I have blogged in the past about the correct amount of salt and cholesterol in our diets but never mentioned potassium (K+).

Screen Shot 2014-09-14 at 4.20.21 PMPotassium is truly key in our body affecting cellular activity in all muscle esp. heart muscle. So it is critical to know is there enough circulating in your blood – or too much, not enough. Hyper – hypokalemia (high level, low level) can have devastating effects including stroke, high blood pressure, and even quick death. Recall the Periodic Table? Left top side close to other (Sodium, Calcium, Magnesium) essential body elements is K+.

Do you know how much you should take a day of this mineral?

K+ daily total of 3,500 – 4700 mg is what our bodies need to function optimally. This view of OJ container shows that 450 mg of ‘potassium’ present in 8 ounces of orange juice. Remember to always check ‘serving size’. I do ‘go on’ about the importance of reading labels don’t I? Please let me know.

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Those with medical conditions may take Rx’ed K+ but know that taking supplements is not as beneficial to the body as absorbing from natural sources. There are many potassium rich foods: dark green (Swiss chard, spinach), also acorn, squash, lentils, beans, yogurt, and watermelon off the top of my head.

Ask your Doc how much K+ you need, he/she should be aware of all your medical conditions/medication. Please remember too much is as dangerous as too little.

If you do not take any medication that affects potassium balance and if you don’t have any diseases especially kidney disease that can affect potassium levels within your body please be sure to give your body enough of this vital mineral.