Are we having muscle cramps, a small elevation in our blood pressure, heart irregularities, muscular weakness, myalgia and constipation? Are we told that our potassium level is low? Is our lab result proof that our potassium level is below the normal range of 3.7 to 5.2 mEq/L?
There are several causes for low potassium. When we exercise a lot, specially during the summer we tend to sweat a lot and therefore we lose potassium. Sometimes it may be due to a low potassium diet. Other times, it may be due to diarrhea, vomiting, excessive urination due to diuretics or some other medications, low level of magnesium, some kidney diseases or heavy consumption of colas.
A comprehensive metabolic panel is a good way of finding out if our electrolytes such as potassium, chloride, calcium and sodium among other values, are within a normal range. The recommended daily amount of potassium for people 14 years old and older is 4,700 mg.
So, here are the top foods highest in potassium:
- Beans (white, lima, lentils)
- Potatoes (white and sweet)
- Leafy greens (Swiss chard, spinach,…)
- Acorn squash
- Tomatoes/canned tomatoes
- Fish (halibut, salmon, tuna)
- Dried apricots