Potassium is a mineral that helps keep a regular fluid balance between cells while stimulating muscle contraction and aiding kidney function. Typically, a potassium deficiency occurs when excess urine is lost from taking certain medications such as diuretics. Potassium can be replaced with foods like oranges, tomatoes, melons, and bananas.
A high potassium level is called hyperkalemia and a low potassium level is called hypokalemia, but regardless of whether it’s high or low, it can be controlled with simple diet changes. However, in some cases, potassium levels may need to be regulated with supplements.
Potassium levels depend on sodium. Excess sweating from sports events can quickly lower potassium levels, which is why sports drinks were developed. The first sports drink was developed for the Florida Gators, hence the name, “Gator Aid.”
Seniors are susceptible to hyperkalemia, due in part to many of the medications associated with the problems of aging, along with kidney function which typically decreases with age. Potassium supplements are often recommended for seniors to help regulate potassium levels, but supplements should only be taken under the supervision of a physician.
There are a number of medications that can raise potassium levels which include:
– Thiazide diuretics
Medications that can lower potassium levels include:
– Certain diuretics
Potassium levels can be affected by any number of medications, which is why consulting a physician is recommended before taking a potassium supplement.
The symptoms of low potassium levels (hypokalemia) include muscle cramps, weakness, lethargy, stomach problems, high blood pressure, and an irregular heartbeat. High potassium levels (hyperkalemia) can cause symptoms such as muscle weakness, nausea, and diarrhea.
Fresh, unprocessed foods such as avocados, potatoes, bananas, apricots, fish, and whole grains are excellent sources of potassium, along with fortified cereals.
The early Christians believed that pomegranates, an excellent source of potassium, were from the tree of life. The fruit itself is difficult to eat as it is full of seeds surrounded by a red gel. This gel is sucked off and the seeds are spit out. Be that as it may, pomegranates are loaded with potassium and the juice is sold in most any grocery store.
Therefore, in order to maintain proper muscle response and help regulate vital bodily functions, incorporate foods rich in potassium into your daily diet. However, considering the high potassium content of the pomegranate, adding at least one glass of pomegranate juice per day should provide your daily potassium requirements.