Foods Rich in Electrolytes
Electrolytes are electrically charged minerals that allow things to move in the body, it allows the muscles to contract and relax, allows the nervous system to communicate and more. Electrolytes have various functions in the body. Examples of electrolytes are sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium. It is important to get these nutrients by eating healthy foods with the bioavailable versions rather than elemental supplements which are not easily absorbed. Minerals are important building blocks of the nervous system for the brain, muscles, digestive system, immune system and much more.
Here’s a list of foods and drinks rich in electrolytes:
- Sodium. This is the main mineral found in salt and is very important for the health of the body. It is involved with holding fluid in the blood outside of the cells in the right balance. The main natural sources of sodium include sea salt, rock salt, celery, beetroot and milk. Note that most people are not deficient in sodium as they are added to almost all commercial foods for flavor and as a preservative.
- Potassium. A large percent of the population is deficient in potassium which is a vital electrolyte which works alongside sodium. The sodium potassium pump in the cells uses these to generate electrical energy in the nerves and muscles. It is important for preventing conditions like low blood pressure, stroke and bone loss. It also helps the muscles grow larger by allowing more nutrients into the cells. The best food sources of potassium are bananas, beet tops, avocados, bok choy, lima beans, tuna, squash and Brussel sprouts.
- Magnesium. It is a co-factor which activates over 300 different enzymes in the body. This electrolyte is important to preventing constipation, heart palpitations, high blood pressure and more. The best food sources of magnesium are pumpkin seeds, spinach, Swiss chard, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, cashews and beet tops.
- Calcium. This is a strong mineral that is used to grow, repair and strengthen the teeth and bones. This is used in the brain to activate sleep hormones like tryptophan to help restore the body when sleeping. It is important for the prevention of muscle cramps, high cholesterol and cancer. The best food sources rich in calcium are sardines, kale, sesame seeds, collard greens. Grass fed cheese, spinach and cabbage.