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Potassium and You

Updated on July 11, 2016
An example of a few Potassium rich foods
An example of a few 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.



Delicious Potassium rich food
Delicious Potassium rich food | 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


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

nausea/vomiting

confusion

irritability

fatigue

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 fruit
Potassium rich fruit | Source

Good food sources of potassium

Fruits:

bananas

citrus

cantaloupes

raisins

dates

prunes

apricots

strawberries

papaya

watermelon

Vegetables:

tomatoes

potatoes

spinach

chard

greens

beets

mushrooms

yams

beets

avocados

winter squash

veggie burgers

Legumes:

soy products

lentils

lima beans

pinto beans

peas

Fish and Meat:

flounder

salmon

cod

chicken

turkey

beef


Potassium Rich Recipes
Potassium Rich Recipes | Source

Absolutely Delicious Potassium Rich Smoothie Recipe


Ingredients:

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


Directions:

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.


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