Potassium Rich Foods are Important to Maintain Health

November 12, 2012

Potassium Rich Foods are Important to Maintain Health

Potassium is one of the most important electrolytes in your body along with sodium. It is important for maintaining the electrical potential across all cells in your body and particularly important for neurons and muscle (skeletal muscle and heart muscle), maintains body fluid balance, kidney function and regulates blood pressure. Low potassium levels (hypokalemia) can be dangerous and create a myriad of health issues. This can be avoided by eating potassium rich foods. There is a wide array of fruits, vegetables and meats that are good sources of potassium so there should be something in there that is appealing to you.

Potassium deficiencies have many causes. Quite often it is a matter of diet. If it is not diet, then it can be due to excessive exercising and sweating out too much potassium that has not been replaced. You could have an absorption problem, adrenal gland dysfunction, kidney dysfunction or hypothalamus dysfunction (brain). Diabetics often have potassium imbalances as well as individuals who are chronic embibers of alcohol. If you have medical issues, you may have to take potassium supplements as well as increase your intake of potassium rich foods. How do you know if you are low in potassium? In general, you will experience muscle weakness, lack of coordination, fatigue, and mental confusion. Continued low levels of potassium, can lead to high blood pressure, arrhythmias, syncope and stroke. If you are experiencing these symptoms, you need to contact your healthcare provider as soon as possible for a physical exam. Always remember, it is important to eat potassium rich foods at all times.

Potassium rich foods are found in fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grains and dairy as well as meat and fish. Make sure your diet isn’t to high in protein especially red meats as this will raise acid levels in the body and will tend to lower your potassium levels.

If you are not getting enough potassium rich foods, then you will need to take potassium supplements. It is best to consult with your healthcare provider before you supplement yourself with potassium. Too much potassium is equally deadly and requires supervision. Don’t try to self diagnose. You don’t really know how much to take.

To maintain a diet with potassium rich foods, its a good idea to have a list to go by. Below is listed common fruits, vegetables and proteins sources that you need to have in your diet.

Fruits include – bananas, oranges, avocados, strawberries, bell peppers, squash, papayas, pears, prunes,dates, raisins, tomatoes and cantaloupe.

Vegetables include – potatoes, cucumbers, cabbage, cauliflower, chard, eggplant, mushrooms, Brussel sprouts, turmeric, parsley, spinach, lima beans and broccoli.

Protein Sources – tuna, halibut, beef, chicken, veal, red snapper, pollock, sardines, salmon, milk, lamb and turkey.

Mixing and matching the above potassium rich foods will ensure you meet your daily required amount. Currently, the daily required potassium amount is 4.7 grams. The nice thing is that there are a number of seafood choices that are also high in omega 3 fatty acids which we all need more of.

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