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sábado, 8 de julio de 2017

10 Potassium-Rich Foods for a Healthy Heart


Too much sodium and inadequate potassium in your diet could double your risk of dying from a heart attackand increase the chances of an early death from any cause by almost 50 percent.
That is the stark conclusion made by a major study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine in 2011.
The study drives home one subtle but important point: Nutrients in our bodies do not exist in isolation. Just as excessive omega-6 fatty acids can interfere with the activities of omega-3 fats and subsequently lead to runaway silent inflammation, an imbalanced sodium-to-potassium ratio can also pose serious dangers.
The findings may also explain why cutting dietary salt alone is not good enough to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease or premature death, as what some studies have found. Potassium-rich foods may be one of the missing pieces in our desperate bid to solve the heart disease puzzle.
But how much sodium is too much, and what is the amount of potassium we need each day? The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends limiting sodium intake to 2,300 mg per day. The amount is reduced to 1,500 mg if you are 51 and above, an African American, or suffering from high blood pressure, diabetes, or chronic kidney disease. The guidelines also recommend 4.7 g of potassium per day for healthy adults.
If this amount of potassium looks huge to you, don’t panic. Potassium is found in a wide range of food in varying quantities. Below we list a number of top potassium-rich foods to simplify your healthy eating plan.

Tomato Paste

  • When preparing your next pasta, consider a tomato-based sauce over a white one. Because one can (6 oz) of salt-free tomato paste will easily satisfy more than one-third of your potassium needs for a day, or 1,724 mg to be exact. Concentrated tomato paste is also an antioxidant powerhouse, giving you a generous amount of lycopene that protects cells from oxidative damage.

Beet Greens

  • Are you someone who goes straight for the sweet beet root and discard the greens? The leafy beet greens are actually edible and they contain a good amount of potassium to boot. How much? About 1,309 mg in just a cup (144 g) of one inch pieces. Beet greens are also a good source of lutein which may help to slow degeneration of the eyes caused by aging.

Dried Apricot

  • In just 100 g of dried apricots, there are 1,162 mg of potassium. They are also an excellent source of vitamin A and fiber which are beneficial for the eyes and promote bowel movement respectively. When buying dried apricots, choose dark brown color apricots instead of bright orange ones as the latter are usually treated with sulfites to preserve their color.


  • Also called alligator pear, one ripe avocado (201 g) contains about 975 mg of potassium, double the amount found in a large banana. It also contains a spectrum of carotenoids, phytosterols, monounsaturated fats and other antioxidants that help to keep unwanted inflammation in check and keep your heart happy. Due to the exceptionally high smoke point and vitamin E content, avocado oil also makes a healthy alternative to olive oil.


  • Cooked whole green soybeans are generous providers of complete proteins, potassium, magnesium, iron and a whole bunch of essential compounds. For the record, just a cup (180 g) of these beans yields 970 mg of potassium. But to get the maximum goodness from soy, here are two tips to keep in mind: choose whole soy foods over highly purified soy products, and make sure they are not made from genetically modified beans.


  • Got a sweet tooth? Then dates may be what you need to get the sugar, as well as potassium, that your body craves for. One cup (147 g) of chopped deglet noor dates not only satisfies you with 964 mg of potassium, but also gives you essential nutrients such as phosphorous, magnesium and selenium.Dates are also low in sodium, containing only 3 mg of it in a cup.

Swiss Chard

  • Considered to be one of the most healthy vegetables, Swiss chard is well-known for its dense nutrient profile. Chard’s polyphenol contents and pigments are believed to possess antioxidizing, anti-inflammatory and blood sugar-regulating properties. A cup of boiled Swiss chard has 961 mg of potassium, 10,717 IU of vitamin A, 31.5 mg of vitamin C and 573 mcg of vitamin K (essential for blood clotting and bone health) among others.


  • It is a pity that potato has acquired a bad name due to French fries because spud is a cheap and abundant source of potassium. A baked medium-sized (173 g) potato alone contains a whopping 926 mg of potassium. When cooked the healthful way and with the skin intact, potato can also be a good source of energy, vitamin C and B6, as well as fiber.

Wild Salmon

  • A popular fish well-liked by people from all over the world, half a fillet of wild-caught salmon gives 705 mg of potassium along with an array of health-giving EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids, proteins, vitamin D, vitamin B12 and other nutrients. Buying wild instead of farmed salmon not only ensures that you are exposed to less environmental toxins like mercury and PCBs, it is also a show of support for sustainable fishing practices as wild fish stocks are usually tightly controlled. If wild salmon is too costly for you, you can also get canned wild Alaskan salmon from most major supermarkets.

Coconut Water

  • Instead of a can of soda, ask for coconut water to quench your thirst next time. One cup (240 g) of this naturally sweet water-from-the-tree gives you 600 mg of potassium — plus small amount of proteins, vitamins and other minerals, such as sodium, magnesium, calcium and B vitamins — all with only 6 g of sugar. Compare that to 20 g of pure sugar and almost nothing else in a similar size of cola.