How Much You Need: 4,500-4,700 mg/day
Why You Need It: Potassium is vital for its influence in smooth, skeletal and cardiac muscle contraction, and the effect it has on nerve tissue. As well as maintaining the proper electrolyte and pH balance in your body, diets high in potassium are associated with lower blood pressure.
What to Eat: When following a balanced diet, potassium requirements can be reached without supplementation. Fruits high in potassium such as bananas, cantaloupe, melon, mango, and avocados contain about 300 mg per 1 cup serving. And just ½ of a small banana can attribute 150 mg of potassium to your daily value. Add this to your favorite plain Greek yogurt with a tablespoon of peanut butter and you have almost 700 mg of potassium! Having green leafy vegetables, sweet potatoes, and winter squash as part of your regular diet will ensure you’re getting enough potassium. Mushrooms, potatoes, okra, asparagus, nuts, seeds, and legumes help as well.
Who is Susceptible: Deficiency can occur through electrolyte imbalances from severe illnesses, vomiting, diarrhea, or medications used to treat high blood pressure.
Expert Tip: If you’re extremely active, you live in warm climate or your occupation is such that you sweat for majority of the day, you may need supplementation.