Potassium

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potassium

Potassium

This mineral is important for a healthy nervous system and a regular heart rhythm.

It helps prevent stroke, aids in proper muscle contraction, and works with sodium to control your body’s water balance.

Potassium is important for chemical reactions within your cells, helps maintain stable blood pressure and transmits electrochemical impulses.

A 1997 review of earlier studies showed low potassium intake might be a significant factor in developing high blood pressure.

A high intake of potassium protects several body systems, including cardiovascular, kidney, and bone.

The potassium in fruits and vegetables contains organic salts like malate and citrate, which neutralize the acid urine causing kidney stones.

Potassium also regulates the transfer of nutrients through cell membranes.

This function of potassium decreases with age, which may account for some of the circulatory damage, lethargy, and weakness experienced by older people.

Together with magnesium, potassium can help prevent calcium-oxalate kidney stones.

In one study, healthy individuals with normal blood pressure had lower blood pressure from both potassium chloride and potassium citrate.

The levels were still normal, but on the lower side of normal, which is desirable.

The amount of potassium given in this study was the equivalent of what’s found in 5 half-cup servings of fruits and vegetables.

Anyone with high blood pressure would benefit from lowered blood pressure to reduce heart disease risk.

Signs of potassium deficiency include abnormally dry skin, acne, chills, cognitive impairment, constipation, depression, diarrhea, diminished reflex function, edema, nervousness, insatiable thirst, fluctuations in heartbeat, glucose intolerance, growth impairment, high cholesterol levels, insomnia, low blood pressure, muscular fatigue and weakness, nausea and vomiting, periodic headaches, protein in the urine, respiratory distress, and salt retention.

Sources

Food sources of potassium include dairy foods, fish, fruit, legumes, meat, poultry, vegetables, and whole grains.

High amounts are found in apricots, avocados, bananas, lima beans, blackstrap molasses, brewer’s yeast, brown rice, dates, dulse, figs, dried fruit, garlic, nuts, potatoes, raisins, spinach, torula yeast, wheat bran, winter squash, yams, and yogurt.

Herbs containing potassium include catnip, hops, nettle, plantain, red clover, sage, and skullcap.

In general, if it’s grown in the ground – for example, fruits and vegetables – it’s rich in potassium.

In addition, these foods are very low in sodium.

You should consume 2.5 to 3.5 grams of potassium per day in your diet.

Comments

Kidney disorders, diarrhea, and the use of diuretics or laxatives all disrupt potassium levels.

Tobacco and caffeine reduce potassium absorption.

Using large amounts of licorice over long periods can deplete your body’s potassium supply.

Potassium is needed for hormone secretion.

The secretion of stress hormones causes a decrease in the potassium-to-sodium ratio both inside and outside your cells.

As a result, stress increases your body’s potassium requirements.

Too much potassium from supplements could be harmful.

Check with your health care professional before using potassium supplements.

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Dick and Lenay

email: lenay@dickandlenay.com – 715-431-0657

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