What are the required amounts and good sources of potassium and sodium?
Everyone’s potassium and sodium needs vary depending on age, sex, and activity level. An adult male or female needs about 4,700 milligrams (mg) per day of potassium and less than 2,300 mg of sodium per day – or less than 1,500 mg if you are over 51 years of age. Deficiency in both nutrients is very rare in the United States because many western diets contain high levels of both. However, sodium intake should be monitored due to risk of coronary heart disease. Foods low in sodium or sodium free should be consumed. This includes a wide assortment of fruits and vegetables. Potassium helps maintain a cellular balance with sodium. Excellent sources of potassium are lima beans, pink beans, and small white beans. Good sources are banana, sweet potato, and broccoli.