All foods contain a certain amount of Sodium and Potassium. Because of the way the two nutrients interact, it is important to be aware of the ratio between the two in your food. Being mindful of this helps you to mantain a healthy diet. Before we go into more detail, let’s examine each one individually.
Sodium And Potassium
Sodium or Sodium Chloride in particular is Salt. While it is a great way to bring out the flavors in your food, our body does not need much of it, and excess amounts are harmful for our health. In fact, the excess salt intake due to junk food and salty cooking is one of the causes of many common health issues such as high blood pressure and reduced ciculatory health. This is where Potassium comes in.
Potassium is able to counteract the Sodium in our body by relaxing blood vessel walls and regulating the fluids in our body, allowing us to more easily secrete excess sodium. This happens because potassium allows our body to pump ions out of the cell walls of our body. That means that the more Potassium we consume, the more salt we can take safely. This is why the ratio of Sodium to Potassium in food is so important. When we consume foods that are high in Sodium and low in Potassium, we need to balance it by eating foods that are higher in Potassium.
Effects on Health
This means that consuming foods that have a high Potassium to Sodium Ratio supports your circulatory health by ensuring that you have more Potassium in your body then sodium, allowing your body to easily remove excess before it can cause issues like high blood pressure that may lead to greater problems like heart attack and stroke.
The health of our heart and circulatory system is important in the proper function of our entire body. The heart is basically the engine of our body, and the efficiency with which it performs provides the baseline of our entire body’s condition. Our circulatory system is what our body uses to distribute nutrients and oxygen to the rest of the body after all. That makes it even more important to keep it healthy by consuming foods high in Potassium.
Here is a list of foods that have very high Potassium content relative to their Sodium content. Experts recommend that you choose food that has at least 5 Potassium to 1 Sodium. (Richard D. Moore MD PHD, The High Blood Pressure Solution A Scientifically Proven Program for Preventing Strokes and Heart Disease, Healing Arts Press, Vermont..Rochester, 2001) The foods in the list below however provide you with much better than that!
Banana earns it’s reputation as the top Potassium food, while Kadyos, Monggo, Avocado and Ampalaya round out the Top 5 in Sodium-Potassium Ratio.
Papaya, Mango, Tamarind, Marang, Alugbati, Kulitis, Malunggay, Lupo are other foods that provide a good ratio of Potassium to Sodium, ranging between 20-40 : 1.
How This Works in Your Diet
It is possible to calculate the Potassium Sodium Ratio of a whole day of Food. Simply add the total amount of Potassium and Sodium in your diet and add find the ratio of the collective amount. You can check the nutritional table packages or online for an idea of this.
Here is an online calculator to make it easy for you. There are 4 spaces. Input total Potassium in the first, Sodium in the second, leave the third one blank and put 1 in the final blank. For Example 2580:15 = ____ : 1. This will allow the calculator to convert the mg of Potassium per 1mg of Sodium.