Potassium, Are You Getting Enough of This Key Nutrient?

According to studies, many people do not get enough potassium in their diets. You need approximately 4700 mg a day. Potassium is essential for cell function and the health of your tissues and organs.


It helps control blood pressure and may help reduce your risk of a stroke. It can also help prevent muscle soreness and cramps after workouts.

Dietary Sources of Potassium

  • Citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruits. One cup of orange juice contains 500mgs.
  • Fish, especially halibut, tuna and flounder (all contain 400mg+ per serving)
  • Beets, 1 cup of beets will give you approximately 15% of your daily potassium dose
  • Bananas each contain 450mg of potassium
  • Tomato or prune juice
  • Honeydew melons
  • Lima beans, 1 cup contains 1000mgs
  • Baked potatoes contain nearly 900mgs
  • Broccoli
  • Squash
  • Sweet Potatoes

Normally, your blood potassium level is 3.6 to 5.2 millimoles per liter (mmol/L). A very low potassium level (less than 2.5 mmol/L) can be life-threatening and requires urgent medical attention.

Low potassium isn’t usually caused by a lack of dietary potassium. The most common cause of excessive potassium loss is the use of prescription diuretics. It can also be caused by kidney disease, diarrhea, excessive sweating, or the excessive use of laxatives.

Some of the symptoms of low potassium are weakness, fatigue, muscle cramps, and constipation. A simple blood test can determine if you have low potassium.

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