Saturday, November 22, 2008

Bananas and Muscle Wasting

One of the issues I have found important with living with NF2 is proper nutrition. There are many foods I have learned to like simply because I need them as part of my dietary intake (V8 juice, raisens, oatmeal, celery, nuts, bananas, etc.).

I do not enjoy taking supplements so as much as possible, I try to get certain nutrients through food intake (hence the V8, raisens, dried apricots, and bananas as they are foods rich in potassium. For 3 years I took a medication for my vision that depleted my body of potassium leaving me with painful leg cramp attacks. Even with potassium rich foods, I did get to the point where I had to take a supplement of potassium gluconate in addition to dietary intake.)

But about the interesting article I found on the banana......

Diseases and disorders such as NF2 are known for a process of muscle wasting quite easily and if you don't use it, you lose it. It is one of the reasons I lift weights 3 times a week. But if you are not a weight lifter, there is still the banana which has been found to combat muscle wasting.

From the EatSmart column in USA Weekly

Want More Muscle? East a banana.
by Jean Caroer

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 lot of high-potassium foods were apt to have 3.6 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, cantalope, potatoes, sweet potatoes, winter squash, pumpkin, legumes, avocado, orange juice, and tomato products.

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