Potassium Deficit in Older Women
Researching every issue connected with muscular pain and increasing muscle strength in an effort to heal and repair the physical setback I experienced in 2014, potassium levels kept appearing as a major contributor to muscle health and efficient functioning. See Livestrong, for example.
The more I read about potassium, the greater its significance was to me in beating my gym injury and burn complications permanently. Just last week I accepted the fact that exercise alone would not put me back in high heels.
What Is Potassium?
Potassium is a mineral and electrolyte critical for effective motabolism, water and chemical balance in the body. Every muscle contraction, nerve impulse and regulated heartbeat requires the proper level of potasssium. Potassium deficiency has been linked to high blood pressure, kidney stones, osteoporosis, carbohydrate intolerance, stroke and heart disease.
There is no doubt that proper potassium levels are critical to keep our bodies functioning in a maximum state of wellness.
This excellent article in the San Francisco Chronicle defines potassium as being critically important for:
* Muscles and Nerves
* Water and Chemical Balance
* Acid-Base Balance
Daily Recommended Potassium Levels
In a study of 90,137 postmenopausal women over a period of 11 years, only 2.8 percent of women met the US Department of Agriculture daily recommendation of 4,700 mg of potassium daily. The World Health Organization’s daily potassium recommendation for women is lower, at 3,510 mg or more. Unfortunately, only 16.6 percent of women met this nutritional standard.
Read all the findings of this potassium study at Science Daily.
Anne repeats that she is not a nutritionist, but she is one smart cookie. Older American women are in a critical potassium shortage.
Note that 1) if you are researching potassium nutrition in various foods, it’s important to know whether the calculations are based on the USDA standard or the WHO. My own health goals for potassium are based on the 4,700 mg per day — which is darn difficult to achieve without supplements. 2) The potassium nutrition information fluctuates wildly from one source to another. Don’t ask me why, but the variations are 100% and on many foods.
Planning my own menus and daily potassium intake, I’m reviewing multiple sources for every food and looking for aggregate consistency around sources that I trust. In this article, I’ve posted potassium nutrition info from WHFoods.org. This information varies wildly from info at Web MD, coming from the USDA.
Potassium & Reduced Stroke Risk
The American Heart Association published a study in September 2014 confirming significantly lower risks of stroke and death among older, postmenopausal women who ate potassium-rich foods. The results were especially significant among women who didn’t have high blood pressure.
Relevant to me — someone not taking any blood pressure medication or suffering from high blood pressure — increasing potassium intake to recommended levels resulted in a 27 percent lower ischemic stroke risk and a 21 percent reduction in all stroke types. The results were signiciant but almost half these numbers for women already taking blood pressure medication.
Potassium & Bone Health
In January 2015, a study in the journal ‘Osteoporosis International’ named potassium salts as a key factor in preventing osteoporosis. In the UK, source of the study, one in two women and one in five men over the age of 50 will break a bone because of poor bone health. Once again, eating more fruits and vegetables and avoiding processed foods helps increase potassium intake in the body.
Potassium Rich Foods From WHFoods.com
Most people think bananas when hearing the word ‘potassium’. Indeed, bananas are an excellent source of potassium but they are not in most top 10 foods lists and fall into the top 20.
Fruit and Veggie ‘Garbage’ Carries Maximum Nutrients
My discovery of the NUTRIBULLET machine came after asking myself how many nutrients I was throwing away in not eating organic yam skins, when I don’t think twice about eating a rare baked potato skin. So many health articles use sweet potatoes and yams interchangeably. For myself — right or wrong — I only eat organic yams whenever possible.
This 2015 wellness journey was triggered by a need to understand muscle pain triggered by one accident and a second burn injury due to third-party negligence. My body was taking too long to heal.
The critical nature of potassium in muscle efficiency declared itself early on, coupled with the knowledge that I must be in a state of potassium deficit. Only a doctor can confirm this fact in your case, and I urge anyone concerned about potassium levels to see a doctor. In my case, documenting my diet and the extreme stress that I lived through in 2014 leaves me no doubt that — like the vast majority of post-menopausal women — my potassium intake is nowhere near where it should be.
Each day now I’m documenting changes in my diet and also how my body feels. A potassium supplement has been introduced into my diet, but because in supplementing potassium, it’s critical not to take too much, I want to discuss my results in an article devoted only to that subject. A dark cherry juice concentrate has also become part of my diet. Both products receive rave, detailed, high-volume reviews on Amazon.
This NaturalNews.com article about the health benefits of sweet potatoes highlights potassium as a treatment of muscle pain. I like the headling and have upped my organic yam intake:
Sweet Potatoes Are Like Yoga
Their high potassium content means sweet potatoes can alleviate muscle cramps which are often related to potassium deficiency. During times of stress, the body uses more potassium, so eating sweet potatoes can help protect you from the negative health effects of tension.
Surprisingly, the skin of a yam or sweet potato has more fiber than a serving of oatmeal, and I’ve already switched to eating the yam skin, which is tougher than a baked potato. As for those leafy beat greens at the top of the potassium list and banana peels, I’mlooking for recipes.
In early March, information about my body’s response to increased potassium levels — positive or negative — will be shared. However, the research on potassium seems critically solid in the importance of its role in regulating good health. ~ Anne
Mango Avocado Spinach Smoothie from La Belle Patel
1 cup baby spinach
1/2 medium avocado
1 mango, peeled and diced
1/4 cup orange juice
1/2 cup ice cubes
1.Place all ingredients into a blender (or NUTRIBULLET)
2. Blend until smooth.
3. Add more juice or ice if too thick.
NOTE: Research tells us that the greatest concentration of carotenoids and other nutrition in an avocado lies just beneath the skin. The California Avocado Commission recommends that we use the ‘nick and peel’ method of peeling the avocado with our hands.
The first step in the nick-and-peel method is to cut into the avocado lengthwise, producing two long avocado halves that are still connected in the middle by the seed. Next you take hold of both halves and twist them in opposite directions until they naturally separate. At this point, remove the seed and cut each of the halves lengthwise to produce long quartered sections of the avocado. You can use your thumb and index finger to grip the edge of the skin on each quarter and peel it off, just as you would do with a banana skin.
OR — you could just use a NUTRIBULLET and pulverize the peel entirely into your shake.
Wait up — same deal for mango skin. It, too, should go in the shake.
Researchers have found that the skin of a mango is key to weight loss. Their findings show that mango fruit peel works similarly to resveratrol, a compound found in red wine that helps burn fat. In their experiment, mango peel extracts inhibited the process of adipogenesis, which involves the production of mature fat cells.
I’ll be honest and say that I’m waiting for a price decrease before ordering my NUTRIBULLET. It seems that in-stock inventory levels are impacted by Christmas and perhaps the West Coast dock strike settled this weekend. I’ve watched the price increase from about $80 to $115 in the last month.
If money is no real consequence to you, order your NUTRIBULLET today, because this machine is really catching on. In good conscience to AOC readers, I say ‘let’s wait a bit and watch the price.’
If the price only goes higher, you can yell at me! ~ Anne