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Potassium and You

Updated on September 17, 2018
Potassium rich foods
Potassium rich foods | Source

The importance of Potassium

Potassium is more important than most people think.

  • It is a mineral that helps our kidneys function properly.
  • It helps prevent the onset of osteoporosis.
  • The proper level of potassium helps lower blood pressure while helping the heart beat properly. It is important for normal digestion and correct muscular function.
  • Potassium also help lower the risk of strokes.
  • The proper amount of potassium intake can also help prevent kidney stones.

The best way to obtain a healthy level of potassium is by following a heart-healthy diet. Heart-healthy diets contain healthy levels of potassium from fruit, vegetables and legumes. What are legumes you might ask. A few examples of pods contained in the legume family are: alfalfa, clover, peas, beans, lentils, soy and peanuts.

Staying healthy with a potassium rich diet is just a matter of eating foods high in potassium. It sounds hard but it is so much easier than you think. Some people may need a supplement or vitamin to help them along. Make sure you get advice from your doctor.

Potassium | Source

What causes an insufficiency of potassium?

If you are plagued with any of these diseases or have noticed any of these things happening to you please try to help yourself by eating healthier and see a doctor.

  • insufficient intake of potassium in diet
  • eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia
  • malnutrition
  • excessive vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • magnesium deficiency
  • renal disease
  • side effects of antibiotics and diuretics
  • thyroid problems
  • overuse of laxatives
  • steroids
  • excessive drinking of alcohol

Fruit is filled with potassium
Fruit is filled with potassium | Source
High and low potassium
High and low potassium | Source

Symptoms of low Potassium levels

There are many symptoms of low potassium, the following are the ones that are most noticed. If you have some of these symptoms please see a doctor.

muscle weakness





heart problems including palpitations

chronic diarrhea

fainting due to low blood pressure

If you have a combination of these symptoms you should get in touch with a doctor and have them check out your potassium level. A low potassium level is nothing to play with.

Potassium Rich Foods
Potassium Rich Foods | Source

Good food sources of potassium























winter squash

veggie burgers


soy products


lima beans

pinto beans


Fish and Meat:







Potassium Rich Recipes
Potassium Rich Recipes | Source

Absolutely Delicious Potassium Rich Smoothie Recipe


1 cup frozen strawberries

1 cup plain non-fat yogurt

1 medium banana, sliced

1 kiwi fruit, sliced

1 1/2 tsp honey

1 cup water


Blend all ingredients until smooth and thick.

Potassium Rich Avocado Orange Salad

Ingredients of salad:

1 bag prepared salad greens

2 oranges, chopped

1 avocado, chopped

1 to 2 tbsp sunflower seeds

Ingredients of salad dressing:

2 tbsp lime or lemon juice

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp finely chopped cilantro

1/4 tsp salt

dash of red pepper

Directions: Arrange green on a platter and top with oranges, avocados and scattered sunflower seeds. Whisk together all of the dressing ingredients and drizzle over salad.

The health benefits of potassium include relief from stroke, high blood pressure, heart and kidney disorders, and anxiety and stress. It helps enhance muscle strength, metabolism, water balance, electrolytic functions, and the nervous system.

Potssium is an essential nutrient that cures blood pressure, reduces anxiety and stress, and improves many more health disorders.

On the Other Hand...

It is also possible to have too much potassium. According to the Mayo Clinic the normal range is between 3.6 to 5.2 millimoles per liter of blood. Anything over 5.5 is critically high, over 6 can be life threatening.

So, what can cause high potassium? Kidney failure or kidneys that are not functioning the way they should cannot remove extra potassium from your body causing your potassium level to soar.

Internal bleeding, type 1 diabetes, Addison's disease, dehydration, heavy drinking, use of drugs, some medications, improper use of potassium supplements, as well as traumas such as severe burns or injuries where the body is crushed.

As you can see too much of too little can put you in medical danger.

© 2009 Susan Hazelton


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