Do you own a high-quality blood pressure machine? Debbie and I keep tabs on our numbers, and you should too, especially if high blood pressure runs in your family. Your three most important dietary considerations are to avoid processed and packaged foods, scratch the saltshaker, and boot up your potassium intake to five grams per day. You won’t find adequate potassium in your one-a-day, and, unless you have conducted some independent research on the potassium content in foods, you’re likely not getting anything like the five-gram intake we have targeted as suitable for us.
Broccoli, peas, lima beans, tomatoes, potatoes (especially the skin), sweet potatoes, and winter squash are all good sources of potassium. Fruit sources include citrus, bananas, kiwis, prunes, and dried apricots. Milk, yogurt, and nuts are also excellent sources of potassium.
I’ve prepared a potassium mini list to help you make sure your diet meets a five-gram daily potassium target. The list gives food items by serving with approximate potassium numbers in milligrams. You can easily mix and match, including doubling on your favorites, to achieve five grams per day of potassium.
½ cup dried apricots (900 mg)
½ Florida avocado (700 mg)
¼ honeydew melon (875 mg)
large baked potato with skin (850 mg)
1 papaya (750 mg)
1 cup prune juice (700 mg)
1 cup milk (375 mg)
1 cup tomato juice (400 mg)
½ cup spinach (400 mg)
½ cup winter squash (450 mg)
½ cup tomato sauce (450 mg)
My goal with the Lifesaver series is to give you intelligence from my own independent research that will encourage you to conduct your own follow-up research. We all have different needs and goals. I focus on areas of specific interest to my family. But because many of these health issues are universal, I know that much of what is of interest to me will also be of interest to you and your family.