You may not know that potassium is an element found in all living cells, whether they are from plants or animals. This is a good thing, because potassium is an important mineral that is involved with many processes in the body, and its abundance in foods, makes it easier for you to get enough in your diet.
Potassium is a positively charged ion or electrolyte found in large concentrations inside your body’s cells. Its relationship to sodium ions is important to heart function, muscle contraction, nerve transmission and the transfer of nutrients and waste in and out of the cells.
Deficiency may be due to other factors
Since potassium is abundant in a wide variety of foods, deficiency of this important mineral is generally due to factors other than low dietary intake. Major among these factors is the use of diuretics and laxatives. In addition, those suffering from alcoholism, anorexia nervosa or bulimia are also susceptible to potassium deficiencies.
Here is a list of potassium foods that can form part of a healthy diet.
Note - The increased use of salty, processed foods in the diet has raised some concerns about the effect this has on potassium levels in the body. Since there is a constant balancing act between sodium and calcium levels, the overuse of sodium chloride (table salt) could have adverse effects on your body’s ability to maintain homeostasis and to fight disease. The problems most impacted by potassium levels in your body are stroke, high blood pressure and osteoporosis.
If you take potassium supplements, you should be sure to let your doctor and pharmacist know, since there can be significant drug interactions.