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The Importance of Potassium

August 16, 2017

Why potassium? As many people know, foods like bananas and potatoes are extremely high in potassium, and most people know that if you find yourself experiencing leg cramps, you are low in potassium. But what else is it for?

 

Potassium is an essential vitamin that plays a factor in a great many processes throughout your body, such as helping to maintain the acid-base balance in your body, as well as keeping the water ratio inside and outside cells equal so that cell membranes don’t burst. It is used in protein synthesis, a process essential to the growth and building of muscles. It helps metabolize carbohydrates, by helping with the conversion of glucose to glycogen for storage in the muscles and liver. Potassium pairs with sodium for nerve signal conduction, which regulates heartbeats and muscle contractions.

 

Why is it important to make sure you get adequate potassium? Many medications, specifically diuretics, cause an excessive loss of potassium, creating a shortage. Potassium, too, can interact with the effectiveness of other medications, which is why it is typically left out of multivitamin supplements.

 

 

Best practice? Eat foods that are high in potassium so as to minimize interaction, and maximize potassium levels. Below are some examples of Phase 1-friendly vegetables that are potassium rich.

  • Spinach (Raw): 1 Cup = 167mg

  • Swiss Chard: 1 Cup Chopped = 961mg

  • Mushrooms: 1 Cup Diced = 416mg

  • Kale (Raw): 1 Cup = 299mg

  • Zucchini With Skin: 1 Cup = 455mg

  • Asparagus: 1 Cup = 271mg

  • Sun-Dried Tomatoes (Max 4 cups per week): 1 Cup = 1.1g

  • Brussels Sprouts (Max 4 cups per week): 1 Cup = 342mg

 

Want to learn more? Links to the original articles, and many others, can be found below!

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

http://hkpp.org/patients/potassium-health

 

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