Energize Your Success – Potassium

by Stephen Mills on May 30, 2009

Vegetable Produce

I was going to put all kinds of science in this article about pH balance, sodium-potassium pumps, and other such fascinating stuff.  As I sat down to write, it dawned on me that most people probably are not as fascinated by that kind of thing as I am, so I decided to write something practical that could be easily understood.

This article is the third in a series that will be dedicated to helping you improve your energy. You will not escape the rat race or enjoy life if you are energy deficient. Energy level is a fundamental key to thriving and not just surviving. Take it from someone who knows. I have been chronically fatigued for much of my adult life. I’m turning it around big time, but I’m not all the way there yet. The first two articles were:

Energize Your Success – Decrease Distress
Energize Your Success – Use The Right Fuel

A Paleolithic diet of natural whole food would contain a potassium-sodium ratio of about 17 to 1.  A modern American diet contains a ratio of about 1 to 1.7. Do I really need to say any more?

I’ve had low blood pressure all my life and so ignored salt and ate processed foods.  Natural foods were unknown to me.  Processed foods have been stripped of potassium and preserved and flavored with salt.  The science concerning what this does to our cells is pretty clear.  The number of health problems that can be attributed to this imbalance may be more than we could have imagined.  Aside from all that, there is a very strong impact on your energy.

Most people are chronically potassium deficient.  It’s as simple as that.  Blood tests do not determine the level of cellular potassium and so they are worthless with one exception.  If they show low blood potassium you are in trouble.  If they show normal they mean nothing.

What Should You Do

Limit sodium intake to 500 mg per day or less.

Eat fresh whole fruits, vegetables, and nuts.  Raw is better than cooked, but cooked is still OK.

Take potassium supplements.  There is a problem here.  Drug manufacturers like to make prescription potassium or create drugs that solve health problems by increasing potassium.  This is very convenient since our diet creates health problems and then we have the FDA and drug companies ready to solve it for us.  A cheap mineral supplement might cut into big pharmaceutical profits.  So in the guise of protecting the public from the dangers of potassium, the FDA limits supplements to 2.5% of the RDA.

Think about the absurdity of that.  If I need potassium supplements why would I need a capsule that gives my a measly 2.5%?  What good would that do?  If I need supplementation, I certainly need more than 2.5%.   I know there are claimed reasons for this, but they are absurd and unsupported.  You might as well ban potassium supplements.  I would have to take 40 capsules per day to get 100% of the RDA.  Or I could just go to a doctor and get a prescription.  Hmm…

To hell with the FDA.  I take 20 or 30 capsules a day.  Make your own choice.

Potassium Rich Foods

One caution.  Don’t eat 10 bananas a day.  Some of the most potassium rich foods play havoc with your blood sugar.   Look for lower GI potassium sources.  I’m going to leave off of my list high GI foods rich in potassium.  For example a baked potato is about the richest source of potassium you can find and it is also very bad for you from a blood glucose perspective.

Also, if you buy a can of green beans loaded with salt you are not helping yourself.  You need to increase potassium and reduce salt.

  • banana (eat in moderation)
  • tomato
  • almonds
  • sunflower seeds
  • asparagus
  • mango (eat in moderation)
  • orange
  • pear
  • peach
  • strawberries
  • pumpkin
  • brussels sprout
  • green beans
  • carrots
  • broccoli
  • cauliflower
  • pinto beans
  • lentils
  • salmon
  • dark turkey meat
  • lean beef
  • peanut butter
  • egg
  • cheese
  • milk
  • chocolate

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Giovanna Garcia May 31, 2009 at 6:02 pm

I used to get muscle spasm and I learned that it was because I did take in enough potassium and water.
And since I have been good about the water and potassium, my muscle spasm have went away.
I like that you give a list of food with potassium, I didn’t know about most of them. So this will make it more enjoyable for me to have my postassium.
Thanks,
Giovanna Garcia
Imperfect Action is better than No Action

Giovanna Garcia´s last blog post..Rally Back for the Year!

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Lisis | Quest For Balance May 31, 2009 at 7:23 pm

Wait! What’s wrong with mangoes!? I love those guys!!!

Lisis | Quest For Balance´s last blog post..Inspiration From the Dalai Lama

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Daphne @ Joyful Days May 31, 2009 at 9:24 pm

Stephen,

I needed this article because my mum has been having health issues and her doctors advised her to increase potassium intake. This list is a life-saver, thanks!

Daphne @ Joyful Days´s last blog post..Energize Your Home and Life with Feng Shui

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Ingrid Kast Fuller June 1, 2009 at 12:22 am

I noticed you didn’t add raisins to your potassium food list. Was this one of the high GI foods? I eat raw almonds and raisins most every day in the middle of the afternoon instead of snacking on junk food. It helps me get through the sluggish time of the day at work.

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Jonathan - Advanced Life Skills June 1, 2009 at 7:37 pm

It’s by means of a potassium pump that our individual cells maintain the correct internal pressure, pull nutrients in, and move waste products out. The right mineral and electrolyte balance is vital to the health of our cells.

Jonathan – Advanced Life Skills´s last blog post..Where Does Disappointment Come From?

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Kramer November 16, 2009 at 6:12 pm

“Most people are chronically potassium deficient.” – Stephen Mills
“a balanced diet usually supplies all the potassium a person needs” – The Mayo Clinic*

“the FDA limits supplements to 2.5% of the RDA” – Stephen Mills
“Because lack of potassium is rare, there is no RDA or RNI for this mineral.” – The Mayo Clinic*

Personally, I’m going to take the Mayo Clinic’s word on Potassium over “Stephen Mills,” (whoever he is.)

*http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/drug-information/DR602373

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John September 22, 2012 at 3:01 pm

What about coconut water? What is your take on that? It has more potassium than a banana for an 8oz serving.

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Philippe September 3, 2015 at 7:39 am

I consider coconut water processed food, even if minimally processed. What’s wrong with getting your own coconut?

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D February 27, 2013 at 1:02 am

Instead of 50 capsules, you can just go to the store and get potassium chloride, conveniently sold as “no salt” in any grocery store. Much cheaper!

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garden-product-reviews.com May 28, 2013 at 2:02 pm

This blog was… how do you say it? Relevant!! Finally I’ve found something which helped me. Cheers!
garden-product-reviews.com´s last [type] ..garden-product-reviews.com

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cockroach June 16, 2013 at 8:55 am

Just very good writeup. The item actually was once the entertainment profile the idea. Glimpse complicated in order to more added flexible within you! By the way, how should we carry on the distance learning?

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