The Benefits of Potassium
You can find lots of scientific literature and studies that discuss various benefits of potassium, but one of the best summaries was published in Medical News Today; in fact, the title, “Everything you need to know about potassium,” perfectly sums up the article. In this piece, the author, a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Licensed Dietitian, says the the main purpose of potassium is to regulate fluid balance and control electrical activity in the heart and muscles. She says that potassium supports healthy blood pressure, bone strength, and muscle strength, while also contributing to a healthy digestive system.
People who are deficient in potassium will experience various symptoms, including general fatigue, weakness in the muscles, and constipation. If potassium is severely low, it can lead to respiratory failure, pain in the stomach, and even intermittent muscle spasms.
Fortunately, you can avoid these issues by consuming foods that are rich in potassium. And don’t worry, these foods are not only healthy, they are also delicious!
Cascara: A Natural Source of Potassium
There are many foods that are rich in potassium. People often reference bananas when thinking about potassium, but foods like beets, beans, sweet potatoes, avocados, mushrooms, and tomatoes all have hearty amounts of potassium.
Another food (or rather a food ingredient) that has potassium is cascara, which is the husk of a coffee cherry. To harvest a coffee bean, producers have to extract the bean from the “cherry,” leaving a small husk behind. These husks, or “cascara,” are usually discarded. However, they are used in some beverages, including ORAC teas, to give the drink a sweet, fruity flavor. (It does not, as some assume, taste like coffee!)
Cascara is high in potassium, and beverages with this ingredient often have higher levels of the nutrient than many other options. One 12-ounce serving of our cascara-brewed tea has 170 mg of potassium, equal to 4% daily value. In addition to a healthy diet, this can be a small part of your healthy nutritional intake.