Potassium: Shifting the balance

Considering you live in a city, have a busy life, don’t worry too much about what kind of junk you consume on a daily basis, chances are that you have a heavy load of sodium in your body and you are suffering from potassium deficiency, exactly the opposite of what it should be. Potassium is the main compound that interacts with sodium to perform a number of important functions every single day, especially balancing fluids and mineral levels within the body. Having low potassium levels can be pretty dangerous.

Ok, given that you are still reading this, you are probably not that extreme and you do watch what you eat. But we know for a fact that average city dweller who have any one of these situations is definitely potassium deficient:

  • drink alcohol regularly
  • take diuretic pills for hypertension
  • take laxatives frequently
  • have unchecked diabetes
  • do sweat a lot while doing vigorous exercises (which is a good thing)
  • is on a low calorie diet

Over long term this deficiency can lead to high blood pressure, heart diseases, stroke, risk of kidney stones, poor concentration and memory, and high risk of diabetes. Yeap, it’s no wonder that lifestyle diseases do originate with poor lifestyle choices. Potassium has a pretty opposite role to Sodium and both are needed in the right balance to manage the physiological processes in our body.

How do you shift this balance? I will go with my rhetoric on transforming your kitchen and shopping for groceries intelligently.

A simple shift to high amounts of Beans and Dals (Mung, Bengal gram, Moth beans), Broccoli, Spinach, Sweet potatoes, Bananas, Salmon and Peas will balance this mineral. Replace your snacking from trail mixes to prunes and dried Apricots. Also, a pretty good idea will be to also change your salt from processed chemical to natural (such as sea salt or mineral salt). If you like the flavor, slowly move over to potassium salts for seasoning.

If you live in an area where Avocadoes are available, you are in luck. 1 whole Avocado packs 1000 mg of potassium, amongst other awesome nutrients.