Egg Nutrition Center Blog

Focus on Potassium

eggsAs health professionals, it is important to get a full health history from clients in order to assess nutrition and health status. An area to be mindful of is activity level and occupation, particularly as it relates to climate. Clients who exercise or work outside during the summer need to pay attention to intakes of key minerals, such as potassium.

Along with chloride and sodium, potassium is one of the most important electrolytes in the body. Electrolytes are minerals in the blood, urine, and bodily fluids that contain an electric charge. All of the cells in the body use electrolytes to carry electrical impulses and communicate with other cells, which enables bodily functions. Potassium is essential for the body’s growth and maintenance. Nearly 70% of the potassium in the body is found in fluids like plasma, blood, and sweat, while the rest is stored in the bones.2 During a hot day of outside exercise or work, potassium can be lost through sweat. When potassium is deficient in the diet, or when the movement of potassium through the body is blocked, nervous and muscular systems can be compromised.3

Fresh fruits, especially citrus and melon, and vegetables like leafy greens and broccoli, are all important sources of potassium. By comparison, eggs provide a smaller amount of potassium than many produce foods, but one large egg contains 69 milligrams of the nutrient and when paired with produce and whole grains, can offer a potassium-rich meal.  The recipe below pairs eggs with spinach and cheese, which both contain potassium, and when served with a cup of citrus fruits, this meal is a potassium powerhouse.

Baked Eggs & Spinach

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 pkg. (10oz.) frozen chopped spinach, defrosted, squeezed dry
  • 4 eggs
  • ¼ cup chunky salsa
  • ¼ cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese (1 oz.)

Directions:

Step 1: Heat oven to 325°F. Divide spinach evenly among four greased 6-oz. ramekins or custard cups. Press an indentation (about 2-inch diameter) into center of spinach with back of spoon. Place on baking sheet

Step 2: Break and slip an egg into each indentation. Top evenly with salsa, then cheese

Step 3: Bake in 325°F oven until whites are completely set and yolks begin to thicken but are not hard, 20 to 25 minutes

Nutrition information: Per Serving

Excellent Source: Vitamin A, Folate and Choline

Good Source: Protein, Vitamin D, Calcium and Iron

Calories: 121; Total Fat: 7 g; Saturated fat: 3 g; Polyunsaturated fat: 1 g; Monounsaturated fat: 2 g; Cholesterol: 192 mg; Sodium: 277 mg; Potassium: 350mg4; Carbohydrates: 4 g; Dietary Fiber: 2 g; Protein: 10 g; Vitamin A: 7007.9 IU; Vitamin D: 42.6 IU; Folate: 91.3 mcg; Calcium: 164.8 mg; Iron: 2 mg; Choline: 140.3 mg

References:

1) Zieve, D. (2013, June 23). Potassium in diet: Medlineplus. Retrieved fromhttp://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002413.htm

2) Higdon, J. (2004, February). Micronutrient information center: Potassium. Retrieved fromhttp://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/minerals/potassium/

3) U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service. 2012. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 25. Nutrient Data Laboratory Home Page,http://www.ars.usda.gov/ba/bhnrc/ndl

Author: Anna Shlachter MS, RDN, LDN