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Potassium

 

In doing my blog on how salt affects your body, I found that Potassium was very important in controlling your blood pressure.  As Potassium helps to remove the excess salt from your system and helps prevent the damage to arteries and veins in your kidneys. This damage to your arteries and veins from too much salt and not enough potassium in your kidneys causes extra pressure in your arteries leading to high blood pressure and can lead to kidney damage.  Potassium can also reduce the risk of kidney stones.

High potassium levels can reduce the mortality rate by 20% according to Medical News Today.  Adults should be consuming 4700 milligrams (mg) per day of potassium. However, if your potassium levels get to high you can develop a condition called Hyperkalemia, this condition can damage your kidneys.  You should always speak to your Dr. to find out what is the best level of potassium for you.

 

Potassium is a mineral and an electrolyte. It is one of seven essential macrominerals. Your system needs at least 1000 milligrams (mg) per day to support key process.  However, it is recommended that Adults have 4700 (mg) per day. Potassium deficiency (hypokalemia): Symptoms and treatment The main function of potassium in your system is to regulate fluid balance and controlling the electrical activity of the heart and other muscles.   High potassium can reduce the risk of heart attack as well as irregular heartbeat.

 

The benefits of potassium include stronger bones.  Potassium helps to prevent bone resorption. This is a process in which your bones break down.  Researchers found that higher levels of potassium led to stronger bones. I found this information on the The Ultimate Potassium Rich Foods List For Optimal Health - AlgaeCal .  This website lists several other areas that Potassium helps in our system.

 

These include a lower risk of stroke, as well as helping with your brain health as it is vital for the function of your nervous system which is made up of your Brain, spinal column and your nerves.  Potassium helps regulate the amount of fluid inside and outside your cells. When potassium is low in your system fluids don’t move around as they are meant to do. This results in higher cranial pressure and an upset nervous system.  When combined with high blood pressure this can result in very severe headaches.

 

I talked about how potassium helps prevent high blood pressure.  However, it also plays a major role in controlling the nerves and muscle contractions in your body. This includes the muscles in your heart and can help prevent heart palpitations as well as other irregular heartbeats caused by abnormal muscle contractions and nerve impulses.

 

Higher levels of potassium help maintain your muscles.  This is very important for athletes, people who have a prolonged illness, and the elderly.  As loss of muscle can lead to loss of balance and falls.

 

Other benefits of potassium include supporting a healthy weight and reduces cellulite in your system.

 

Symptoms of Low Potassium

 

A Low Potassium Level is called Hypokalemia.  A Dr. can test you for this through a simple blood test.  For further information go to the following websites: Signs and Symptoms of Potassium Deficiency(Hypokalemia).and Potassium deficiency (hypokalemia): Symptoms and treatment

 

Some of the symptoms of low potassium levels include 1) Severe headaches  2) Weakness and fatigue 3) Muscle cramps and spasms

4) Digestive problems such as bloating and constipation  5) Heart Palpitations 6) muscle aches and stiffness 7) tingling and numbness in hands, arms, legs and feet 8) Difficulty in breathing, it can affect people who have asthma.  Low potassium can cause the muscles of the lungs to stop working which is fatal. 9) Mood changes. Low potassium can affect the function of the brain. A study found that 20% of people with Mental disorders had a potassium deficiency  

Foods Rich In Potassium

 

The first foods listed are from The Medical News Website: Medical News Today: Health News and are based on 1 Cup, and the amount of Potassium is in mg. And no added salt.  They do not say to rinse the salt off all canned vegetables. However, I would recommend this.

 

Cooked Beet Greens 1,309

Canned White Bean 1,189

Cooked SoyBeans   970

Cooked Lima Beans   969

Baked Sweet Potatoes   950

Sliced Avocado   708

Cooked Mushrooms   555

Sliced Bananas   537

Red Raw Tomatoes   427

Raw Cantaloupe   417

The foods listed on the Algecal Website expert-insights/potassium-foods-list - AlgaeCal. Here the size or amount of food is listed.  The potassium amount is in mg. The daily Value % is listed.

I do have a few questions about what they have listed.  They do not ist the size of fruits and Vegetables such as potatoes, tomatoes, avocados etc.

The other thing I noticed the list the same amount of potassium for Potatoes and winter squash of 1,081 mg, however they list the DV% as 23% and 19%.  I would not necessarily go by this website’s amounts for the potassium or daily value % except as a rough estimate. However, they do have a greater number of potassium-rich foods listed.

 

On HealthLine Healthline: Medical information and health advice you can trust. They suggest a variety of potassium-rich foods such as:

 

Fruits - Bananas, Oranges, Mangos, Kiwis, Apricots, dates and avocados.

 

Vegetables - Any vegetable that is high in beta-carotene tends to be high in potassium such as carrots, sweet potatoes and red peppers.

 

Fish - sardines and salmon are just a couple of examples of fish that are high in potassium.

 

Meat - Steak combined with Tomatoes, Leafy Greens and Peanuts.

 

The website Low Potassium Intake? Find Foods that are Rich in Potassium - WebMD  Provides a long list of foods with potassium, however, they do not list the amount of potassium in the foods.

 

According to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, the following regulations must be met on the food labels.

 

Nutrition Facts Table must include the amount of potassium per serving.

 

Claim a) “source of potassium”  or “contains potassium”

Condition - Food must contain at least  200 mg per serving of stated size

 

Claim b) “good source of potassium” or “high in potassium”

Condition-Food must contain at least 350 mg per serving of stated size

 

Claim c) “excellent source of potassium” or “very high in potassium”

Condition-Food must contain at least 550 mg per serving of stated size

 

 

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The Advice on this site is not meant to replace the advice of a physician or dietician.  Please consult a Doctor before starting any new diet plan.  Remember to tell your physician and pharmacist about any Supplements you may be taking.