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The Benefits of Potassium

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Why you should pay attention to this important nutrient.

Potassium is among an important subset of nutrients that are essential to obtain from the diet. Potassium is an electrolyte, like magnesium or sodium, and as such, it is important to get enough potassium for the purpose of staying hydrated, particularly if you sweat a lot. Potassium, however, plays a wide variety of roles in addition to maintaining proper hydration.

The majority of people––as many as 97%––do not get enough of this vital nutrient. That said, there are a few reasons why you should try to ensure that you get enough potassium in your diet.

Potassium helps regulate blood pressure and promotes cardiovascular health. Blood pressure is an important element of cardiovascular health. As many as 1 in 5 Americans are thought to have high blood pressure, which can be a risk factor for heart attack, stroke, heart failure, kidney failure and other health problems. Potassium, however, can help regulate blood pressure properly. Potassium also assists in making the heart muscles function properly and maintain a steady rhythm.

Getting enough potassium is important for stress and anxiety. 

Potassium helps regulate stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. Given the number of people who suffer from anxiety coupled with the overwhelming number of people who do not get enough potassium, it might make sense that there is a link.

Potassium helps maintain muscles. 

People who consume a proper amount of potassium on a regular basis maintain more lean muscle mass than those who do not get enough potassium. Potassium also maintains proper connections between muscles and the brain and is useful for preventing cramps.

Potassium maintains healthy bones.

Potassium, like calcium, is important for maintaining healthy bone mass and preventing osteoporosis.

Kaufmann Diet foods that are rich in potassium

When most people think of potassium-rich foods, they think of bananas, which are famously high in potassium. Bananas, however, are high in starch and sugars; for the most part, bananas should likely be avoided while on The Kaufmann Diet. Bananas are a good example of foods that have some health-promoting properties, but ultimately contain more sugar than you would want to consume on the Kaufmann Diet.

The recommended daily allowance for potassium is 4,700mg. While this may seem high––high enough, anyway, that most people do not meet this number––there are a wide variety of foods on the Kaufmann Diet that are rich in potassium. These include:

  • Avocado – 1 medium, 20% RDA
  • Beets –  1 cup, 10% RDA
  • Coconut water – 1 cup, 13% RDA
  • Clams – 3.5oz, 13% RDA
  • Parsnips – 1 cup, 12% RDA
  • Plain Yogurt – 1 cup, 12% RDA
  • Salmon – 6.5oz, 15% RDA
  • Spinach – 1 cup, cooked, 18% RDA
  • Swiss Chard – 1 cup, cooked, 21% RDA
  • Tomatoes – 1 cup tomato sauce, 21% RDA
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