All you need to know about Potassium
Why is potassium important?
Potassium is an electrolyte, so your body needs it to function properly. Potassium helps promote healthy function of the nervous system, and also helps muscles to contract properly. It is also essential for heart health and a regular heartbeat. If you eat a diet that is rich in potassium, this helps to counter the negative effects of sodium (salt) on blood pressure. A healthy diet that is rich in leafy greens such as spinach, citrus and vine fruits and root vegetables helps to ensure healthy levels of potassium in the body.
What are the signs of low potassium levels?
Symptoms of low potassium levels in the body include fatigue, constipation, tingling in the arms and legs, muscle weakness and painful muscles. If your diet doesn't enable you to get enough potassium, taking a potassium capsule can often solve this problem. You should however check with your GP first before taking potassium capsules, as your symptoms may be linked to an underlying health problem such as hypokalemia, where potassium levels in the blood are much lower than normal.
How much potassium do I need per day?
The average adult needs 3,500mg of potassium a day. You should be able to get all the potassium you need from your everyday diet. A great way to introduce more potassium into your diet is to eat more fruit and vegetables. If you are not eating many potassium-rich foods, a potassium capsule is a simple solution.
Is potassium good for high blood pressure?
Yes – eating a diet that is high in potassium can help maintain a healthy blood pressure. This is because potassium helps you lose sodium through your urine. Potassium also helps ease tension in the walls of blood vessels, which helps to lower blood pressure.