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Potassium: Too Little or Too Much?

You are probably aware of the sodium-potassium pump in each of our cells. You may not be aware that the sodium resides OUTSIDE the cells and potassium resided INSIDE the cells if all if functioning well. Therefore, a potassium deficiency may not show up in the blood test, so consider watching for deficiency signs and keeping a healthy organic well-rounded diet with plenty of plants and foods containing potassium.

Potassium is an “essential” mineral meaning the body needs it but does not produce it, therefore it needs to come into our body typically through food and sometimes supplements. With the typical adult targeting 4700 mg per day, that is far more than the other alkalizing minerals: sodium, magnesium and calcium. These 4 minerals are the electrolytes which are electrically charged in solution.

If you suspect a potassium deficiency, consider your situation regarding the following: muscle cramping, irregular heartbeat, brain fog, memory loss, weak bones, kidney stones, high blood pressure, adrenal fatigue, alcoholism, constipation, apathy, nervousness, acne.

Risk factors or contributors to potassium deficiency may include: diet low in veggies and fruits, processed food diet, high sugar intake, high levels of stress, excessive workouts/overtraining, poor digestion (heartburn/gas/bloating…)

There are so many foods that have much more potassium than bananas. Remembering to choose organic when you can, consider these foods for getting potassium into your body: swiss chard, lima beans, acorn squash, spinach, avocados, sweet potatoes, wild-caught salmon, pomegranate, coconut water, white beans, bananas, sardines, unsalted dry roasted almonds, Brazil nuts, bok choy, beets, brussel sprouts, broccoli, cantaloupe, tomatoes, kiwi, figs, apricots, lentils, potato skins, wheat germ.

If you are low in potassium you may also be low in magnesium (see episode 127 Magnesium & Fasting). For the sodium potassium pump, you may also check out episode 74 Can Pink Sea Salt Help Fasting.

In rare circumstances, some people have dangerously TOO MUCH POTASSIUM (hyperkalemia). Here are some possible signs: fatigue, weakness, chest pain, irregular heartbeat, numbness, tingling, nausea, vomiting. Risk factors for too much potassium may include: kidney disease, Addison disease, type 1 diabetes, excess potassium supplements & Rx ACE inhib, beta blockers…

For the origin of this crucial mineral and how it was named, check out episode 132 that is debuting same time as this blog article: episode 132 Potassium & Fasting at For questions and feedback, contact me

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