What is the function of Potassium? Potassium is a mineral of great dietary importance and an electrolyte with many functions in the human body. It helps muscles relax and contract, coordinates nerve cell activity and helps keep our reflexes quick. Moreover, it relieves pressure in the blood vessels, directly benefiting blood pressure numbers. In addition to this, potassium lowers sodium levels, exerting a regulatory action which helps lower high blood pressure and, at the same time, prevent cardiovascular events associated with hypertension. Last but not least, potassium regulates body fluids (extracellular fluid or the fluid outside cells, to be more exact).
Potassium deficiency symptoms include: muscle weakness, cramps (leg cramps at night, calf cramps after exercise, thigh, foot and other cramps), general fatigue, hypertension conducive to more serious heart problems, extrasystoles, arrhythmia and other forms of irregular heartbeat, confusion, irritability, chronic diarrhea. Note: although not present in the list above, bananas, winter squash, cantaloupe and broccoli are also great sources of potassium.