The mineral known as potassium serves many important roles. It aids in the healthy function of nearly every part of the body. For example, potassium helps build proteins and muscle. It works with other minerals as an electrolyte promoting normal electrical function, including heart rhythm and muscle contraction. It also helps with the processing by cells of carbohydrates into energy.
Potassium-rich foods include citrus, dairy, meats, cod, flounder, salmon, legumes, broccoli, prunes, dried apricots, tomatoes, potatoes and winter squash. Although eating any combination of these foods daily can provide enough potassium to maintain a healthy body, many people rely on a supplement form of potassium. Some people lose more potassium through exercise and sports than they can replenish through their diets, or they have health conditions that prevent the absorption of potassium from the foods that they eat.