The most well-known condition that a diet rich in potassium benefits is high blood pressure. Potassium is considered an electrolyte that helps regulate heart function and blood pressure. Those with arthritic and rheumatic conditions benefit from additional potassium in their diet because it neutralises the acids in joints, which eases stiffness. Potassium is important in eliminating waste from the body, reducing pain and providing a "feel good" sense of being. This mineral is water soluble, which means that it does not build up in the body. Therefore, it is important to eat plenty of potassium-rich foods every day.
High Level Potassium Foods
Foods that contain 500 mg or more per serving are considered to be "high" in potassium. They include bananas, Brussels sprouts, beets, lima beans, baked potatoes, prune juice, dried prunes, raisins, cooked spinach, tomato products, winter squash and plain yoghurt.
Medium-High Level Potassium Foods
Foods containing between 300 mg and 499 mg of potassium per serving include dried apricots, cantaloupe, honeydew, fat-free or skimmed milk and orange juice.
Lower - High Level Potassium Foods
Foods with less potassium content, yet are still on the higher side, include avocados, dry dates, dry figs, kiwi fruit, nectarines, oranges, pears and peanuts.
An adult requires approximately 3,500 mg of potassium per day. It's best to get most of this amount from high potassium foods. Supplemental forms of this mineral should not be taken in doses larger than 99 mg, as they can irritate the stomach.
Potassium-rich foods should be spread out throughout your daily diet. If too much is ingested at one time, it can slow the heart down due to electrolyte imbalance.
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