Nutrient to Know: Potassium
Your muscles just wouldn’t be the same without this mineral. Most folks know there’s potassium in bananas, but you might be surprised where else you can find this powerful electrolyte.
The body relies on potassium for nerve impulses and muscle contraction (including your most important muscle, the heart). It also acts as an electrolyte (along with sodium, calcium, chloride and magnesium) to help maintain proper fluid balance. Your body likes to maintain steady levels of this nutrient so your kidneys work hard to keep blood levels stable.
In order for your heart to beat and the rest of your muscles to work properly, you need potassium around. In the event of serious deficiencies, heart arrhythmias may occur.
Research has also found that adequate intake of potassium can benefit blood pressure and bone health. As if all this wasn’t enough, this mineral also helps breakdown carbohydrates for energy.
Luckily potassium is found in a wide variety of fruits and vegetables as well as some nuts, dairy products, fish, beans, and grains. Healthy adults want to aim to get about 3,500 milligrams of potassium per day. People that suffer from kidney disease should talk to their doctor about how much potassium they should be taking in.