Potassium deficiency symptoms are usually mild but should not be ignored, as small changes in the level of the mineral can have severe effects on the heart, nerves and muscles. A balanced diet and supplements can prevent the condition happening, but if you are worried you may not be getting enough, there are seven signs to look out for.
Studies suggest that low levels of potassium in the diet may be a risk factor for high blood pressure. Potassium is one of the seven important macrominerals that plays a vital role in your health. Potassium is important for maintaining cardiovascular health, blood pressure, fluid balance, bone and muscle strength. It is also involved in carbohydrate metabolism and can have a direct impact on your body weight. Potassium, which helps build muscles, may be particularly important to those trying to boost weight loss.
Here are some signs you’re not getting enough potassium-
- Weakness and fatigue
- Muscle cramps and spasms
- Stomach upset, including constipation, cramping and bloating
- Heart palpitations
- Tingling and numbness
- Breathing difficulties
- Mood changes
The good news is that you can increase your potassium levels naturally by consuming potassium-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, beans, and nuts. Foods that are high in potassium include bananas, mushrooms, spinach, potatoes, raisins, lentils, apricots, seeds, tomatoes, almonds, avocados, and cocoa.
The recommended daily intake for potassium, as per the World Health Organisation (WHO), is 3,510 mg per day. However, most of the global population is not meeting this recommendation. In the US, health authorities have set the recommended daily intake (RDI) for potassium at 4,700 mg.
The bottom line: While potassium is a key mineral that is vital to bodily function, adopting healthy eating patterns and dietary balance are keys to good health and keeping diseases at bay.