Should You Take Potassium For Heart Palpitations?
If you’re experiencing an irregular heartbeat, doctors often recommend potassium for heart palpitations. Why? Potassium can help regulate your heartbeat if you’re getting the proper amount in your diet.
If your blood levels are low, increasing potassium intake will not only help to keep your heart in rhythm—the right amount encourages normal, healthy blood flow and reduces high blood pressure. But keep this in mind, excessive amounts can be dangerous.
So, if you’re experiencing heart palpitations and don't know how to slow them down, seek immediate medical attention. But if you get tested and find out you don’t have enough potassium in your blood, here is why doctors recommend taking potassium for heart palpitations.
Benefits of Potassium for Your Body
Researchers at WebMD say that potassium doesn't prevent or treat heart diseases. However, in the right quantity, potassium can be beneficial to your heart in several ways, such as:
Lowering Blood Pressure
A diet rich in fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy/fat-free foods can help lower high blood pressure. If you have high blood pressure, avoid taking potassium pills unless the doctor recommends or prescribes them.
On the one hand, there is no direct correlation between reduced cholesterol and potassium. On the other hand, diets and foods that lower cholesterol levels are known to have potassium, including fruits and vegetables.
By reducing your bad cholesterol and increasing your good cholesterol intake, as well as eating foods rich in potassium, your heart will be much healthier and free from harmful cholesterol.
Potassium promotes a healthy and normal heartbeat and rhythm. Individuals with uneven heartbeat rhythms are often advised to eat potassium-rich foods. Sometimes, you may be advised to take potassium pills or supplements to increase your potassium levels. Irregular heartbeats, also known as arrhythmias, cause discomfort and can lead to other heart complications.
Potassium regulates your heart rate by controlling the myocardium's electrical signals. But it’s important that you get the right amount of potassium in your diet and not get too much.
How Much Potassium is Good for Your Heart Health?
Excess or high potassium intake can damage your heart and lead to an irregular heartbeat. Common symptoms include
Dizziness or lightheadedness
Slower than usual heartbeats
Fluttering sensation in your chest
"Racing" or "pounding" heartbeats.
But keep this in mind, you can get too much of a good thing. Getting too much potassium can cause a heart attack, weakness or muscle paralysis (in extreme cases).
The recommended daily amount of potassium intake is 4,700 milligrams. But you should talk to your doctor about the amount of potassium that is right for you.
Sources of Potassium
Potassium supplements are one way to get the proper amount into your diet. But the best sources of potassium are fruits, vegetables and nuts. It is worth noting that some of these sources have more potassium content than others. Knowing where to source potassium is equally important to avoid overdoing your intake.
Potassium Rich Foods
Potassium-rich legumes and nuts include:
Fruits rich in potassium include:
Get a dietary recommendation from your doctor to help support your heart health. You can improve your heart health by eating more fruits and vegetables and reducing your fat and sodium intake.
Additional Benefits of Potassium
Potassium also regulates cell, nerve and muscle function by maintaining a normal water balance between cells and body fluids. It is also important for synthesizing proteins and metabolizing carbohydrates.
Taking care of yourself, especially your heart is important. And getting the recommended daily allowance of potassium is a significant first step to developing a healthy diet.
In fact, taking such proactive measures will not only improve your health but will also help you reduce the costs associated with heart disease. By staying healthy, you’ll keep costs down by visiting the doctor less.
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