If I challenged you to keep calcium in your bones, your first thought might be to run out and stock up on calcium-rich foods like collards, turnip greens, sardines and milk.
But even when bone is chock-full of calcium, it’s just the first step. To keep calcium in your bones where it belongs, you need enough dietary potassium compounds.
Many scientists – including myself – say that potassium is just as important as calcium for bone health. That’s because potassium is attached to citrate, which your body transforms into bicarbonate. And bicarbonate is the ultimate alkalizing factor for reducing bone-damaging metabolic acid load.
The potassium challenge
To preserve bone mineral content, we need almost 5 times that of calcium at 4,700 mgs a day. The vast majority of us consume only half of this amount of potassium. Bone health expert Dr. Robert Heaney explains that eating one potassium-filled medium baked potato can conserve about 60 mg of calcium within the body. To put this into perspective, a urinary loss of an extra 60 mg calcium per day would result in an 18 to 21% loss of total skeletal calcium over a decade.
So here’s my potassium challenge for you: Can you eat the recommended 4,700 mgs of potassium in one day with a wholesome, calorie appropriate diet?
Hints to get started
To meet the potassium challenge, you’ll need to eat 10-13 one-half cup servings of vegetables, beans, fruit, nuts, and seeds along with your regular more concentrated protein sources. Here’s a list of my favorite high potassium foods to help you get started:
Extra tips for more potassium
- See a more complete list of foods high in potassium.
- Try an on-line diet analysis program such as the Super Tracker by the USDA.
- Stay inspired by remembering that consuming the 4,700 mg of potassium daily not only alkalizes and protects bone, but it also goes a long ways towards normalizing blood pressure and preventing cardiovascular diseases.
Why not respond back to this blog with your version of a high potassium one day diet? I’ll pick out the two that seem most practical and send those who submitted them a copy of my Acid Alkaline Food Guide.