Did you know that Potassium is important for healthy muscles and nerves in your whole body? A lack of potassium will affect how you balance fluids in your body, how your blood vessels function, your skin, nervous system, sports performance and cardiac health.
Potassium also helps to maintain an acid/alkaline balance in the body and to assist in converting glucose so it can be used as stored energy. During sport it helps widen blood vessels to assist in cooling down. A deficiency can also be part of the reason for an irregular heartbeat.
Some foods that assist in increasing potassium in the diet are watermelon, greens, orange juice, tomatoes, beans, raisins, sweet potatoes, salmon, yogurt and beef.
Salt (sodium) and Potassium need to be balanced in the body for us to be healthy. High blood pressure can often be precipitated by too much salt in the diet and it has been shown in some tests that Potassium could counteract high blood pressure to some degree if you have had a high salt diet. So it is essential that if you are eating a lot of salt to add Potassium in your diet to counteract the negative effects. Whilst we may need some salt in our diet to assist in how the body handles its fluid balance and to prevent such things as dehydration in hot weather, the reality is if we eat a lot of salt we will get ill. A balance is needed because your body cannot survive without salt (sodium) as it is a key electrolyte, important in oxygenating the body and creating an acid/alkaline balance as well as balancing our fluid levels.
Studies show that a high salt and low potassium diet makes for people twice as likely to die from a heart attack but unfortunately also people that have low salt and low potassium have an even higher risk of death from other illnesses.
Salt unfortunately is hidden in a lot of the packaged foods that we eat, in canned foods or added to lots of meals we eat in restaurants which appear to be healthy. So you are probably eating far more salt than you think and then you wonder why you are retaining fluid, feel bloated and your ankles have swelled up at the end of the day.
To counter balance the high salt intake it is essential to raise the amount of potassium you eat. Potassium is a natural diuretic so it will help get rid of those swollen ankles and bloating to a certain extent as well as balance out all that salt you are eating. Some people have sensitivity to salt without knowing it and need to increase their calcium and magnesium to counter balance it. If you don’t then it can affect your hormones, blood vessels and cardiac health as well as your adrenal glands which suffer every time you are stressed.
Potassium unfortunately leaves the body easily as is excreted every time we go to the bathroom via our kidneys and bowels because part of its function is to eliminate waste products. Due to this our body doesn’t store any excess and this can lead to deficiencies quite easily.
Unfortunately you may not even realise you are low in Potassium because you don’t recognise the symptoms. So if you eat a lot of salt why not check with your doctor with a blood test as to what your Potassium levels are and if they are low it’s quite simple to rectify. Your natural therapist will be able to tell you which natural supplements are in the right combination, with other vitamins and minerals to rectify most deficiencies in your body.