Potassium is a mineral that harbors electrical properties when it is dissolved in the fluid part of the blood and, as such, it is classified as an electrolyte. It is a nutrient that is critical to life as it is required for the proper functioning of cells, including the cells of the heart muscle. It works closely with its cousin sodium - another electrolyte – in maintaining the body's proper balance of fluids and acid-base. More specifically, potassium controls the amount of fluid inside cells while its cousin sodium maintains the balance of fluid outside cells. Potassium aids in proper muscle contraction and helps to keep the heart thumping regularly. It is also essential for conducting nerve impulses, aids in energy metabolism , and it even helps to maintain normal blood pressure. In fact, evidence suggests that diets high in potassium may help to protect against hypertension, strokes, and cardiovascular disease.