Eat to live! Don't Live to Eat

Potassium Benefits & Daily Requirements

Potassium is a mineral that is important in the body to support cells, tissues and organs; it’s also an important electrolyte that helps conduct electricity in the body. Potassium is necessary for the heart to function. It also is key to smooth muscle contraction, skeletal and normal digestive and muscular function.

Potassium balance in the body depends on the amount of sodium and magnesium in the blood. Too little potassium results in nausea, vomiting, bloating, constipation, feeling weak or tired, muscle cramping, acne and other skin issues, kidney stones, vibration in the ears, thirst, depression, confusion, tingling and numbness in arms, legs, feet and abnormal heart rhythm. Heart medications and diuretics can cause low potassium levels. Too much salts in the diet due to the average American diet can cause low potassium levels.

The benefits of having a healthy potassium balance include having a healthy metabolism, lowers high blood pressure, supports heart health, proper digestion, healthy kidneys, bone health and the nervous system. It also prevents muscle spasm and pain.

The recommended amount of potassium per day ranges from 400 mg-5100 mg per day based on age, gender and while pregnant. A general goal to strive for is 4500 mg per day. You can get all the potassium you need from the foods you eat based on a diet high in vegetables and fruit. Just 3 servings per day every day will help you keep your potassium level in balance. Foods that are high in potassium include avocados, carrots, bananas, bran, peanut butter, peas and beans, tomatoes, wheat germ, baked and sweet potatoes, spinach, kale, broccoli and other greens, mushrooms, summer squash, winter squash, Brussels sprouts, lentils, pistachios, yogurt, celery, cantaloupe, chicken, salmon, cod and flounder. Keep in mind that cooking foods, especially boiling, can reduce the amount of potassium remaining them.

By making sure you get enough potassium, calcium, magnesium, and natural sodium every single day, you can feel assured you’re helping your body function at its best. Getting your vitamins, minerals and electrolytes through food is far more absorbable than supplements but if you aren’t eating quite right yet, supplements can still help a little.

If you want more information on the best supplements, email me here.

Eat to live! Don't Live to Eat

Simple Habits for a Healthy Heart

I want to talk about a healthy heart..again – it’s that important! 20151028_193432

High blood pressure, high cholesterol, coronary artery disease (common cause is plaque buildup that can’t be cured, only treated), peripheral artery disease (calcium and fat buildup on artery walls) are common heart issues, followed by other heart issues not caused by dietary and lifestyle habits.

Today, I will focus on how to make healthier food choices that will love your heart as much as you do. We are all guilty of splurging and losing sight of our goals from time-to-time and that’s alright provided you get back on track.

As you repeatedly hear [and read], you should eat more vegetables and fruit – daily. Why? For many reasons but for heart health the reason being higher potassium intake helps your heart muscle maintain strength. It’s important to eat potassium rich foods instead of taking a supplement, unless instructed by your doctor, since too high potassium levels can be dangerous as well as too low levels. Aim for at the very least 3-5 servings of vegetables daily; the average American eats less than one serving per day and that needs to change. Your body is worth the time, effort, taste and the switch to more vegetables and fruit every day. Basically, the more natural potassium in your diet, the less chance of cardio vascular disease.

Both high blood pressure and high cholesterol have no symptoms until there is a serious problem and of course a diagnosis through medical maintenance care. In the case of a hypertensive crisis you may experience symptoms of severe headache, severe, anxiety, nosebleed and shortness of breath.

A high salt diet can lead to heart issues as well as other physical ailments. Salt also increases calcium loss through urine so even if you have not been advised by your doctor, it’s a good habit to adapt to for your overall health.

  • A quick list of high sodium content in common foods include: [mg/serving] frozen dinners = 1000 +, average cereals = 300 +, canned vegetables & beans 400-700+, canned/bottled vegetable juice 500+, deli meat 360+/2 slices, canned soup 740+, sauces/marinades 690-1050+, chips/pretzels/cheese curls/ketchup/relish/pickles etc. 136-400+

Heart disease isn’t limited to salt intake; the foods you choose and the way they’re prepared is a big factor as well. Instead of fries, choose a salad for heart healthy leafy greens and other veggies, choose a baked white or sweet potato or brown rice. Use lemon juice, vinegar and spices in place of salt and other condiments. Eat less red meat, which is associated with stomach cancer, and more lean chicken, fish and beans for lean protein.

Become a label reader and choose the lowest to zero sodium, sugar and saturated fat options. Your heart is the center of life.