Potassium is an essential dietary mineral and electrolyte which is obtained from various foods that we eat. It is vital to maintain the potassium-sodium balance in the body. Potassium also helps to maintain the pH levels in our body and generally our normal body functions very much depends on the optimum levels of potassium inside and outside cells.
Potassium is a mineral that directs the transfer of nutrients through the cell membranes, a function that decreases with aging accounting for the circulatory damage, lethargy and weakness of old people. In simple words, potassium is a mineral that helps your muscles and nerve work the right way.
How would you know if your potassium is high? A simple blood test would show the potassium levels in your body. The normal level of potassium in your blood should be between 3.5 to 5.0. People with high potassium levels are at risk Kidney disease. Generally high potassium in the blood occurs when your kidneys do not work properly and cannot remove potassium from your body.
The best way to lower potassium in your diet is:
Eat smaller portions of foods high in protein such as poultry, fish, beans, dairy and nuts. Use spices and herbs in cooking and at the table. Salt substitutes often contain potassium hence should not be used. Limit foods with potassium chloride (check in the ingredient list). Select and eat fruits and vegetables that are low in potassium.
Some of the High potassium foods includes:
Asparagus, Green beans or French beans, Figs, Tomato, Radish, Apricots, Zucchini, Musk melon (Cantaloupe), Corn, Okra, Cauliflower, Kiwi fruit, Broccoli, Carrots, Mushrooms, Sweet Potatoes, Beets, Chili Peppers, Pumpkin, Banana, Coconut, Fish (Salmon), Potatoes, Avocados, Spinach, Lentils, Raisins, Date Palm etc.
Low Potassium foods include:
Blueberries, Raspberries, Grapefruit, Limes, Bamboo shoots, Apple, Watermelon, Pineapple, Eggplant, Pear, Cucumber, Onion, Plums, Strawberries, Mango, Orange, Peach, Papaya, Grapes, Cabbage, Lettuce, Bell peppers, etc. Potassium is nutritionally essential for the overall maintenance of normal health.
It is a very important mineral nutrient that keeps us healthy and is required in many physiological processes in the body including nerve conduction, muscle contraction, balance of fluids, and production of energy, protein synthesis, and regulation of cellular membrane potential. Hence always remember to eat wise, healthy and nutrient dense foods to stay fit and healthy always.
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