Potassium is an essential mineral that performs several vital functions in the body. Like sodium and chlorine, it is an electrolyte.
Cramps and lack of energy can be clear indications of a potassium deficiency. The first instinct to fix this is to include foods that contain it in your diet to avoid major health problems.
The drop in potassium levels can affect the nervous system. It also disrupts communication with muscle cells in the digestive system, heart, and other muscles. Most of the potassium in the body is found in the cells. A balanced diet easily keeps the potassium level in the blood stable.
But how do you know if you have a potassium deficiency? Here are some signs:
You feel tired and weak
The first symptoms of potassium deficiency are usually muscular. Muscle pain, cramps, and abnormal weakness are common. This weakness affects not only the arms or legs, but also the respiratory and gastrointestinal muscles.
Low potassium levels prevent muscle cells from quickly recharging with energy. This leads to abnormal and general muscle fatigue. Cramps and tingling or numbness may indicate the potassium deficiency is getting worse.
A lack of potassium over a long period of time can affect the heart by interfering with its normal functioning. The first symptom is an irregular heartbeat with no apparent cause. Potassium deficiency can also slow your heart rate and therefore cause dizziness.
There are different types of arrhythmias. Some make the heart beat too fast, others slow it down. All types of arrhythmias can cause a variety of symptoms ranging from dizziness to fainting. An irregular heartbeat can also be accompanied by shortness of breath, chest pain, and sweating.
High blood pressure
Many factors influence blood pressure, including family history, obesity, and salt intake. Potassium deficiency is also a factor. Both the excess and its deficit can cause changes in blood pressure. Eating too much salt and not enough fruits and vegetables contributes to high blood pressure.
Muscle activity and relaxation depend on potassium. This relaxation can be voluntary or involuntary, depending on the type of muscle being worked. With a lack of potassium, the muscle continues to contract and causes cramps. If painful muscle cramps in your legs keep coming back, it may be due to a lack of potassium. This is very common in athletes who train a lot. If this is the case for you, it’s a good idea to have an electrolyte-rich drink that contains potassium every now and then.
Foods that help fight potassium deficiency
Whenever we talk about potassium, we think bananas are a great source. While they’re a good source of this mineral, it’s not the only food. Some of the options to help you naturally fix potassium deficiency include:
It is known that the banana is rich in potassium, providing 370 mg per 100 grams of pulp. Remember that if you have diabetes, you should not consume this fruit indiscriminately.
If you’re one of those people who love a good mashed potato, this is for you. Potatoes provide 418 mg of potassium per 100 grams. It is advisable to eat it baked, grilled or steamed and avoid fried options.
Cabbage provides 450 mg of potassium per 100 grams.
This food provides 487 mg of potassium per 100 grams. Take the opportunity to enjoy it in a cold salad.
Spinach is a seasonal vegetable that you can eat in a variety of dishes. It provides 554 mg of potassium per 100 grams.
Now that you have a list of foods that contain them, it’s a good idea to include them in your diet on a regular basis.
* Presse Santé strives to convey health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE can the information given replace the advice of a doctor.
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