Jan 09 2009
Potassium is a vital mineral required for the normal function of muscles and nerves. Since the human heart is in itself a very large muscle, levels of potassium in the blood will directly affect the beating of the heart.
High Potassium Levels
When kidney function is normal, excess amounts of potassium are passed through the body during urination. However, when the kidneys are not functioning properly, potassium may build up in the bloodstream and remain there until it is removed by dialysis. If the potassium level climbs high enough, muscles may be weakened and normal heartbeat may be impaired.
Low Potassium Levels
This can also be a very serious problem, as it may cause the heart to beat irregularly. Those with low potassium levels should try to eat foods rich in potassium such as potatoes, dark green leafy vegetables, bananas, tomatoes, dried beans and avocados.
Removing Potassium from Foods
For those with high levels of potassium, obviously eating foods high in potassium may not be the best idea. However, it can actually be removed from certain foods like potatoes and other vegetables by peeling and slicing them very thinly and then soaking them in water for 24 hours.