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Video:Nutritional Benefits of Potassium

with Laureen Wallravin

Learn the nutritional benefits of potassium so that you can add this important nutrient to your diet. Here is more information on the nutritional benefits of potassium, and foods with high levels of potassium.See Transcript

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Transcript:Nutritional Benefits of Potassium

Hi, I'm Laureen Wallravin, nutritional therapist and founder of RelishedFood.com. I'm here for About.com and today we're going to talk about the benefits of potassium. Knowing the nutritional benefits of potassium and where it's found naturally is the best way to ensure that you're getting an adequate amount of it in your diet. Let's take a closer look.

Benefits of Potassium in the Body

As the third most abundant mineral in the human body, each of us needs a particular amount of potassium in our diets because it helps to balance our body's pH levels, keeps fluids in balance, aides muscle growth, and promotes normal nervous system and brain functions. Those who eat a balanced diet are likely to get more than enough potassium, as it's a naturally occurring nutrient in several foods.

Too Much or Too Little Potassium Can Harm the Body

However, due to certain illnesses, some people may need to restrict or increase their intake of potassium accordingly. An extreme overabundance of potassium in one's system is known as hyperkalemia, and can actually lead to heart damage. In contrast, a deficiency of potassium, or hypokalemia, can cause the affected individual to feel fatigued and weak, among other symptoms. If you find yourself in either of these categories, following your doctor's orders is crucial to your long-term health and well-being.

Foods that Contain High Amounts Potassium

As always, you're best off getting your potassium from foods, as opposed to supplements. Raisins, prunes, apricots, dates, strawberries, bananas, watermelon, cantaloupe, citrus fruits, beets, greens, spinach, tomatoes, mushrooms, soy products, peas, beans, turkey, beef, salmon, and almonds are all excellent sources of potassium, particularly if eaten in unprocessed forms. Potassium is an essential nutrient for our bodies, and one that benefits our health in a multitude of ways. Eating potassium-rich foods on a consistent basis is the best way to keep yourself in tip-top shape.

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