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Potassium: Health Benefits, Food Sources, and More
Most people don't get enough potassium in their diets, and you may be one of them.
You have almost certainly heard about potassium. Some people may even think of bananas, electrolyte balance, and muscle cramps when they hear "nutrient." So, what is this important mineral, and where can you get it?
Potassium is a mineral that your muscles need to stay healthy. Because it affects the smooth muscles that line blood vessels, it can be used to treat high blood pressure and to keep cramps from happening. To do this, potassium helps keep a healthy water balance inside your cells and keeps certain enzymes working.
Like calcium and salt, potassium is a mineral found in food. To stay healthy, it's important to eat a lot of foods that are high in potassium.
Health Benefits Of Potassium
Potassium is an electrolyte that the body needs to work normally. The American Heart Association (AHA) says that diets high in potassium make salt less harmful to blood pressure.
When there is a lot of salt in the body, the risk of high blood pressure increases. Potassium helps eliminate sodium, making this less likely to happen in healthy people. It helps keep blood pressure in check by making the arterial walls less tight.
Keeping your Heart Healthy and Taking care of your Blood Pressure
Like eating less potassium, a high-sodium diet (salt) is linked to higher blood pressure.
The National Institutes of Health say that reducing the amount of sodium and increasing the amount of potassium you eat may help lower blood pressure and the risk of a stroke.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that people who eat more potassium have a lower chance of getting heart disease.
Keep Bones & Muscles Healthy
Potassium may help or hurt the health of your bones. Research shows that eating a lot of potassium-rich fruits and vegetables may help increase the mineral density of bones.
Still, more research needs to be done to make sure of this. If this is a real finding, more research must be done to determine what caused it and whether or not dietary supplements have the same effect.
A high-potassium diet is good for the heart but may also stop muscle loss in older people and people with diseases that cause this.
When potassium levels are low, even in healthy people, the kidneys may not take calcium back from the blood. When there is too much calcium in the kidneys, stones can form.
Research from 2015 says that the DASH diet, which focuses on foods high in potassium and other important minerals, may help reduce the number of kidney stones.
Still, people with kidney disease shouldn't take too much potassium. If you have kidney issues, consult your doctor to tell you how much potassium you should eat.
Hypercalciuria (high calcium in the urine), not eating enough potassium, and eating a lot of protein are all linked to a higher risk of kidney stones.
People who eat more fruits and vegetables or take potassium supplements have been shown to lose less calcium in their urine and have a lower chance of getting kidney stones.
A study in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology looked at the link between eating too much protein and potassium and getting kidney stones. It was found that the risk of getting kidney stones dropped significantly when people ate more potassium.
Hypokalaemia is the medical term for not having enough potassium in the blood. Some of the most common causes are diarrhea, vomiting, taking diuretics, and diseases of the adrenal glands.
If the body doesn't have enough potassium, it can cause weakness, muscle cramps, twitching, and even paralysis. Even the heartbeat gets all out of whack.
You need at least 4.7 grams of potassium daily to keep your body running normally. The four fruits and vegetables below are especially high in potassium and should be a regular part of your diet to make sure you get enough −
Since it was discovered that coconut water has a lot of electrolytes, it has become popular in the health and fitness industry. The amounts of iron, vitamin B6, vitamin C, and magnesium are average. One cup of coconut water gives you 600 milligrams of potassium, 13% of your daily potassium needs. Because of these benefits, coconut water is a great way to replenish your body after a hard workout.
Since avocados are considered to be a "superfood," it's a great idea to eat them every day. About 21% of the recommended daily amount of potassium can be found in one avocado, which makes it a great food choice. Along with this nutrient, you also get fiber, vitamin B6, vitamin C, magnesium, and monounsaturated fatty acids.
Bananas are a quick and healthy way to get more potassium into your body. With just one serving of this tasty fruit, you could get about 9 percent of your daily potassium needs. It's a great food because it gives you antioxidants, fiber, vitamin C, and manganese.
Dried apricots are a great and healthy snack that may help you meet your daily potassium needs even if you're in a hurry. This is because they have a lot of nutrients per gram. Fresh apricots are better than dried ones because they can be kept longer. It's also easy to carry them everywhere, so you can get more potassium whenever needed.
Sweet potatoes have a lot of potassium, but sweet potatoes have more vitamins and minerals, like B6, C, beta-carotene, riboflavin, and niacin. If you want to get all the potassium from sweet potatoes, then don’t peel off its skin.
When you eat these potassium-rich foods and live a healthy lifestyle, the effects on your health can be huge. Use your imagination to get the potassium your body needs when cooking these foods. Also, supplements from drug stores are not a good way to get potassium. You shouldn't take them because of this.
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