Potassium and magnesium are the important minerals required forhealthy functioning of the human body. These minerals maintain severalfunctions of the body therefore their adequate intake must be ensured.
Importance of Magnesium and Potassium
Potassium is an electrolyte required for proper functioningof the kidneys. Apart from that, potassium is needed for muscle and nerve cellfunction and it plays vital role in heart and digestive function. Magnesium isrequired for over 300 biochemical reactions in the body. It is essential forfunction of the muscles, heart rhythm, immune system, blood sugar, bloodpressure, energy metabolism and protein synthesis. This nutrient is requiredfor blood clotting, cells formation and muscle relaxation.
Diet which lacks in magnesium and potassium can lead tovarious health conditions. Deficiency of magnesium can cause nausea, vomiting,loss of appetite, fatigue and weakness. This lack in magnesium can eventuallyresult in cardiovascular diseases, erectile dysfunction, diabetes, high bloodpressure, insomnia and osteoporosis. Potassium deficiency may reflect inhypokalemia, hypertension, Crohn’s disease, stroke, constipation and disordersof the nervous system.
Sources of Magnesium and Potassium
Number of foods represents rich sources of both magnesiumand potassium.
Fruits high in magnesium and potassium include: bananas,apricots, avocados, prunes and prune juice, raisins, citrus juices andcantaloupe.
Sources of potassium and magnesium among vegetables are:potatoes, spinach, artichokes, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, beet root andmushroom.
Nuts and Legumes
Almonds, cashews, peanuts, kidney beans, pinto beans andsoybeans are good sources of these minerals.
Meat and Fish
Halibut is very high in magnesium and potassium among fish.Tuna and pork are also good sources.
Potassium and magnesium can be abundantly found in: wheatbran, yogurt, whole milk and millet.
Apart from mentioned foods, magnesium can also be found in: barley,buckwheat, cornmeal, lentils, oat bran, okra, pumpkin seeds, peas, tomatoes,wheat flour and whole grain products.
Other foods high in potassium include: cantaloupe, figs,dates, oranges, tomato products (juice, paste, puree), pears, onions, watermelon,apples, celery, plums and winter squash.
It should be noted that food rich in magnesium and potassiumlike fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds can be eaten in raw state and shouldnot be overcooked to keep high levels of nutrients. Magnesium and potassium arealso available in a form of mineral supplements. The best option is to take theminerals from natural sources since supplement intake may lead to overdose andtoxicity. Symptoms of magnesium overdoseinclude: upset stomach, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, low blood pressure and slowerheart rate. Potassium overdose can lead to: stomachirritation, diarrhea, nausea, muscle weakness and abnormal heart rate.