Potassium's Role in Body

Potassium is a major mineral constitute in our body which plays many critical roles in its functioning. Amongst many other physiological functions, your body needs potassium to build proteins, break down and use carbohydrates, build muscles and control the electrical activity of the heart.

Muscles and Nerves
Potassium has a major role in muscle muscle health as it ensures that all of your muscles, including your heart, are able to contract and relax properly. Potassium is also required by the nervous system to send nerve impulses throughout your body.

Fluid and pH Balance
Potassium is an essential nutrient used to maintain fluid and electrolyte balance and helps regulate the pH of your blood and acid-base balance in your body.

Bones and Kidneys
Potassium is essential for bone strength and density as it prevents your bones and kidneys from excreting too much of calcium and phosphorus. By letting you body excrete citrate adequately it keeps kidneys from forming calcium citrate kidney stones.

A low blood level of potassium is called hypokalemia. It can cause weak muscles, abnormal heart rhythms, lack of energy, muscle cramps, stomach disturbances and a slight rise in blood pressure. Too much sodium, common in Western diets may increase the need for potassium. On average, adults do not consume the required quantity of potassium through their diet. While the average consumption ranges anywhere from 2000mg to 3000mg, both male and female adults should consume 4,700mg of potassium every day and nursing mothers up to 5.1g of potassium daily, states the NIH.

The best food sources of potassium include bananas, potatoes, broccoli, apricots, prune juice, plums, avocados, white mushrooms, oranges, tomatoes, lima beans, acorn squash, cantaloupe, spinach, yogurt, salmon, sunflower seeds and almonds.