We’ve all experienced something similar:  feeling downright puffy and uncomfortable as you waddle off a cramped, yet surprisingly short plane flight.  You imagine yourself looking anything but fresh-faced as somehow your ankles have begun to double as carry-on luggage for all the water you’ve retained. Thanks a lot, salty airline snacks! There’s got to be a better way to fly — without ending up feeling like a bloated flotation device.

Luckily, the solution is simple and can also be quite tasty.  Potassium!  This ideal dermis detox is an often under-consumed nutrient just waiting to carry away excess sodium and body fluids.  Potassium can leave you feeling better in the skin you’re in, whether trans-Atlantic travel is on the agenda or a major potato chip binge is already in progress.¹

Potassium and sodium work in direct opposition with one another in the human body. As sodium builds up over time, the body retains water in order to dilute said sodium and flush it from the system with the help of the kidneys. This excess moisture is held within cells, resulting in skin with a bloated and even sallow appearance. Outwardly visible signs of too much sodium in the bloodstream can also include loss of skin elasticity and the appearance of wrinkles.²

With a higher potassium intake, health practitioners find their patients can excrete unwanted sodium and regulate the amount of fluid and minerals held onto by cells. Potassium can remedy many conditions associated with dry skin and helps skin tissues maintain elasticity as we age.

Unfortunately, according to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, less than 2% of American adults actually consume the daily recommended 4,700 milligrams of potassium. To get your fill of this skin-friendly nutrient, dietitians suggest adding more high-potassium foods into your diet every day.³

According to health.com, the top 15 foods high in potassium are:

  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Tomatoes, purees, pastes and even sauces are actually higher in potassium than fresh
  • Beet Greens
  • Beans:  White beans, kidney, and lima are best with lentils and split peas a close second for potassium power
  • Yogurt
  • Clams
  • Prunes:  Dried, stewed or in juice form, don’t skip this excellent potassium provider
  • Carrots and Carrot Juice
  • Blackstrap Molasses
  • Fish:  Look for halibut, tuna, cod, and farm-raised rainbow trout
  • Soybeans
  • Winter Squash
  • Bananas
  • Milk:  Try non-fat or skim versus whole milk for the most potassium per cup
  • Orange Juice:  Fresh squeezed is not only a flavor treat but delivers 355 mg of potassium in 3/4 of a cup

So don’t head to the plastic surgeon searching for a quick answer to better skin.  Vary your diet by reducing sodium and increasing potassium.  It’s an all natural way to develop healthier skin and a healthier you!

Sources:
¹Antinoro, L (2012, December). Increasing Dietary Potassium– Find Out Why Most People Need To Consume More Of This Mineral. retrieved January 25 2017, from Today’s Dietician: The Magazine for Nutrition Professionals Web Site: http://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/121112p50.shtml

²Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, (2017). Health Risks And Disease Related to Salt and Sodium. retrieved January 25 2017, from The Nutrition Source Web Site:https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/salt-and-sodium/sodium-health-risks-and-disease/

³Kohn, J (2014, February, 3). What is Potassium?. retrieved January 25 2017, from EatRight.org Web Site: http://www.eatright.org/resource/food/vitamins-and-supplements/types-of-vitamins-and-nutrients/potassium/

Miller, B.  15 Foods That Are High In Potassium. (n.d) retrieved January 27 2017, from Health.com Web Site:  http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20721159,00.html