Cooking Tips + Kitchen Tips what is potassium for

Published on February 8th, 2013 | by Becky Striepe

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‘Eat More Potassium,’ Says World Health Organization

what is potassium for

Think you’re getting enough potassium? According to a World Health Organization (WHO) report, you may need more of this nutrient than you think!

There is no recommended daily allowance (RDA) for potassium, but according to Mayo Clinic, it looks like nutritionists and doctors were suggesting that adults need between 1600 and 2000mg per day. At the low end, that’s less than half what the WHO is now recommending! The WHO hasn’t made any potassium recommendations for children.

What is potassium for?

OK, so we probably all need to up our game in the potassium department, but what makes this nutrient important to our health?

The big benefit of a potassium rich diet, according to the WHO, is that it can help reduce incidence of high blood pressure, a condition linked to serious health conditions like stroke and heart attack.  There is also research showing that potassium deficiency can cause a drop in blood sugar. If you’ve ever gotten the cold sweats between meals, you know how low blood sugar can affect your mood and your energy level.

Any athlete also knows that you need plenty of potassium for healthy muscles. It’s not so important for muscle development, but it does help prevent painful cramping. Pregnant ladies! I’m looking at you, too! A potassium boost might just help with those leg cramps waking you up at night.

Potassium-Rich Foods

So, if we need to basically double our potassium intake, that means we should be eating plenty of potassium-rich foods! Click here for a list of dietary potassium sources, including how much potassium is in each.

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Image Credit: Banana photo via Shutterstock





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About the Author

My name is Becky Striepe (rhymes with “sleepy”), and I am a crafts and food writer from Atlanta, Georgia with a passion for making our planet a healthier, happier, and more compassionate place to live. My mission is to make vegan food and crafts accessible to everyone!. If you like my work, you can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, and .



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