When the body is deficient in potassium, it can have far-reaching health effects. However, you can prevent potassium deficiency naturally by making sure you eat certain foods on a regular basis.
Potassium is an essential mineral. It is one of the most important electrolytes in the body and is involved in a variety of processes such as regulating blood pressure, muscle function and the heart.
What usually causes potassium deficiency?
According to a report by the German Society for Nutrition (DGE), a potassium deficiency due to a low intake of potassium through the diet occurs only rarely. However, it is possible, for example, to suffer from a potassium deficiency through vomiting, laxatives, diuretics and chronic diarrhea.
In order to supply the body with sufficient potassium, there is normally no need for food supplements, according to the experts at the DGE. Just making sure to consume foods rich in potassium is enough to prevent potassium deficiency.
Potassium deficiency due to typical Western diet?
However, according to a study, the typical Western diet in modern society has led to a decrease in the intake of potassium. This is because fewer fruits and vegetables are being eaten, but at the same time sodium consumption is increasing as more processed foods are eaten.
The experts emphasize that it is important for your own health to ensure that you take in enough potassium. Because insufficient potassium intake is also associated with dangerous heart diseases, as the results of a research paper published in the English-language journal “JCI Insight” show.
How much potassium does the body need every day?
First of all, however, you have to know how much potassium your body actually needs. According to the DGE, the guide value for adults is 4,000 milligrams of potassium per day. On the other hand, children between the ages of one and 13 are advised to consume 1,100 to 2,900 milligrams of potassium per day and adolescents should aim for levels of 3,600 to 4,000 milligrams per day.
These foods prevent potassium deficiency
The foods below are particularly rich in potassium and consuming them can help you achieve recommended daily values.
For example, bananas and avocados are high in potassium. The daily consumption of a banana and an avocado can already ensure a good supply of potassium.
Other foods that are high in potassium include soybeans, dried apricots, peaches, and pistachio nuts.
100 grams of soybeans contain 1,800 milligrams of potassium, with dried apricots the value is 1,370 milligrams, with dried peaches 1,340 milligrams and pistachio nuts contain 1,020 milligrams per 100 grams, reports the AOK.
In addition, dates, kale, Brussels sprouts, lamb’s lettuce and boiled potatoes with their skins contain potassium levels of over 400 milligrams of potassium per 100 grams.
Foods high in potassium
Bananas, chard, beans, peas, kohlrabi, broccoli and pumpernickel still have levels of between around 280 and 190 milligrams of potassium per 100 grams, so that eating them can also prevent a potassium deficiency.
Make sure you have enough potassium
Taken together, the results make it clear that it is by no means necessary to resort to dietary supplements to protect against potassium deficiency. Adequate potassium can be easily obtained within the diet from healthy and natural foods such as a variety of fruits and vegetables. (as)