Healthy Bites

Are you getting enough potassium?

Posted: Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Maybe not.

Guidelines issued by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Science encourage adults to consume of at least 4,700 milligrams of potassium every day. That's almost double what most of us actually consume.

Potassium is a mineral that helps muscles contract, maintains fluid balance, sends nerve impulses and releases energy from protein, fat and carbohydrates. The highest amounts of potassium are found in fruits and vegetables, and it's also found in beans, fish and some dairy foods.

Reach your recommended daily intake of potassium by adding these foods to your daily menu:

One cup of cooked spinach equals 840 milligrams

A medium baked potato provides 800 mg

One cup of cooked broccoli equals 460 mg

One cup of cantaloupe has 430 mg

A medium tomato has 290 mg

One half cup of strawberries contains 230 mg

A medium-size banana contains 450 mg

To help you reach your daily requirement of potassium, also try whole-grain foods, low-fat dairy products, beans and almonds.

This tip was provided by Kelley Steen, clinical dietitian at Central Peninsula Hospital, courtesy of the American Dietetic Association's public relations team.

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