You should focus on having enough calcium, potassium and magnesium-rich foods in your diet since all cells in your body need these minerals to function properly. Thus, foods high in calcium, potassium and magnesium should be at the core of your diet.
While there are many natural food items high in these electrolyte minerals, we may not get enough since our diets tend to be high in processed foods.
Although we show separately foods high in calcium, potassium and magnesium, many of them are high in 2 or more of these vital minerals. For example, white beans are one the best sources of potassium, but they also have considerable calcium content.
Foods High in Potassium
Potassium is a very important mineral. It is necessary for a variety of bodily functions.
However, many Americans are not getting enough of this key nutrient. Fresh fruits and vegetables are important sources of potassium, but most Americans don’t eat enough of them.
The daily recommended amount of potassium in the US for adults is 4,700 mg each day.
Potassium is vital for heart and bone health. This mineral is crucial for people with high blood pressure. Potassium can help to reduce the risk of stroke and heart disease.
One study carried out on about 250,000 people showed that around 1,650 mg of daily potassium intake can reduce the risk of stroke by 21%.
Here are foods that are high in potassium.
White beans are one of the best sources of potassium. Just half a cup or 130 grams of white beans have 421 mg potassium.
White beans also have substantial amounts of calcium. They are also rich in iron.
Hence, white beans are a great way of getting enough potassium and non-dairy calcium in your body.
Potatoes and Sweet Potatoes
One of the best sources of potassium is the humble white potato. There is 1,600 mg of potassium in one large baked potato weighing around 300 grams.
Bear in mind that potassium is found both in the skin and flesh of potatoes. So don’t throw that skin away. Simply wash the potato well with the skin on, making sure first that the skin is not discolored.
Sweet potatoes are another good source of potassium. One large 235 g serving of these starchy tubers provides 1,110 g of potassium.
Besides giving plenty of potassium, potatoes are also good sources of manganese and vitamins B6, A and C.
Beets are available in a variety of colors, including white, purple and deep red. Just half a cup or 85 grams of this sweet tasting vegetable provides 259 mg of potassium.
Beets also have high amounts of manganese and folate. The rich color of beets is due to their high antioxidant content, which helps control inflammation and oxidative damage.
Parsnips are root vegetables and thus bear some similarities with carrots. Only one cup or 160 grams of the white vegetable gives 570 mg potassium.
Parsnips also provide good amounts of vitamin C and folate. Folate is vital for supporting fetal development, cell division and skin and tissue health.
Spinach is bursting with many nutrients. Just one cup of this highly nutritious vegetable contains 839 grams of potassium. It is also high in calcium, manganese and vitamins K and A. These nutrients help support the immune system, bone health, vision health and metabolism.
Spinach has a dark rich color due to its high antioxidant content. For instance, spinach is full of flavonoids that protect against cellular damage.
Foods High in Calcium
Calcium is a key component of bones and teeth. Hence, this vital mineral is more abundant than any other mineral in the human body. Calcium also has important roles in nerve signalling, muscle function and heart health.
Most adults need 1,000 mg of calcium each day. However, women over 50 and people over 70 years of age need 1,200 mg each day. Children from 4 to 18 years of age should get 1,300 mg of calcium per day. However, a big percentage of people are not getting enough calcium.
Dairy products like yogurt, milk and cheese are some of the richest sources of calcium. However, non-dairy sources like tofu, dried fruit, legumes and leafy greens also have substantial amounts of this mineral.
Seeds are a rich source of many types of nutrients, including calcium. Chia, celery, sesame and poppy seeds are rich sources of calcium.
One tablespoon of sesame seeds (around 9 grams) has 9% of the recommended daily allowance of calcium. They also have good amounts of manganese, iron and copper.
Many kinds of cheese are very good sources of calcium. Parmesan cheese has the most calcium per ounce, which is 331 mg or 33% of the calcium RDI.
Soft cheeses often have less calcium. For example, brie only has around 5% of the calcium RDI per ounce. Most other varieties of soft cheeses tend to provide around 20% of the RDI of calcium.
Getting calcium from dairy sources may be a good idea since we can absorb calcium more easily from dairy sources rather than plant sources.
Cheeses such as cottage cheese also have plenty of proteins.
If you are worried about lactose intolerance, then you may want to try aged hard cheeses since they tend to be lower in lactose.
Yogurt is another rich dairy calcium source.
It is also packed with probiotic bacteria, which provide several health advantages.
245 grams or about one cup of plain yogurt gives you about 30% of the calcium RDI. It is also a good source of B12, B2, potassium and phosphorus.
Greek yogurt is a good source of extra protein; however, it tends to have less calcium than plain yogurt.
Yogurt provides plenty of other health benefits besides more calcium. People who eat more yogurt have lower rates of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Canned Salmon and Sardines
Canned salmon and sardines are good sources of calcium owing to their soft bones.
Besides higher calcium content, a major benefit of eating oily fish is that they are very good sources of omega-3 fatty acids known to be strongly anti-inflammatory.
One major concern of seafood is that it may be high in mercury. However, sardines and other small fish often have lower levels of this toxin. One health advantage of salmon and sardines is that they are good sources of selenium, a mineral that can fight mercury toxicity.
Beans and Lentils
Certain varieties of beans and lentils are good sources of calcium. Lentils and beans are packed with plenty of micronutrients, fiber and protein. These food items also tend to have higher levels of potassium and magnesium. Beans and lentils are also good sources of zinc, folate and iron.
Winged beans are the best legume source of calcium. One cup or 172 grams of the cooked wing beans give you 24% of the recommended daily intake for calcium.
Beans are thought to play a big role in the disease-fighting ability of plant-based foods. According to research, beans help to reduce LDL cholesterol or bad cholesterol, which may help to reduce diabetes risk.
Foods Rich in Magnesium
Magnesium is a vital mineral since it is at the center of hundreds of biochemical reactions in the human body. Hence, magnesium is essential for good health, yet most people are not getting the 400 mg reference daily intake of magnesium.
Here are the richest food sources of this essential mineral.
Dark chocolate boasts very high levels of magnesium. One ounce or a 28 gram serving of dark chocolate gives you 16% of the magnesium RDI. In addition, dark chocolate also has high levels of manganese, copper and iron.
Dark chocolate is also a very good source of antioxidants. These substances help neutralize free radicals that damage cells and cause disease.
Dark chocolate is good for heart health since it has plenty of flavanals. These are a group of antioxidant compounds that prevent LDL cholesterol (or bad cholesterol) from getting oxidized and attached to your artery linings.
However, to get benefits, make sure that the dark chocolate content is at least 70%. A higher percentage of cocoa solids is better.
Avocados are as tasty as they are nutritious. They make for a fine source of magnesium. A medium-sized avocado can give you about 58 mg or 15% of the magnesium RDI. What’s more, avocados are also good sources of potassium.
They have high levels of vitamin K and B vitamins. Unlike many other fruits they also have high levels of healthy monounsaturated fats.
Avocados are also extraordinary sources of fiber. These fruits should be a part of a healthy diet owing to their high nutritional content.
Nuts are delicious and nutritious. Nuts that have high levels of magnesium include almonds, Brazil nuts and cashews.
Just one ounce of cashews can give you 20% of the RDI of magnesium, which is about 82 mg.
Nuts also have high levels of monounsaturated fats and fiber, which can help to improve cholesterol levels and blood sugar in persons with diabetes.
Brazil nuts are also perhaps the best source of selenium. Just two brazil nuts can you more than full RDI for selenium.
Legumes are nutrient-dense plant foods that include soybeans, peas, chickpeas, lentils and beans.
They have high levels of several nutrients. This also includes magnesium.
Just a single serving (one cup) of cooked black beans can give you an extraordinary 30% of the RDI for magnesium or 120 mg magnesium.
Legumes are also high in potassium and calcium, as explained above. In fact, they are one of the best all-round sources of calcium, magnesium and potassium.
Legumes are also abundant in fiber and have a lower glycemic index, decreasing the risk of heart disease, improving blood sugar, and lower cholesterol.
Whole grains include barley, oats and wheat. Pseudocereals like quinoa and buckwheat are also called grains.
Besides magnesium, whole grains are very good sources of a wide range of nutrients.
A 28 gram or one-ounce serving of dry buckwheat provides 16% of the RDI for magnesium or 65 mg of this nutrient.
Whole grains also tend to be good sources of fiber, manganese, selenium and B vitamins.
Pseudocereals such as quinoa and buckwheat maybe even better than wheat and corn since they are relatively higher in antioxidants and protein. And those with gluten sensitivity should consider including pseudocereals in their diet since they are gluten-free.
You have read about foods high in calcium, potassium and magnesium. These foods are some of the most nutritious foods that you can put in your body. So you should try your best to eat some of these foods daily to get enough calcium, potassium and magnesium in your diet.
These vital minerals can be found in many vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lentils and legumes. Those mentioned above are particularly rich sources, so be sure to eat enough of them.