Electrolytes are important minerals that help the human body carry on various complex functions.
These electrolytes carry on positive and negative charges making them vital for communication within the body and maintaining homeostasis.
In short, electrolytes are vital for the human body’s overall working and survival. This also means that the body must be supplied with these minerals through various sources.
So, where can you get these minerals from?
The most straightforward source is the food that you eat. When you have a balanced diet with foods high in natural electrolytes, you can get your daily supply of essential minerals to keep your body in gear.
What, then, are the best electrolyte foods? What natural foods can you ensure that your body is getting all the electrolytes it needs?
This article will discuss the top 10 natural resources that help replenish the electrolytes needed for your body.
Essential Nutrients vital for the Human Body:
The human body requires electrolytes and nutrients to ensure proper functioning.
According to the National Center of Complementary and Integrative Health, to stay healthy and fit, you must ensure a diet rich in vitamins such as A, C, D, E, K, and B-complex vitamins.
Along with that, minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, chloride, etc., must form an essential part of your intake.
Since we are discussing minerals today, let us take a look at the top 10 sources of natural electrolytes and how you can benefit from each of them.
Natural Electrolytes Foods:
Are there days when you feel tired or lethargic? Do you live in hot climates and sweat a lot? Then it becomes crucial that you have a well-rounded meal with natural foods high in electrolytes.
A balanced diet ensures that you get not only minerals but also vitamins and other nutrients as well.
Some tips to ensure that you are consuming a balanced diet high in electrolytes:
- Consume whole natural foods rich in minerals. Include electrolyte foods such as whole grains, fresh produce, lean/white protein, etc.
- Use unrefined salt. Avoid foods high in salt such as junk foods, fast foods, processed foods, bottled sauces, and dressings, etc.
- Instead consume unrefined salts such as pink salt and Himalayan salt high in sodium and other minerals.
- Drink sufficient water. Water intake is vital for ensuring a proper fluid balance.
- Replenish electrolytes after fluid loss. Have natural electrolyte drinks such as coconut water, fruit juices, electrolyte smoothies, milk, etc. Homemade electrolyte drinks are also an excellent option.
Top 10 natural sources of electrolytes:
1. Coconut water:
This naturally occurring electrolytes water is the perfect way to replenish electrolytes in scorching heat or during an episode of dehydration and sickness.
Coconut water is rich in sodium, potassium, magnesium and phosphorus and is often referred to as the fluid of life. It is the perfect way to replenish electrolytes in scorching heat or during an episode of dehydration and sickness.
In fact, many medical experts suggest coconut water as an ideal way to replace electrolytes.
Remember your mother telling you to have your glass of milk? She knows what she is talking about!!
Milk contains a healthy combination of minerals, carbohydrates, and proteins. All these nutrients help to refuel and replenish after an intense workout session.
The composition of minerals may differ depending on the source of milk. All kinds of milk are rich in sources of electrolytes such as magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus.
The nutrient composition of milk makes it one of the most wholesome and nutritious drinks.
If you do not consume milk or dairy products and are looking for an alternate calcium source, broccoli is an excellent option. It is also a good source of potassium, manganese, vitamin C, and B9. The calcium in broccoli helps in bone repair and new bone growth and assists blood clotting.
No wonder then that we heard mothers everywhere telling their kids to eat their broccoli.
Kids who grew up watching the cartoon Popeye can vouch for the importance of eating spinach. This electrolyte food source is an excellent source of calcium and magnesium. A cup of cooked spinach can provide you with 24% RDA of calcium and 73% RDA of magnesium.
Spinach is essential for maintaining hair and skin health and developing strong bones. It also lowers the risk of cardiovascular diseases, improves digestion, and regulates blood sugar levels.
It is said that an avocado a day keeps your heart healthy. Native to South-central Mexico, this is the only fruit high in heart-friendly monounsaturated fatty acids that lowers cholesterol.
Avocados are high in minerals too. A 100 gm serving of this fruit contains 485 mg of potassium which is nearly 14% of the RDA. Potassium contributes to heart health. Avocado also contains trace amounts of magnesium and phosphorus.
6. Nuts and Seeds:
Nutritionists and dieticians constantly advise us to snack on dry fruits, nuts, and seeds to stave off hunger pangs. Nuts and seeds are a mineral powerhouse. They are rich in magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, and zinc.
For example, a quarter cup of pumpkin seeds satisfies nearly 40% of your daily magnesium needs.
If you are like me and do not like nuts, nut kinds of butter are an excellent alternative to meet your daily electrolyte requirement. Just add a couple of spoons of any nut butter to milk, and you have a nourishing natural electrolyte smoothie.
Which came first, the chicken or the egg? While this still remains a mystery, the nutritional value of this wholesome electrolyte food is well known.
Eggs are the cheapest, most nutritious food and high in vitamins, minerals, and other important nutrients. So much so that you can have a couple of eggs on a busy morning and you are sorted for the day.
In terms of minerals, eggs are rich in sodium, potassium, phosphorus, and calcium, making them a well-rounded natural electrolytes food.
If you are a seafood lover, then shellfish is an excellent option rich in natural electrolytes.
Shellfish, one of the most consumed seafood around the world, is a rich source of potassium and calcium. Together these nutrients ensure heart health, prevent the occurrence of heart attack and decrease the risk of irregular heartbeat. Additionally, they help in the growth and development of muscles and tissues.
Additionally, shellfish are also packed with trace minerals such as copper, zinc, selenium, and iron.
9. White Meat and Poultry:
For meat lovers, cooked white meat and poultry are excellent sources of minerals. 100 gm of cooked turkey meat contains nearly 349 mg of potassium (12% of RDA) and 1200 mg of 1200 mg of sodium(21% of RDA).
Various meats, in general, are an excellent source of various minerals. For example, beef is rich in phosphorus and helps in body growth and maintenance.
Who doesn’t love cheese? It is among the highest selling and consumed dairy products around the world. Cheese sourced from grass-fed animals is the highest in terms of nutrition.
Cheese has high quantities of sodium and potassium, both minerals needed for cardiovascular health and blood clotting. It also has phosphorus, along with fats, proteins, zinc, and riboflavin.
There is some debate regarding the high sodium content in cheeses. If you have hypertension and heart disease, you may want to read the label for sodium before consuming it.
Electrolytes are essential for life. Natural electrolytes are present in abundance in the food we eat every day. Having a balanced diet with electrolyte foods and electrolyte drinks is an excellent way to ensure that you are maintaining good health.
Natural drinks high in electrolytes such as coconut water, milk, and fruit juices help replenish electrolytes during an excess loss in situations such as dehydration and sickness.