An important element in the body, potassium regulates the fluid balance as significantly as sodium which is common table salt (sodium chloride). Potassium is the primary element that helps carry on the electric ‘charge’ found in and around all cells. In addition potassium helps to regulate the acid alkaline balance inside the body so essential for well being, energy production and vitality.
When processed and cooked foods especially canned foods are eaten, potassium is lost. A diet without fresh fruits and vegetables is a low potassium diet. An intake of highly processed foods contains high amount of sodium especially snack foods like chips, pretzels and some nuts. The next problem people encounter with many years of eating American processed foods is high blood pressure, weight gain and heart disease. An important piece of this disease progression is sodium/potassium imbalance which affects the body’s water balance. Adding insult to this are prescription diuretic drugs (for elevated B/P) that excrete more sodium and potassium goes with it. Other culprits of potassium loss are caffeine drinks, sugar and alcohol.
Whew! What a mess one can find themselves in especially after years of not knowing. Now we know!
It may seem like a panacea, but eating fresh unprocessed fruits and vegetables gives us the nutrients like potassium that we need. Actually high intake of fruits and vegetables can prevent hypertension and restore the potassium and sodium imbalance. Here is a beginning list of high potassium foods:
|Vegetables||Fruits||Other good foods|
|all green leafy veggies||citrus fruits||whole grains|
|broccoli||bananas||nuts and seeds|
|potatoes with skins||apricots||sardines|
There are numerous benefits to changing eating habits to fresh foods besides improving potassium balance. A fresh food diet increases vitality and healing capacity for the body. People with low potassium ratios are often very tired, may have muscle weakness, slow reflexes which can lead to other nervous system changes, or it may cause slow or irregular heart rhythm.
Your medicine is in your food! Start with a glass of fresh vegetable juice every day! Or try this simple smoothie recipe:
In a blender put:
8 oz water
½ cup fresh spinach or mixed baby salad greens
½ cup fresh or frozen blueberries
1 small frozen banana.
Optional: ½ tsp fresh lemon juice
Blend until smooth. Begin to enjoy your renewed health!