A diet that is low in potassium leads to potassium deficiency which is also called hyperkalemia. Potassium is an essential mineral and has many functions in the body. It helps to maintain healthy nerve function, regulates the contractions of the muscles, and also the fluid balance in the body. A low level of potassium in the diet can be as harmful as a high-level of sodium. It is considered as a risk factor for high blood pressure. The fact that a low potassium diet is the cause of high blood pressure is true regardless of age and race.
Common Causes of Potassium Deficiency
Among the common causes of potassium deficiency are diarrhea, vomiting, excessive sweating, and blood loss.
Potassium Deficiency and High Blood Pressure
The deficiency of potassium in blood leads to high blood pressure. The body needs potassium to regulate blood pressure and the pH level. Potassium deficiency is responsible for causing hypertension. Some other symptoms maybe muscle cramps, water retention, and constipation.
To maintain the correct balance of potassium in the body, you need to avoid the intake of processed food. Eat whole foods that are unprocessed; this will help to increase the level of potassium in the body.
Foods that are rich in potassium
Here are some foods that are rich in potassium and should be consumed when facing potassium deficiency. Bananas, papayas, pumpkin, broccoli, and avocados are some foods that have high potassium content.
You should also include foods such as cooked spinach, potatoes, cucumbers, mushrooms, peas, sweet potatoes, raisins, prunes, apricots, and dates. These foods are very rich in potassium and will help restore potassium levels in the body. You should also include lots of green leafy vegetables in your diet if you wish to maintain healthy potassium levels and thus lower the risk of high blood pressure. Tomato juice, grapefruit juice, and orange juice are also great sources of potassium. Certain dairy products such as yogurt and milk are also very rich in potassium.