You may not know if you are deficient in magnesium or potassium, but if so, it will have a substantial effect on your health. Magnesium is a co-factor in more than 300 enzyme systems that regulate biochemical reactions in the body including protein synthesis, muscle and nerve function, blood glucose control and blood pressure regulation and it is essential to heart health. Studies have shown people have less heart attacks and strokes when they have sufficient levels of magnesium. Diets with good magnesium levels are associated with a significantly lower risk of diabetes as low blood magnesium levels may worsen insulin resistance.
Potassium is needed for proper function of cells, tissues and organs. It is also a required electrolyte that conducts electricity and is essential for nerve transmissions. But, potassium must be balanced with other electrolytes including magnesium. It is also crucial to heart health as well as playing a key role in skeletal and smooth muscle contraction which effects not only muscles but digestion as well. Potassium also plays a role in regulating blood pressure in relationship with sodium. Insufficient potassium is associated with poor bone health and muscular weakness including heart failure and cramping.
According to the NHANES Dietary Survey done from 2007-2010, none of the 17000 participants met their average requirement for potassium and it was estimated that 52% of Americans do not get their required magnesium each day.
Foods high in magnesium are beans and nuts, whole grain bread and green leafy vegetables. Foods high in potassium are squash, yogurt, fish, avocados, beans, green leafy veggies. But if you are concerned that although you eat this you may not get enough, run to the health foods store and get a supplement.