Potassium is an electrolyte that is a vital part of a healthy body. It helps keep the nerve and muscle cells functioning properly. Low potassium levels can negatively affect many different functions in the body. A potassium deficiency can be caused by diuretics, vomiting or diarrhea, taking some antibiotics or by failing to get enough potassium in your diet.
Here are six signs you have low potassium levels:
1. Heart Palpitations
You heart can be affected by a potassium deficiency. Low potassium levels can disrupt the rhythmic and coordinated heart contractions, controlled by electric impulses. This can lead to heart palpitations and irregular heartbeat.
When your body is low in potassium, it struggles to regulate sodium levels in the body. This can cause you to feel constantly bloated, thanks to the salt in your body that isn’t being regulated.
3. Numbness and Tingling
Potassium promotes healthy nerves. A potassium deficiency can have a negative effect on your nerves, causing numbness and tingling or a needles and pins sensation.
4. High Blood Pressure
Because potassium plays an important role in regulating salt in the body, low potassium levels can affect your blood pressure. Consuming potassium-rich foods can help your body maintain a healthy blood pressure level.
Low potassium levels have a negative impact on the digestive system. Salt that isn’t being properly regulated can cause constant bloating, which can lead to gas and constipation.
Fatigue can be a sign of many different health issues, including potassium deficiency. Your body needs potassium in order to function properly. Without it, you may feel constantly tired for no apparent reason.
Incorporate these six potassium-rich foods into your diet to keep your body healthy and functioning properly:
Spinach is rich in potassium. As a bonus, studies have also shown that spinach contains plant chloroplast glycoglycerolipids, which are believed to act as cancer-fighting agents. One cup of cooked spinach contains 839 milligrams of potassium.
2. Sweet Potato
Sweet potatoes contain more nutrients that white potatoes, including potassium. They are also high in beta-carotene, Vitamin C and Vitamin B6. One large sweet potato contains 855 milligrams of potassium.
Avocados are a superfood for many reasons. Along with several other nutrients, they contain a healthy dose of potassium. One whole avocado contains 1,067 milligrams of potassium.
Pomegranate seeds and pomegranate juice are both great sources of potassium. They’re also loaded with other nutrients the body needs, including fiber, Vitamin C and Vitamin K. One whole pomegranate contains 667 milligrams of potassium.
5. Coconut Water
If you’re looking for potassium in a liquid form, try coconut water. Make sure you choose a brand with no added sugars. Just one cup of coconut water contains 600 milligrams of potassium.
6. Dried Apricots
Dried apricots are the perfect potassium-rich snack. Studies have shown that people who consume dried apricot and other dried fruits tend to have healthier overall diets with more nutrients, as well as a lower body weight. Half a cup of dried apricots contains 756 milligrams.