Potassium is an essential nutrient used to maintain fluid and electrolyte balance in the body. A deficiency in potassium causes fatigue, irritability, and hypertension (high blood pressure). Unless you are on dialysis, or have a special condition, overdose of potassium from natural sources is nearly impossible; however, it is possible to consume too much potassium via potassium salts which can lead to nausea, vomiting, and even cardiac arrest. Healthy high potassium foods include beans, dark leafy greens, potatoes, squash, avocados, mushrooms, and bananas. The current daily value for potassium is 3.5 grams.
Are you getting enough potassium?
According to the RDA guidelines, an adult needs 4700 milligrams a day. There are estimates that Americans and Europeans only eat about half of the recommended daily allowance of potassium. This is not good! Half of the western world isn’t eating enough potassium.
Potassium is one of the most important nutrients, and it is said that life could not exist without it. Potassium is an electrolyte and a mineral that is essential to a human being’s health. It contributes to tissue health, gastrointestinal function and skeletal contraction. Potassium deficiency, or hypokalaemia can cause high blood pressure, stroke, muscle cramps and gastrointestinal distress. Getting enough potassium can decrease a person’s risk of stroke, high blood pressure and other cardiovascular disease, kidney stones (Ouch!) and osteoporosis.
So, how do you know you’re getting enough potassium?
Eat a healthy, diverse diet!
Look at these tables and ensure you include these healthy foods in your daily diet:
- Natural Sources of Potassium – Table 1 – pages 1 to 3
- Other Potassium-Rich Foods
- Best High Potassium Foods by Nutrient Density