What Are Electrolytes? Part 2 of 2

Electrolytes-part2

These important minerals have a broad utility that is not just for athletes. 

How important are electrolytes? Very important. So important, that everyone should make it a goal to consume enough of these nutrients. These are simply vital to overall health. If you are on the Kaufmann Diet, it is possible to incorporate foods that are rich in these nutrients into your regimen in quantities that will satisfy your daily needs; it is not always the easiest task, though. For some, it may be necessary to supplement with certain electrolytes,particularly if you are very active. Talk to your doctor before beginning a supplement regimen.

Below is a list of the 5 primary electrolytes found in the body and what their functions are. For electrolytes that are often difficult to obtain, some Kaufmann Diet-friendly foods that are rich in those electrolytes are listed, as well.

Sodium

Sodium is the major positive ion that controls the overall volume of water in the body. It is primarily found in blood, plasma and lymph fluid. It is important for proper nerve and muscle function for a minimum of 500mg per day is necessary for proper function. 2,300mg is the daily recommended amount; it is thought that consuming more than this can lead to hypertension. It is important to consume sodium but within the recommended range.

The primary source of sodium is sodium chloride (NaCl), or table salt. Any kind of salt used for seasoning food contains sodium.

Chloride

Like sodium, chloride is primarily obtained in the diet via sodium chloride (NaCl). Chloride is the primary negatively charged ion that works with sodium to maintain proper pressure in fluid systems. It helps maintain proper acidity levels in the body.


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Potassium

Potassium is important for regulating your heartbeat and the function of other muscles. While sodium and chloride are fairly easy to obtain (and are often over-consumed), potassium is an example of an electrolyte that many people fail to get enough of. Kaufmann Diet sources of potassium include:

– Avocado

– Acorn Squash

– Spinach

– Wild Caught Salmon

– Pomegranate 

– Coconut Water

Magnesium

Magnesium is an underappreciated nutrient in the body, as it is necessary for hundreds of biochemical reactions. Like potassium, many people do not get the recommended amount of potassium. As an example of how important potassium is, here are a few of its functions: maintaining proper nerve/muscle function; keeps the heart rate steady; stabilizes blood sugar; assists in the formation of bones. These are only a few of the vital tasks magnesium facilitates. Sources of magnesium include:

– pumpkin seeds
– spinach
– chard
– plain yogurt
– almonds
– avocados

Calcium

Calcium is something we have all been told we need to get enough of if we want to avoid osteoporosis, but calcium serves many other functions, as well. It is important for muscle contractions, nerve function, and blood clotting. Many people think that dairy is the best and only source of calcium, which is not necessarily true. Since dairy is typically kept to a moderate amount on The Kaufmann Diet, here are some foods other than dairy that are good sources of calcium on The Kaufmann Diet.

– Kale
– Sardines
– Broccoli
– Bok Choy
– Okra
– Almonds
– Plain Yogurt is a good option for calcium, as well.

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