Electrolytes are minerals that carry an electric charge. The body needs electrolytes to regulate nerve and muscle function, maintain acid-base balance and maintain fluid balance. Electrolytes such as chloride, potassium, sodium, magnesium and calcium can be lost through sweat and need to be replaced through the diet.Sodium and Chloride Foods
Sodium and chloride are present in foods together and work in the body to maintain fluid balance for proper cell function. Foods containing sodium and chloride include table salt, beef, pork, sardines, cheese, olives, corn bread and sauerkraut. All processed and canned foods made with added salt, such as deli meats, chips and other snacks, nuts, butter, margarine, mayonnaise and many condiments, have sodium and chloride.LIVESTRONG.COM: What is the Nutritional Value of Kale?
Potassium is in a multitude of fruits and vegetables especially leafy green vegetables such as spinach, turnip greens, collard greens and kale, bananas, tomatoes, oranges, melons, potatoes and sweet potatoes, prunes, raisins, peas and beans. Potassium is also in milk and salt substitutes made from potassium chloride. Potassium supports normal cell function, regulates blood pressure and prevents bone loss and kidney stones.Magnesium Foods
Magnesium supports bone and teeth development, nerve and muscle function and enzyme activation. It is in leafy green vegetables, nuts, cereals, beans and tomato paste.Calcium Foods
The body uses calcium for bone and teeth formation, blood clotting, muscle and enzyme function and normal heart rhythms. Calcium is most commonly found in milk and milk products. It is also in meat, fish with bones such as sardines, eggs, fortified breakfast cereals, beans and certain fruits such as dried apricots and figs, and vegetables such as asparagus and collard greens.
By Bethany Fong
- Medline Plus: Electrolytes
- Merck: Mineral and Electrolytes
- National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine: Dietary Reference Intakes