In considering our nutritional requirements, it is important to not only focus on macronutrients - proteins, fats, and carbohydrates - but also micronutrients. These include vitamins such as A, C, D, and K, omega-3 fatty acids like EPA and DHA, minerals like zinc, copper, and magnesium, and a variety of antioxidants. These nutrients should be part of a balanced diet to ensure that your body's intricate mechanisms function smoothly.
While targeted supplementation can complement our nutritional intake, they cannot replace the variety and complexity of nutrients derived directly from whole foods. This is because nutrients in their natural food matrix are often better absorbed and utilized by our bodies. For instance, the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA are absorbed more effectively when consumed with dietary fats. Additionally, whole foods also provide a plethora of compounds, such as tannins, flavanols, anthocyanins, that exert beneficial effects ranging from antioxidant to anti-inflammatory properties. Prioritizing dietary sources over supplementation allows us to harness these natural synergies and supports a more holistic approach to nutrition.
Magnesium serves as a critical cofactor for over 300 enzymatic reactions vital for daily functioning, including ATP production, DNA synthesis and repair, and regulating the electrical activity of the heart. Additionally, sufficient magnesium intake has been linked to heart health (1), bone health (2), and lower rates of diabetes, anxiety, and depression (3).
Potassium, an essential electrolyte, is vital for maintaining fluid balance and regulating blood volume and pressure (4). In fact, lower potassium intakes can lead to higher blood pressure and a higher risk of osteoporosis.
To maximize your intake of these essential minerals, let's explore foods that contain high levels of magnesium and potassium.
|Pumpkin seeds (¼ cup)||190|
|Spinach (1 cup)||157|
|Swiss chard (1 cup)||151|
|Black beans (1 cup)||120|
|Beet greens (1 cup)||98|
|Brown rice (1 cup)||84|
|Avocado (1 cup, cubed)||44|
|Broccoli (1 cup)||24|
|Dried apricots (1 cup)||2202|
|Lentils (1 cup)||731|
|Avocado (1 whole)||690|
|Salmon (6 oz filet)||624|
|Potato (1 medium)||610|
|Banana (1 whole)||422|
|Chicken breast (3 oz)||332|
|Spinach (1 cup)||271|
For a double dose of these important nutrients, dark leafy greens such as spinach and swiss chard, fruits like avocado and banana, starchy vegetables, legumes, and meats like chicken and salmon are great choices.
To assess your nutrient intake, conduct a dietary analysis using apps like Cronometer. They automatically calculate micronutrient status, helping you make necessary dietary adjustments. While supplements are beneficial to bridge nutritional gaps, it is important to prioritize nutrient-dense foods to optimize your health.
There are two ways to get sufficient magnesium and potassium in your body:
For step 1, the foods listed above are your best bet, as they are packed with magnesium and potassium.
If your regular diet is like most people's, then you still might fall short of your intake targets. Research shows that most people's diets are far from optimal. Studies suggest that tens of millions of Americans are deficient in magnesium (5) and potassium (6), and evidence suggests that the health impact of each can be detrimental. One study found that high sodium & low potassium diets have a 50% increased risk of death from all causes (7).
These results guided our decision to include 444 mg potassium and 40 mg magnesium in each serving of PREGAME, our zero-sugar electrolyte drink mix. We calibrated these doses, along with 600 mg of sodium and a 3 powerful juice powders to help you get closer to your electrolyte needs.
Whether it's through your diet, through supplementation, or a combination of both, the important thing is to ensure that your body has the electrolytes that it needs. Incorporating foods high in magnesium and potassium in your diet can significantly impact your overall health. By understanding the foods rich in these essential nutrients, you can make informed dietary decisions to optimize your nutrient intake and ultimately enhance your well-being.