Potassium is an essential mineral that can offer you many advantages to your body function. It is found in almost all natural food, especially in those containing green leafs. Potassium is one of the major minerals that is required in high amounts by your body.
And according to surveys done in America, only 5% of Americans consume enough vegetables and fruits to receive the amount of potassium they require. The Institute of Medicine has researched the amount of potassium you need each day and have determined that this was 4,700 mg (milligrams). But the Americans consume each day less than 2,640 mg, a number that has not improved in the last 20 years.
Potassium maintains your health
Potassium is an electrolyte, which helps conducts the electrical charges in your body. You probably know about other electrolytes that help you, such as calcium, sodium magnesium and chloride. By consuming foods that are rich in potassium, you maintain a correct chemical balance in your body and its electrical processes.
There are many ways potassium help you, such as:
- It helps your heart and muscles contract. And by having the necessary amounts of potassium, your heart will beat regularly, and you lower the risk of suffering from cardiovascular diseases.
- It regulates the fluids in our body and the electrolyte balance
- Better transmits the nerve impulses. This is regulated by the balance between sodium and potassium. An unbalance in this system leads to physiological imbalances and numerous diseases.
- A better blood pressure. People who increased their dose of daily potassium were able to cut their dose of hypertension medication.
- Balanced low blood sugar. Any decrease in potassium will trigger a plunge in blood sugar results in sweating, weakness, trembling and confusion. The consumption of potassium offers instantaneous relief.
From potassium deficiency, you could suffer from muscle weakness, constipation, fatigue, abdominal pain, cramps, irritability, confusion, abnormal heartbeats, drowsiness and maybe paralysis.
If you are eating a lot of processed foods, which contain a lot of sodium, you will have to consume much more potassium to keep the balance between the two electrolytes.
Foods for your potassium intake
Most people are aware that one of the best sources of potassium are bananas. But there are a lot of other foods that exceed the amount of potassium bananas have. For example, avocados contain twice the potassium of bananas. Here is a list of fruits and vegetables that contain the amounts of potassium your body requires.
Cooked beet greens (903 mg potassium/100g), baked potatoes with skin (531 mg potassium/100g), cooked black beans (374 mg potassium/100g), bananas (358 mg potassium/100g), canned salmon (336 mg potassium/100g), carrots (320 mg potassium/100g), spinach (301 mg potassium/100g), broccoli (291 mg potassium/100g), cantaloupe (267 mg potassium/100g), tomatoes (237 mg potassium/100g), oranges (181 mg potassium/100g), and yogurt (234 mg potassium/100g). Consume these products and increase the daily intake of potassium.
You can talk to your doctor and determine if your potassium levels are lower than usual. You can easily find out this by doing a simple blood test where you can also learn about other problems.