20 best foods with electrolytes and what to do with them
What’s the first thing you think of when you hear the word “electrolytes”? For me, it’s Gatorade, Nuun Tablets, and hydration. But did you know you don’t always have to to drink electrolytes to keep your body in balance? According to certified nutritionist Serena Poon, most people can maintain and replenish electrolytes with a healthy, balanced diet rich in all the best electrolyte foods.
And, surprisingly, the best foods with electrolytes aren’t even random, obscure foods. Chances are that if you eat vegetables, fruits, and legumes regularly, your electrolyte balance is covered. I personally bet you’ll recognize the top 20 foods with electrolytes on this list. (But if you live under a rock and have never heard of chia seeds, that’s up to you.) So the next time you think about picking up that sports drink, come back to this post and get ready. rather a meal rich in electrolytes.
Featured Image by Michelle Nash
What exactly are electrolytes? Why are they so important for our body?
Electrolytes are essential minerals that contribute to many bodily functions, including fluid balance, hydration, muscle contraction, and nerve function. If you eat a diet high in vegetables and legumes, you’re probably getting enough electrolytes from your diet. However, if you are dehydrated, due to vomiting, diarrhea, extreme exercise or exposure to heat, it is important to replenish your body with electrolytes to maintain optimal health. Electrolytes to consider include sodium, magnesium, potassium, and calcium.
Is there a difference between eating and drinking electrolytes?
Most people should be able to replenish their electrolyte levels by eating whole foods rich in these minerals. If you are an athlete or suffer from dehydration due to illness, it may be beneficial to supplement with an electrolyte drink. Keep in mind that many electrolyte drinks can contain a lot of added sugar and may not be the best option for someone who doesn’t exercise hard.
What are your electrolytic feeding recommendations and why?
There are a variety of plant foods that are wonderful for providing electrolytes. Again, unless you’re an athlete or suffer from dehydration due to illness, eating whole foods rich in these minerals is a great way to refuel. A diet rich in whole, plant-based foods promotes health in many ways, including providing antioxidants, polyphenols, a range of vitamins and minerals, and fiber.
Potassium-rich foods include:
- cashew nut
Magnesium-rich foods include:
- green leafy vegetables like spinach and kale
Calcium-rich foods include:
- dairy products
- leafy green vegetables
Try to get your sodium from high-quality salts, such as:
- Himalayan pink salt
- sea salt
Note: Avoid processed foods, which tend to be extremely high in sodium and other inflammation-causing ingredients. Most Americans consume a large amount of sodium throughout the day. In fact, many tend to consume more than the recommended daily amount (less than 2300 mg). The only time it really makes sense to supplement with sodium is if you’re trying to replenish electrolytes after strenuous exercise or a dehydrating illness.
Read on to learn about the best foods with electrolytes, as well as the most delicious ways to eat them.
Recipe: Spinach and Ricotta Pizza with Garlic Olive Oil
A healthy pizza? That’s not an oxymoron, and no, you’re definitely not dreaming.
Recipe: Chopped Kale Salad with Mustard-Shallot Vinaigrette
As virtuous as it is claimed, kale can still be a crucial part of many delicious salads. For example, this colorful and crunchy delight.
Recipe: Spicy broccoli with miso and lime
CS Food Editor, Suruchi Avasthi, proudly admits eating this broccoli straight out of the pan. Nine times out of ten, I can guarantee it will be gone before it gets to your plate.
Recipe: Yogurt toast with peanut butter and banana
Like TikTok’s viral recipe, only packed with potassium and about a million times tastier.
Recipe: Citrus Chaat Masala Salad
Don’t quote me on it, but I’m pretty sure this is the salad they were referring to when the phrase “eat the rainbow” was coined.
Recipe: Watermelon tomato caprese salad
While thick slices of watermelon are *exactly* what we want to eat on a hot summer’s day, this sweet and salty salad makes things a bit craving and makes the nutrient-dense food 100% craving-worthy.
Recipe: Slow Roasted Tomato and Ricotta Bruschetta
When tomatoes are roasted slowly and slowly in the oven, beautiful things happen. And by beautiful things, of course, I mean this totally tasty toast.
Recipe: Avocado toast with kale pesto and crunchy vegetables
Far from basic, this spin on the millennial staple is packed with texture, flavor, and potassium.
Recipe: Easy Black Bean Soup
Everyone’s favorite comfort food, reinvented with ease.
Recipe: Black Lentil Salad with Roasted Vegetables and Goat Cheese
Honey-sweetened caramelized roasted vegetables and a little tangy goat cheese give lentils the sparkle we’ve all dreamed of.
Recipe: Baked Banana Cashew Oatmeal in a Bowl
Tired of the same old breakfast staple? Baking your tried-and-true oatmeal makes it a brunch-worthy crowd pleaser. A victory at mealtime.
Recipe: Healthy Almond Bites
While we all love a nice sticky, sweet dessert once in a while, oftentimes our sweet tooth just needs a little fruity, vanilla flavor to be satiated. Enter: these truffle bites.
Recipe: Sunny Detox Salad
Crisp vegetables and crunchy sunflower seeds are a summer salad pairing made in heaven.
Recipe: Passion fruit chia pudding
Elevate your chia pudding eve with the addition of sweet and tangy passion fruit.
Recipe: Spicy Peanut and Brussels Sprout Tacos
I love finding a vegetarian meal that is brightly colored, hearty and full of flavor. These tacos may be meatless, but trust me: your taste buds will thank you.
Recipe: Kale and Shredded Cranberry Salad with Crispy Tofu
To quote Camille: “If only every kale salad was this good.”
Recipe: strawberries macerated with thyme and Greek yogurt
Greek yogurt is the perfect tangy base for thyme-infused strawberries.
Recipe: Haldhi Doodh Ice Cream
With cloves, cinnamon and cardamom pods infusing the creamy base of this recipe, one thing is for sure: you’ve never had ice cream like this.
Recipe: Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Whipped Feta and Warm Honey
Sweet potatoes + lighter-than-air feta + sweet and spicy honey = a trifecta of ingredients for the pounds.
Recipe: Sweet and Savory Mango Lassi
Mango lassis are the best (re: most delicious) way to cool off in the summer, and with a little sea salt added to the mix, even the hottest days will mean something to look forward to.
Which electrolyte replenishment recipe will you try first?