P is for Potassium

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Randi Karlinsky MS, RDN, LDN, CHC

Potassium is a macromineral found in a variety of foods, specifically fruits and vegetables. Along with sodium, chloride, magnesium, and calcium, potassium is an electrolyte. This means it helps control the electrical activity (i.e. contractions) of the heart and other muscles in the body. Potassium also plays a major role in regulating fluid balance, specifically between the inside and outside of cells.

Health Benefits of Potassium

Supports cardiovascular health by helping to lower blood pressure and reducing the risk for stroke. Low potassium levels have been linked to elevated blood pressure and increased risk for cardiovascular disease. In addition to limiting sodium intake, it is important to maintain adequate potassium levels for healthy blood pressure and overall heart health.

Supports kidney health through fluid balance. Potassium uses its ability to move freely in and out of our cells by carrying nutrients in and the waste out. Adequate potassium levels also help prevent the formation of kidney stones.

Adequate Intake recommendation for the average adult is 4,700 mg per day.

Sources of potassium:

  • Bananas
  • Spinach
  • Bok choy
  • Swiss chard
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Tomatoes
  • Asparagus
  • Sweet potato
  • Papaya
  • Grapefruit
  • Strawberries
  • Broccoli