Potassium is an essential macronutrient that helps support many vital functions in the body. It plays a major role in the synthesis of proteins, supporting the skeletal system, electrolyte balance and the electrical activity in the heart. In fact, a recent study has shown that one of the most important dietary changes that people can make to combat hypertension (a common problem among the aging population) is to decrease sodium intake and increase consumption of potassium.
Jefferson County senior care experts recommend that aging adults obtain approximately 4,700 mg of potassium per day in order to maintain healthy body functions. Fortunately, there are many potassium-rich foods can help people receive their daily requirement of the nutrient. Here are three of our favorites:
- Potatoes – Both common and sweet potatoes contain some of the highest levels of potassium found in foods, and on average, a serving provides between 700 mg and 800 mg of the nutrient. Adults who meet their daily requirement of potassium have shown to have a decreased risk of high blood pressure.
- Beans – Not only are beans an excellent source of fiber and protein, but they are packed with potassium. Lima beans, white beans and soybeans all provide approximately 500 mg of the nutrient per serving. Potassium from beans helps to maintain a proper acid-base balance in the body that is crucial to protecting bone structure. A healthy intake of potassium has also shown to help increase bone density.
- Fruit – Fresh fruits such as oranges, bananas, strawberries and avocados are great sources of potassium. In fact, one whole avocado provides over 1,200 mg of the nutrient alone. Dried fruits such as raisins, dates, apricots and prunes are also good sources and provide about 300 mg per serving.
High levels of potassium can be deadly, so it is important to take supplements under the close supervision of a physician.
To learn more about the benefits of potassium or senior nutrition, reach out to Home Care Assistance of Jefferson County. We are a leading provider of home care that is dedicated to helping promote health, longevity and independence for seniors and older adults. Click here for information about our revolutionary Balanced Care Method, or call us directly at 303-987-5992 and schedule a complimentary, no-obligation consultation with a friendly Care Manager.