What is potassium and what does it do for you?
Potassium is an essential mineral found in every cell in the body. It has a strong relationship with sodium, calcium, and magnesium. Maintaining a balance between all of these minerals is important for good health. Potassium is the third most abundant mineral in the body. It is an electrolyte that regulates the proper function of every cell in your body. It is often referred to as the wonder mineral and, when you read the list below, you can see why!
When most people hear about potassium they usually think about eating ‘bananas‘. Bananas are a good source of potassium, but they’re not a great source as they are a high sugar food–so no more then one a day. You should also make sure you want more potassium!
Potassium helps your body:
- keep your heartbeat regular
- makes sure your muscles work right
- aids rheumatic or arthritic conditions by causing acids to leave the joints, thus eases stiffness
- maintain fluid and electrolyte balance in the body
- transmit nerve impulses
- regulate your fluid and electrolyte balance, keeping you hydrated
- maintain healthy, strong bones
- maintain blood pressure
- regulate the transfer of nutrients into cells
- eliminate wastes
- control convulsions, headaches and migraines
- in the healing of cuts, bruises and injuries faster
- promote balanced pH levels
- decrease bone loss associated with aging
- reduce kidney stone risk
- increase energy
Keeping the right amount of potassium in your body is a balancing act made possible by healthy kidneys. If your kidneys are not healthy, it may be beneficial to limit high-potassium foods so the potassium in your blood is doesn’t reach dangerous levels.
Next page: Symptoms of potassium deficiency and top potassium foods.