Potassium is a very important mineral for the human to work properly. It is a type of systemic electrolyte and is essential in coregulating ATP with sodium, an important process for maintaining good health. Your body needs potassium to build proteins and muscle as well as break down and utilize carbohydrates. Additionally, potassium controls the electrical activity of the heart and the acid-base balance of your body.
Many foods contain potassium including all meats, such as red meat and chicken, and fish such as salmon, cod, flounder, and sardines. Vegetarian sources include bananas, broccoli, spinach, legumes, potatoes, tomatoes, papayas, and lentils. Other fruits that contain significant amount of potassium include citrus fruits, cantaloupe, kiwi, prunes, and apricots. Milk and yogurt, as well as nuts, are also excellent sources of potassium.
The Food and Nutrition Center of the Institute of Medicine has established a recommended dietary intake for potassium of 4.7 g/day for adults. Women who are producing breast milk need slightly higher amounts (5.1 g/day). Check with your health care provider to develop a supplementation plan based on your specific needs.
Potassium supplements are an excellent way to ensure you are getting your daily recommended amount. Products are available in tablets, capsules, powder, and liquid form, so you can choose the best way to fit your needs of the always important potassium.