How much potassium should I consume? How much potassium should I consume?

Increasing your intake of this nutrient, key for the proper functioning of the body, could lower your blood pressure, among many other benefits.

Potassium is an essential mineral for us. A great amount of food contains it and it is a fundamental part for almost all the body’s functions: from proper kidney and heart function, to muscular contractions and nerve transmission.

However, the daily amount each person needs can vary according to their age and gender, ranging from 400mg (babies) to 3,400mg (adults) depending on the stage of life they are in. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), “too little potassium can increase blood pressure, reduce bone calcium, and increase the risk of kidney stones.”

You can also develop a disease known as hypokalemia, which is caused by low levels of potassium in the blood, resulting in constipation, fatigue, muscle weakness, and malaise. In addition, the NIH says that “potassium in food has not been shown to cause any harm in healthy people with normal kidney function. Excess potassium is excreted in the urine.”

If you want to increase the potassium intake in your diet, these are some of the foods you might eat more often:

  • Fruit, such as dried apricots, prunes, raisins, orange juice, and bananas
  • Vegetables, such as acorn squash, potatoes, spinach, tomatoes, and broccoli
  • Lentils, red beans, soy, and nuts
  • Milk and yogurt
  • Meat, poultry, and fish

Read also: Fruit, allies to your health