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Potassium for a healthy body
An element that is essential for the growth and development of the body, potassium, also helps to regulate the nervous system.
Potassium and sodium work in close conjunction with each other, being maintained in strict balances by the body. When too much or too little of either mineral is present, problems with nerve transmission may arise. This is one major reason why it is critical for those participating in intense, long duration physical activities to play close attention to how much sweat they are losing and whether or not they are replacing these minerals (usually through an electrolyte beverage solution).
Foods that are high in potassium include bananas, cantaloupe, grapefruit, oranges, tomato juice, honeydew melons, molasses and sweet potatoes.
Those who take in a higher salt diet, for whatever reason, should be particularly aware of their intake as well. They may wish to supplement with a salt-replacement product to make sure the ratio of these two minerals is maintained. Do speak with your doctor before going on such a supplement, however, because if not used properly, or in too high of dosages, problems could definitely result.
Certain conditions will also place you at a greater risk for seeing deficiency, and these include:
- the use of diuretics
- severe vomiting or diarrhea
- the overuse of laxatives
- having an eating disorder
So, be sure you pay attention to this important nutrient. It really is critical to ensuring your body is functioning efficiently.