Let’s try something. Shut your eyes and think about the nutrients that you need to be your healthiest. Okay now open them again.
How long did it take you to get to potassium? Was it even in the top ten? It’s not for most people.
Yet potassium is in every single cell in your body. It’s essential for proper cell function. It regulates fluid throughout your body. It sends signals to your nerves and keeps your muscles working at peak efficiency.
There’s even new research published in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology that shows healthy potassium levels protect us from heart and kidney disease.
Don’t ignore warning signs that you’re low in potassium
Recommended daily amounts of potassium are 4700 mg per day, but the average American barely gets half that much.
How can you know if you’re one of the folks not getting enough? Read on, and see if you recognize any of these surprising signs that you’re low in potassium.
Potassium helps your cells function properly. When your cells get too low in potassium, they can’t produce energy as efficiently. The result is bone weary tiredness.
When your cells aren’t producing enough energy, it doesn’t matter how much sleep you get you’re going to feel fatigued. Raise your potassium levels and watch your energy levels go up, too.
Potassium rich foods include:
- Sweet potatoes
- tomato sauce
- acorn squash
- wild-caught salmon,
- dried apricots
- white beans
Include more of these foods in your diet to raise your potassium levels naturally.
2. Irregular heartbeat:
Potassium keeps your heart beat regular in a couple of different ways. When you’re low in potassium, it can cause the nerve impulses that keep your heart beating regularly to misfire from time to time. These nerve misfires cause your heart to beat irregularly, what doctors call an arrhythmia.
In addition, potassium helps keep your muscles healthy, including your heart muscle. But when you’re low in potassium, your heart can begin to beat irregularly.
Sometimes an irregular heartbeat is severe enough that you can feel it. But often the symptoms are less obvious and can include shortness of breath, sweating, dizziness or chest pain. If you experience any of these symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.
3. Muscle cramps:
If you find that your muscles keep cramping “for no reason,” you may be low in potassium. Potassium is as important to muscle health as staying hydrated.
Be sure to include plenty of potassium rich foods in your diet. And consider having a potassium-loaded snack such as a few dried apricots, a banana or a slice of watermelon before you work out.
4. High blood pressure:
For folks who are salt sensitive, and those who eat a lot of junk sodium in prepared foods, being low in potassium can contribute to high blood pressure.
According to researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, potassium helps counteract sodium’s effects on your blood pressure. The mineral naturally helps lower blood pressure even after meals where you’ve indulged a bit too much.
5. Digestive issues:
Digestive problems including nausea, bloating, constipation, or stomach pains can be a sign you’re low in potassium. Your body uses muscle contractions in your digestive tract to move digesting food through your system. As well as to remove waste from your body.
But when you’re low in potassium the nerves that trigger those contractions can misfire. That means it can take longer to digest food. And slow to digest foods sitting around in your digestive tract can lead to all kinds of uncomfortable symptoms.
If any of these symptoms sound familiar, there’s a good chance you’re running low in potassium. Load up on more potassium-rich foods to raise your levels of this vital nutrient naturally.