What is potassium?
Potassium is an essential element for the human body and is needed for many different functions. It is a mineral found naturally in many foods and supplements. Potassium plays a role in regulating blood pressure, heart function, fluid balance and muscle contraction. It is also involved in bone health and nervous system function.
A potassium deficiency can occur after vomiting, diarrhea and from the use of urinary pills. For potassium deficiency, it is important to use potassium tablets only in consultation with the doctor. The use of potassium-rich products is also recommended. Taking enough potassium can help prevent high blood pressure and stroke. A high intake of potassium can also help reduce the risk of kidney stones.
What is the mineral found in?
Potassium is found in almost all foods. Potatoes, vegetables, fruits, fruit juice, dried fruit, coffee, tomatoes, dairy products, apple syrup, cocoa, nuts, peanuts, legumes (such as white/brown beans, peas and lentils), dietary salt and mineral salt (in which sodium has been replaced with potassium).
While a potassium-rich diet is necessary for good health, it is also important to balance out potassium-rich foods with potassium-poor foods or meals. This ensures that you get the right amount of potassium every day.
The amount needed
A healthy person does not need a minimum amount of potassium per day; on average, Dutch people consume 4-6 grams. With chronic kidney damage, potassium levels in the blood can become too high, which is why dieticians recommend a restriction of 2000-3000 mg per day. This helps reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
For people with heart failure, a low-sodium, potassium-rich diet is essential to reduce the risk of death. The recommended intake of potassium for patients with heart failure is 4,700 mg per day. Therefore, it is important to consult with a doctor or dietitian to determine the right amount of potassium for you.