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Potassium: An Overview


Magnesium makes sure both nutrients and wastes can move through the cell walls. Potassium also regulates the heart beat and works with sodium to balance body fluids. Potassium and sodium work together in such a 

way that they are referred to as a Sodium-Potassium pump. Sodium works just outside the cells while potassium works inside them, to pump needed substances in and out of the body's cells.

Your body needs more potassium when you're under a lot of physical or emotional stress. If you get sick and have diarrhea, you take a long fast, or you are hypoglycemic - meaning you have chronic low blood sugar levels - then your body loses potassium faster than normal.

There is plenty of potassium available in whole, natural foods, and our bodies are designed to eliminate extra potassium through the kidneys. The kidneys stock up on sodium though, and this natural tendency combined with our modern eating habits is often what causes problems. The kidneys relase potassium but store the sodium. At the same time though, we're eating refined and processed foods which are high in sodium but low in potassium. So we end up with chronic health problems such as high blood pressure.

By switching back to a more natural eating style, we'll balance out the input and out flow for both potassium and sodium, and allow our bodies to work as they're designed to.

Potassium helps the body take oxygen to the brain. It regulates our heart beat and prevents high blood pressure. It also regulates the bodies fluids as mentioned, and it balances the acid and alkaline of those fluids too. Potassium is also used by our bodies to get nutrients to the cells and remove wastes. It helps us handle stress well, and calms our nerves too. It also helps with hypoglycemia and helps convert glucose - or blood sugar - to glycogen.

High levels of alcohol will usually create a deficiency of potassium in the body, and hypoglycemia is often caused by a lack of potassium too. Other things that can happen when a person isn't getting enough include: irregular heart beat or a weak heart; high blood pressure (hypertension); mental and physical stress; nervousness; sleep problems; poor reflexes; being tired or fatigued; being thirsty all the time; feeling sick; and having dry skin.

Herbal sources of potassium include the stand by power houses: Alfalfa, Kelp, and Parsley. Other herbs which have potassium include Aloe vera, cayenne, garlic, dandelion, echinacea, fennel, and peppermint.

Just some of the natural foods which are excellent sources of potassium include: Blackstrap molasses, bananas, tomatoes, apples, grapefruit and other citrus fruits, carrots and celery, sunflower seeds, leafy green vegetables, mint leaves, cantaloupe, nuts, fruits, raisins, squash and other vegetables, meat and fish.

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Greg Cryns
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