Potassium-The Alkalizer

Potassium is one of seven essential macrominerals. It is know as "The Alkalizer" because it aids in balancing our pH. When pH is too acidic, it eats away at the calcium in our bones causing osteoporosis. It also hinders nutrient absorption and sets up the perfect environment for disease. Tobacco and caffeine reduce potassium absorption.


Potassium and sodium work closely together. High sodium intake can raise blood pressure while high potassium intake relaxes arterial walls, helps the body excrete the sodium, thereby lowering the blood pressure. The body needs a lot more potassium than sodium.


Benefits

  • Necessary for chemical reactions in the cells

  • Aids in nervous system function

  • Regulates sodium

  • Works with sodium to maintain hydration

  • Regulates heart rhythm

  • Helps prevent strokes

  • Aids in proper muscle contractions

  • Aids in maintaining a healthy blood pressure

  • Protects the cardiovascular system

  • Protects the kidneys

  • Protects the bones

  • Helps prevent kidney stones

  • Aids in proper hormone secretion

  • Helps break up lymph gland congestion

Signs of Deficiency (aka hypokalemia)

  • Muscle weakness, spasms, tenderness, stiffness, aches

  • Constipation/diarrhea

  • Nausea/vomiting

  • Depression

  • Headaches

  • Paralysis

  • Slowed reflexes

  • Abnormally dry skin

  • Edema

  • Salt retention

  • Impaired congnitive ability

  • Nervousness

  • Unquenchable thirst

  • Abdominal bloating, pain, cramping

  • Heart palpitations

  • Dizziness and fainting

  • Frequent urination and extreme thirst

  • Numbness and tingling

  • Acne

  • Glucose intolerance

  • Impaired growth

  • High cholesterol

  • Low blood pressure

  • Insomnia

  • Respiratory distress

  • Can cause equilibrium problems

Food Sources

  • Potatoes

  • Swiss chard

  • Mushrooms

  • Spinach

  • Yams

  • Sweet potatoes

  • Fish

  • Legumes

  • Dairy

  • Nuts

  • Broccoli

  • Peas

  • Tomatoes

  • Winter squash

  • Cantaloupe

  • Citrus fruit

  • Bananas

  • Kiwi

  • Prunes

  • Dried apricots

  • Carrots

  • Beans

  • Green leafy vegetables

  • Lentils

  • Peppers

Herb Sources

Dried herbs are more nutrient-dense than fresh herbs

  • Basil

  • Chervil

  • Cilantro

  • Parsley

  • Dill

  • Mint

  • Oregano

  • Thyme

  • Sage

Resources

  1. Office of dietary supplements - potassium. (n.d.). Retrieved March 17, 2021, from https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Potassium-HealthProfessional/

  2. Hovis, B. S., ND, MH, CCII. (n.d.). Nutrition-Vitamins & Minerals. Retrieved March 15, 2021, from https://trinityschool.instructure.com/courses/499/pages/week-1-lecture-3-vitamins-and-minerals

  3. Kannall, E. (2018, December 27). High-potassium herbs. Retrieved March 17, 2021, from https://healthyeating.sfgate.com/highpotassium-herbs-8366.html