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Cantaloupe & Potassium

By Emma Watkins

Related to cucumbers, gourds and watermelons, the cantaloupe has been cultivated since the 15th century, at least. Potassium is only one of the nutrients the fruit provides: A slice of cantaloupe also offers calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and zinc. In addition, it provides six B-complex vitamins, as well as A, C, E and K.

About Potassium

The different parts of your body depend on a number of nutrients to work properly and keep you alive. Potassium is one of those vital nourishing substances. The mineral transmits electrical pulses that power your organs, muscles and tissues. Without potassium, your heart cannot pump blood, your skeletal muscles do not contract and your intestines are not able to push toxic waste out of your body.

Daily Potassium Intake

According to the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine, a newborn thrives when she gets 400 mg potassium in her mother’s milk or formula. At seven months, her need for the mineral rises to 700 mg daily. Her potassium intake should go up again on her first birthday: She now requires 3,000 mg to continue to develop. A child who turns 4 needs 3,800 mg of potassium in her diet every day. At 9 years of age, she should get 4,500 mg. From the age of 14 years through adulthood, everyone does well on 4,700 mg of potassium.

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Potassium in Cantaloupes

On average, one medium slice of cantaloupe provides 184 mg of potassium. This content is significantly below the 4,700 mg you should ingest daily as an adult. You cannot get your requirement for this nutrient from one single food without eating gobs of it. Rather than increasing your cantaloupe servings, diversify your daily menus to get potassium from the different foods you eat throughout the day.

Complementing Cantaloupes

Increase your potassium intake by eating cantaloupe as well as other sources of the mineral every day. Potassium is present in meats, fruits and vegetables such as oranges, bananas and avocados. If you like fish, eat cod, salmon and flounder. Chicken also has potassium, and so do potatoes, tomatoes and lima beans.

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