Want More Muscle? Eat a Banana!
You may think eating lots of protein gives you more muscle mass — but you should try potassium-packed fruits and vegetables instead, says a new USDA study at Tufts University of older Americans.
Typically, muscle mass declines after age 50. But seniors who ate lots of high-potassium foods were apt to have 3.6 more pounds of lean tissue mass than those who had half as much potassium.
Here’s the science: Researchers believe potassium counters the effects of foods, such as meat and cereal grains, that create “acidic residues” in the body, promoting muscle wasting. Vegetables and fruits, including citrus, paradoxically become alkaline in the body, helping neutralize the acidity.
Good sources: Potassium is high in bananas, dried apricots, cantaloupe, potatoes, sweet potatoes, winter squash, pumpkin, legumes, avocado, orange juice and tomato products.
This EatSmart column is reprinted from USAWEEKEND Magazine and is copyrighted by Jean Carper. It cannot be reprinted without permission from Jean Carper.
Share the knowledge!
Article updated on: April 23rd, 2008