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bananaPotassium, yes, bananas. A fruit I do not like to eat because I was traumatized when I was young.  Yes as an adult I know bananas are not moldy big spider legs, but I still have a problem eating them.

 

Until recently I didn't care for the fruit, and I did not eat it, then when I was on deployment, the nightly wake up call, from not just one, but sometimes both my legs in painful "charley horses". I knew I had to revisit the old banana problem.

 

You see I was suffering from exhausting physical labor and my body was doing the best it could to keep up, but I began to suffer. Because I have avoided bananas for over 30 years, I began to research for other avenues to ingest potassium.

 

 

When it comes to ­dietary strategies to control blood pressure, sodium gets all the atten­tion. But too little potassium could be just as important as too much salt.

“When you get enough potassium, it helps your body excrete sodium,” says Angie ­Murad, R.D., a nutritionist at the Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program. “That eases tension in the blood vessel walls, which can help lower blood pressure.”

 

The mineral also helps blood vessels ­relax inde­pen­dent of the role it plays in sodium balance.

 

How Much Potassium Do You Need?

The recommended daily dose of potassium is 4,700 mg. But according to a study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, less than 2 percent of Americans consume that much. The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee highlighted the lack of potassium in our diets by designating it a “shortfall nutrient.”

So should you take potassium supplements? Not unless your doctor tells you to. A very high intake of the mineral—which is easier to get with supplements than with food—may limit the kidney's ability to eliminate potassium, and that can lead to abnormal heart rhythms.

 

The elderly as well as people with kidney disease or type 2 diabetes, and those who take certain medications (such as ACE inhibitors, beta blockers, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories) are most at risk. In addition, the type of potassium found in supplements is actually a different form than the kind that naturally occurs in food and may not provide the same benefits.

To help make consumers more aware of their potassium intake, the Food and Drug Administration will require potassium to be listed on Nutrition Facts labels once the new version of the label goes into effect. (The FDA recently extended the compliance date but has not set a new date.).

 

When the FDA, does accomplish this project, the nutrition facts label new look will focus on important nutrition information. It’s something most of us learned to do decades ago: You see an inviting package on the supermarket shelf. You pick it up, have a look at the front to see if you might like that flavor, and then flip it over to stare intently at the familiar white Nutrition Facts label on the back. Well now, finally, after much hemming and hawing, the Nutrition Facts label is getting an overdue upgrade.

 

The changes look a lot like the proposal the FDA unveiled more than two years ago, in Feb. 2014. But rules don’t change immediately, by fiat; the agency had to go through a whole long process of proposal, comment, and approval to make the change.

 

What's Changed?

So what’s going to be different? The white box you’re used to will look pretty similar to the way it has, but some of the contents are going to change, especially when it comes to serving size. Some highlights include:

• The number of calories per serving will be a big, bold number that you can’t easily miss.

• Serving sizes are going to have to shift to be more similar to portions actual human people really eat. (When’s the last time you had a measured half-cup of breakfast cereal in a measured half-cup of milk?)

• Some line items that only listed contents in percentages [of daily recommended value] before will now actually include real quantity measurements, in grams.

• Items you might consume in a single sitting even if they’re more than one serving, like your classic pint of breakup ice cream, will have to show both the per-serving and per-container values.

• Single-serve but theoretically multi-serving containers, like 20 oz sodas, will just have to list the numbers for the whole bottle as one serving because let’s be real, people don’t usually share or save half for tomorrow.

• Some of the recommended daily value numbers have been tweaked, because the science on how much you should or shouldn’t have has been updated.

 

Meanwhile, it might still take a while for you to get used to seeing the new Nutrition Facts label, out in the wild; the deadline for manufacturers to get it in use is July 26, 2018. 

 

But now let's not lose focus, back to the potassium problem. Having at least eight servings of fruits and vegetables daily is ideal. “But if you just ­focus on eating fruits and vegetables with every meal and snacks, you will easily get enough,” ­Murad says.

 

8 Symptoms Of Not Getting Enough Potassium.

1. You are constantly Tired. Every cell in your body needs potassium to function properly.

2. High Blood Pressure. Potassium helps blood vessels relax and without it they become constricted.

3. You eat primarily out of bags and boxes.  A diet high in sodium combats your body's ability to absorb potassium.

4. Your muscles feel weak or crampy. Potassium helps with muscle contraction, so low levels can cause spasms.

5. Your heart skips a beat. Low potassium could be one of many reasons you are having palpitations.

6. You are dizzy.  A drop in levels can lower your heartbeat enough to make you feel faint.

7. You are constipated.  A deficiency can slow some bodily functions and that includes your digestion.

8. You experience tingling and numbness. Potassium keeps nerves healthy and without it you may have pins and needles.

 

So now you knowwhat can happen, if you don't get enough potassium. So the problem , at least for me, where do I get potassium, without eating bananas.

Here is a list of foods that will help you boost your potassium intake. Don't worry about writing these down. These show notes will be published on the USA EBN.org website, under the Medical Dispatch web page.

 

Food rich in potassium

Swiss chard, 1 cup cooked: 961 mg.

Acorn squash, 1 cup cubed: 896 mg.

Spinach, 1 cup cooked: 839 mg.

Baked potato, 1 small, with skin: 738 mg.

Lentils, 1 cup cooked: 731 mg.

Tempeh, 1 cup: 684 mg.

Salmon, 5 ounces: 676 mg.

White beans, ½ cup: 502 mg.

Yogurt low-fat plain, 1 cup: 531 mg.

Sun-dried tomatoes, ¼ cup: 463 mg.

Cantaloupe, 1 cup cubed: 427 mg.

Banana, 1 medium: 422 mg.

Carrots, 1 cup cooked: 367 mg.

Crushed canned tomato, ½ cup: 355 mg.

Sweet potato, 1 medium, without skin: 347 mg.

Avocado, ½: 345 mg.

Raisins, 1 small box (1.5 oz): 322 mg.

Quinoa, 1 cup cooked: 318 mg.

Pistachios, ¼ cup kernels: 310 mg.

Prunes, 4 whole pitted: 278 mg.

Oranges, 1 cup slices: 274 mg.

Apricots, dried, 6 halves: 244 mg.

 

Well it looks like my dilemma is solved. If I increase my intake of some of the food I like, and there a couple on the list that are higher than bananas, Then I should be able to get some peaceful rest.

 

I hope this information was helpful for you. Also remember, we are not doctors, so please, consult your medical advisor before you go and change your diet. Some of the medication you are on might have an adverse effects.