Most of us associate potassium with bananas, but what else do you know about this mineral that sits on the left side of the periodic table? Turns out potassium is a vital nutrient for multiple body functions. It helps your muscles contract, keeps your heart rate regular, maintains your nerve function, and aids in balancing the fluids in your body. And that is only a few of potassium’s jobs.
Potassium is found in a lot more than just bananas. Some foods with the highest levels of potassium are avocados, potatoes, kidney beans, and dark leafy greens. Unfortunately, most of us eat a diet that consists of lots of processed foods and less fresh foods which means more and more people are suffering from a lack of potassium. Yet, the health benefits of potassium are seemingly endless. Read on to learn more about how potassium can benefit you…
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1. Maintains a Normal Sodium Level
Potassium and sodium go together like two peas in a pod. Their roles are so intertwined, you can’t properly manage one without the other. Allison Aaron, RD, CN from Well + Good says, “having the right potassium-sodium ratio is important for electrolyte balance, which is essential for proper muscle contraction and nerve transmission, fluid balance—which promotes normal blood pressure—and acid-base balance for preservation of bone strength.”
You need the right amounts of potassium and sodium for a healthy body. Intake levels are based upon your age and gender. Refer to your doctor if you have questions on exactly how much of each electrolyte you need and to discuss supplementation if necessary.