaks to refuel depleting potassium levels with electrolyte drinks and energy bars.

While having a fit body is becoming pretty important in our society these days, never, never, never go for starvation diets. There are many ways of getting into shape without ruining your health. Explore those other avenues.

What foods are high in potassium?
Aside from the aforementioned cantaloupe, potassium rich foods include:
Bell pepper
Crimini mushrooms
Brussels sprouts

Here is a list of some foods high in potassium and their potassium content from the USDA National Nutrient Database:
Potassium Rich Foods     Weight     Measure     Potassium Content
Raw, baby carrots     10     1 medium     24 mg
Raw Lettuce     10     1 leaf     19 mg
Raw Onions     14     1 slice     20 mg
Fresh Strawberries     12     1 strawberry     18 mg
Raw Garlic     3     1 clove     12 mg
Honey     21     1 tablespoon     11 mg
Raw Radishes     4.5     1 radish     10 mg
Raw Peppers     10     1 ring     18 mg
White Bread     23     1 slice     17 mg
Papayas     304     1 papaya     781 mg
Lima Beans     188     1 cup     955 mg
Plantains     179     1 medium     893 mg
Jerusalem Artichokes     150     1 cup     644 mg
Bananas     118     1 banana     422 mg
Oat Bran     94     1 cup     532 mg
Tomatoes     255     1 cup     528 mg
Cucumber     301     1 large     442 mg
Cantaloupe     160     1 cup     427 mg
Pears     275     1 pear     333 mg
Mangoes     207     1 mango     323 mg

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