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Monday, March 1, 2010

Potassium Rich Foods

I was diagnosed with high blood pressure last week, so I have really started to pay more attention to what I am doing, especially in my eating patterns. What foods am I eating? What foods trigger higher BP, which ones assist in controlling it? Therefore this list is more for my needs but hopefully will be helpful to others out there that may need it as well.

Why Is Potassium Important?
Low levels of potassium can mean elevated sodium levels in the cells. To protect against cardiovascular disease we need to maintain the correct potassium-sodium ratio, which is 5-1,meaning we should ingest 5 times the amount of potassium vs sodium in our diets. The best place to get that potassium is from natural means, particularly in our fruits and veggies.

Another important function to remember about potassium is: it helps to stimulate the kidneys to remove toxic bodily waste. But potassium should be considered as only part of our total dietary pattern. We need to be aware of factors such as salt intake, amount and type of dietary fat, cholesterol, protein and fiber, as well as minerals such as calcium and magnesium may affect blood pressure. Researchers attribute changes in blood pressure to certain patterns of food consumption.

Top Foods Rich in Potassium
When trying to regulate the potassium levels I feel it is always best to incorporate it naturally through the foods we eat. Of course, the quality of the food also plays a significant role- organic being the best route to take. Pull out your notepad, scrap of paper or matchbook cover, what ever it is you use to write yourself a note, and jot down the following information if you are looking to add more potassium to your meals.

Since all the sources I have looked at have varying ranges of mg per size listed, I am just listing those foods that are good to have on your list. You should be able to find a few from this grouping that will appeal to your taste buds while they work on balancing out your ratios.

Beet Greens
White Beans
White Potato Mostly in Skin
Cooked Spinach
Winter Squash
Fresh Apricots
Lima Beans
Orange Juice
Black Beans
Brussel Sprouts
Raw Carrots

So there is a less then a complete list, but it offers enough variety to get you off to a good start. Remember working in small steps daily is the way to make big leaps in lifestyle changes!

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