Electrolytes are different than other minerals. While we need most vitamins and minerals in the ranges of only micrograms or a couple dozen milligrams, electrolytes are required in hundreds of milligrams to gram amounts. In fact the only essential nutrients we need higher doses of than the electrolytes are the calories we eat, proteins, and water. Electrolytes are not only necessary in larget amounts; they are all also needed in balance. This is because they work together in a tightly controlled manner to maintain hydration as well as all their individual functions in the body. If you grouped the 4 major electrolytes together (sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium), the average person’s diet would look like we get enough total dosage. However, the balance of electrolytes we consume tells a different story altogether. The average person walking around overconsumes sodium at an alarming rate, under consumes potassium and magnesium, while getting close to the recommendation for calcium. This imbalance is a telltale sign that the first problem is the quality of food in the diet. When we over process foods, minerals like potassium and magnesium tend to be removed and replaced with higher and higher amounts of salt. Just as well, over processed food removes most sources of the highest containing electrolyte foods. Dietary changes have also changed mineral consumption. Furthermore, for all their potential benefits the rise in grain, legume, and dairy free dietary strategies also remove excellent mineral sources from the diet. Lastly, although the overall safety and quality of filtered water has increased greatly over the last few decades, natural sources of water contain a notable amount of mineral content that is also largely lost in today’s day and age. So what do we do? How can we target better sources of electrolyte containing foods in order to meet our needs and maintain the balance our body so desperately needs? Here are a few foods and food groups to look out for to see if they can be a welcome addition to our everyday hydration pursuit:
Potassium: Fruits and Vegetables, Potatoes, and Grains and Legumes. While not all these foods are suitable for individuals to consume, it is important to get as many servings as we can of these foods. This is because regardless of their carbohydrate or sugar content, fruits and vegetables (and their juices) are the most concentrated source of Potassium, with the average serving of contains a couple hundred milligrams. When consumed as a juice, the dose can multiply to 600mg or more per serving. Of the most concentrated sources, Watermelon, Celery, and Cucumber juice contain some of the highest amounts which are one of the main reasons they are so highly touted in Raw Juice blends and smoothies.
Magnesium: Nuts and Seeds, Cocoa or Dark Chocolate. While many whole foods, including animal products, contain a reasonable amount of magnesium, Nuts and Seeds are some of the most packed sources known. A handful of pumpkin seeds or a tablespoon of Peanut Butter can provide over a quarter of your daily Magnesium needs making these foods an easy choice to get more in the diet. Furthermore, even just 1 square of Dark Chocolate (70%+ cocoa content) as a healthy dessert can provide 15% of your daily Magnesium requirements. Look to add more of these foods to help meeting your daily requirements easier.
While there are many ways to increase electrolyte mineral consumption in your diet, focusing on foods that contain higher amounts is the best way to help meet your needs. At Great Naturally, we believe in the power of food, and that’s why we formulated Real Electrolytes using highly concentrated foods along with superior food form minerals to help get more electrolytes in the diet and get them in balance.