Foods that are High in Potassium

Potassium is one of the most common minerals found in human body. It is very important for the proper functioning of all cells, tissues and organs.

Potassium is an electrolyte, a mineral salt that together with sodium and chlorine produces electricity in the cells.

It is important for the heart and plays a key role in muscle contraction.

Lack of potassium affects muscles directly and manifests as muscle pain. Eating foods high in potassium will ease the pain.

Keywords: foods high in potassium, potassium, potassium rich food, potassium mineral, hypokalemia, hyperkalemia

Navigation:
Potassium rich foods
How much potassium per day?
Symptoms and effects of lack of potassium
Consuming too much of potassium
Bone health and potassium

Foods that are naturally high in potassium

Modern-man diet is often unhealthy and poor in potassium. Lack of potassium may result in high blood pressure – high potassium intake can help loosen blood vessels and excrete the sodium and therefore efficiently decrease blood pressure.

Lack of potassium may also cause frequent muscle spasms and even cardiovascular disease (high blood pressure is a leading cause of cardiovascular disease).

There are plenty of foods rich in potassium available in your local superstore. These are meat, certain fish (salmon, cod), different fruits (bananas, avocados), vegetables (potato, tomato) and legumes. Milk (and other dairy products) are also a good source of potassium!

Below you can find a list of some of the most potassium rich foods.

Potassium rich foods
vegetables fruit meat and fish diary plants and herbs
garlic banana beef milk fennel
lettuce carrot pork yogurth savory
beetroot raisins seafood cheese coriander
chard prunes salmon cottage cheese tarragon
sprouts figs cod soy milk oregano
kohlrabi avocado chicken low fat milk cumin
salad rocket kiwi turkey sour milk parsley
pumpkins nectarine halibut    
parsley peach trout    
tomatoes orange tuna    
eggplant grapes clams  

How much potassium per day?

If your diet is diverse (as it should be) you are most likely getting sufficient dosage of potassium.

In case you lack potassium you should consider adding more of the above mentioned foods to your menu.

Daily potassium allowance:

How much potassium per day?
age how much potassium [grams] how much potassium [ounce]
Infants up to 6 months 400 mg / day 0.014 oz / day
Infants older than 7 months 700 mg / day 0.02 oz / day
Children 1-3 years 3 g / day 0.1 oz / day
Children 4-8 years 3.8 g / day 0.13 oz / day
Children 9-13 years 4.5 g / day 0.15 oz / day
Adults 19 years and older 4.7 g/ day 0.16 oz / day
Elderly 4.7 g/ day 0.16 oz / day
Pregnant women 4.7 g / day 0.16 oz / day
Women who are breastfeeding 5.1 g / day 0.18 oz / day

Source: http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/potassium

Please note that recommendations for different countries might differ.

Lack of potassium

Lack of potassium is also known as hypokalemia. Symptoms of hypokalemia are the following:

  • nausea,
  • lack of energy,
  • muscle cramps,
  • stomach problems,
  • heart arrhythmia …
  • Your body usually lacks potassium after it lost a lot of fluid (excessive urination and / or diarrhea). Hypokalemia may be associated with the use of certain drugs or might occur as a result of a wrong diet that is poor in potassium and rich in sodium.

    Studies have shown that low-level of potassium in your blood is directly correlated with high blood pressure level. It was also proven that an increased potassium intake can slightly lower your blood pressure and reduce the risk of death from cardiovascular disease.

    foods that are high in potassium
    Foods that are high in potassium are fruits like banana and avocado, different types of meat and dairy products.

    Patients with ulcerative colitis (a type of inflammatory bowel disease), or suffer from Crohn’s disease (a type of inflammatory bowel disease) often have problems with the absorption of nutrients – they also often have problems with low levels of potassium and other important nutrients. If you have such kind of health problems your doctor can prescribe you with potassium additive (after your blood is properly examined).

    What happens if you consume too much potassium?

    The condition when potassium levels are too high is also know as hyperkalemia. Too much sodium (eating a lots of food that contains too much salt – which is a problem in modern diet) may increase the need for potassium.

    If there is an excess level of potassium present in your body than this may cause nausea, diarrhea, vomiting and ulcers.

    In older people and people with kidney problems the risk of hyperkalemia is higher because the kidneys are unable to flush out that extra potassium. This may ultimately lead to death.

    Potassium and bones

    Some studies have shown the positive impact of diets high in potassium on overall bone health and structure. Consuming foods high in potassium play an important role in the prevention of stroke and osteoporosis for women.

    End of the article.



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