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Power Up Your Girls with Potassium

Power Up Your Girls with Potassium

Gamora (Zoe Saldana) in Guardians of the Galaxy and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) in Avengers: Age of Ultron, are female superheroes who, we’d guess, are fueled by a potassium-rich diet.

Potassium is definitely a superhero among nutrients. It builds muscle strength, which in turn builds stronger bones. A study in Bone shows that a 10% boost in muscle strength in kids just six years old, can postpone osteoporosis decades later by up to 13 years. Another study in JAMA Pediatrics found young girls who get the most potassium (2,400mg a day or more) are far more likely to have healthy blood pressure as they get older. And making sure potassium levels are healthy may help prevent diabetes.

The recommended intake for girls nine and older is between 4,300 and 4,500mg daily. But few get that much, because 40% of the average North American teen’s diet is filled with empty calories from soda, fruit drinks, dairy desserts, pizza and solid fats.

So if you want your girls to grow up to be super women make sure they get plenty of potassium-rich foods. The top 10 sources:  beet greens, Swiss chard, spinach, bok choy, beets, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cantaloupe, tomatoes and asparagus. Other good sources: raspberries, strawberries and watermelon. There’s got to be some items on that list your kid likes! Healthy eating tip: a smoothie is always a great way to blend some super-nutrients into a teen diet.

Medically reviewed in July 2019.

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