A guest blog by Bill
While you’re enjoying that beer and those French fries, do you ever wonder about your heath?
Naaah… I thought not.
And, indeed, why should you?
Eating and drinking are two of the greatest pleasures known that can be shared openly and in public without fear of arrest. Why on earth would you want to be thinking about your health, or more specifically, your mortality at a time like this? That sort of morbidity will drive you to an early grave, and worse, you won’t have had any fun getting there.
I think health should be a result, not a goal. By this I mean that eating well and getting all the good nutrition you need is simply a matter of…. well,… eating well.
Good food tastes good. Fresh foods taste good. Foods that aren’t covered in some chemical-laden sauce or flavouring of undetermined origin taste good. And these foods that taste good generally provide the nutrition you need. Simple as that.
Why potassium? Well, because it’s a mineral that most of us don’t get enough of these days. If you sweat a lot (attention, athletes and those in hot climates), and if you urinate a lot (attention, beer drinkers), you are losing potassium through all that water being flushed out of your system. If you want to continue to exercise and/or drink beer healthily, you need to make sure you’re getting enough potassium. If you don’t get enough potassium, you’ll get all manner of ill effects – heart problems, arthritis, depression, exhaustion, death. If that sounds overly broad, that just goes to show how essential potassium is to your overall health.
Luckily, that’s easy to do. You can keep filling up on those French fries, and you’ll have your bases covered. Potatoes are a top potassium food. However, to cut down on the fat, you might want a little variety. Tomatoes and tomato sauces are also one of the best sources of potassium. So, yes, that ketchup on the chips is good for you. (We’ll talk about sugar another time.)
In fact anything with a rich tomato sauce will bring a big potassium boost – think pasta and pizza. Almost any kind of beans would be good, especially brown beans such as kidney or pinto. Chili con carne is an excellent potassium-rich dish. For fish, halibut is a potassium super food, followed by salmon. Most other fish provide quite a bit of potassium as well.
Many vegetables deliver potassium, but the much-maligned iceberg lettuce really delivers a huge dose, more than almost any other green vegetable. Don’t forget to mention that the next time some rocket (arugula) eater sneers at your iceberg salad.
For a snack, dates reign supreme. A couple of dates will beat any potassium supplement hands down. Raisins and dried apricots are up there as well. Wash them down with some milk, carrot juice or, best of all (potassium-richly speaking) prune juice.
You might have noticed by now that many potassium-rich foods would seem to encourage bowel movements. That’s good for you too, but not something we like to talk about at the dinner table. It’s no surprise that most high-potassium foods deliver the goods nutritionally in any number of ways.
Even that beer provides a respectable amount of potassium, but the increased urination more than blanks that benefit out. Sorry.
I’m not suggesting you drink less. My option is to make up for the drinking by eating better. Easier all around.
If you would like to see a list of potassium-rich foods at potassiumrichfoods.com for more ideas on how to do that, please be my guest.