Potassium is one of the seven essential macrominerals, along with calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium, chloride and sulfur. We require at least 100 mg of potassium daily to support key bodily processes.
High potassium intakes are associated with a 20% decreased risk of dying from all causes, a reduced risk of stroke, lower blood pressure, protection against loss of muscle mass, preservation of bone mineral density and reduction in the formation of kidney stones.
Potassium’s primary functions in the body include regulating fluid balance and controlling the electrical activity of the heart and other muscles. Potassium is an electrolyte that counteracts the effects of sodium, helping to maintain a healthy blood pressure to support. It is also needed to maintain acid-base balance.3
Potassium is part of every cell in the body, and life would be impossible without it.
However, potassium is often taken for granted, in spite of its role in maintaining fluid balance, and keeping your brain, nerves, heart, and muscles functioning normally on a constant basis.
It’s important to eat enough potassium every day to feel your best, and to help prevent certain chronic conditions. Falling short on potassium on a regular basis could jeopardize your long-term health in more ways that one.
Potassium is a mineral that you don’t want to run low on for any stretch of time. It’s essential for basic functions of the body, and low levels can take a toll on both your brain and heart.
Your body cannot store potassium, so it is critical to consume adequate amounts of this essential nutrient through your diet. Potassium plays a role in a number of basic body functions, but there are other reasons why consuming enough potassium is beneficial. Potassium can have positive effects on numerous aspects of your well-being, such as your heart and bone health. Understanding these benefits and learning how much potassium your body needs can help you stay healthy.
Potassium is an essential nutrient, performing a number of different functions within your body. Potassium helps conduct electricity throughout your body and is one of the main minerals responsible for muscle contraction, including the contraction of your heart. Additionally, potassium plays a key role in the acid-base balance of your blood, and it assists in carbohydrate metabolism, fluid balance and muscle growth. Many foods contain potassium, including meats, fruits, vegetables and dairy products, and most people are able to meet their potassium requirements with a healthy, balanced diet.
Foods rich in potassium include: citrus fruits, apples, bananas, apricots, legumes, potatoes, lima beans, peas, nuts, spinach, lettuce, kale, green leafy vegetables, meats, cod, flounder, and sardines.
An increase in potassium intake along with a decrease in sodium is the most important dietary change a person can make to reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease.
Taking in a sufficient amount of potassium will put you at a lower risk of developing heart problems like stroke and heart disease. If you’ve already been diagnosed with a heart problem, you’ve likely been told to watch your level of potassium.
What’s interesting is that many of the foods that are rich in potassium also contain antioxidants and other minerals that will help your heart and lead to greater overall healthiness. To complete your heart health profile be sure you’re getting adequate amount of exercise each day, such as a walk, strength training, or yoga.
Your cardiovascular system benefits from reduced blood pressure, which puts less strain on the arteries and heart. In their more relaxed state, your heart and arteries can function better, resulting in more energy in the present, and a longer life going forward.
Blood Pressure Control (Benefits Of Potassium)
Consuming adequate amounts of potassium can be helpful in decreasing blood pressure, especially if you are not getting enough potassium to begin with. Potassium works with sodium to maintain your body’s fluid balance. Too much sodium in your body can increase your blood pressure, and increasing your potassium consumption can increase the excretion of sodium from your body, thereby lowering your blood pressure. Although taking potassium supplements can help you meet your daily requirements, people who are trying to control their blood pressure with potassium should generally try to meet their requirements by consuming a healthy diet that includes potassium-rich foods. Following a diet that includes potassium-rich foods can decrease blood pressure by approximately 5.3/3.0 millimeters of mercury, according to the American Heart Association.
Calcium generally gets the most attention when it comes to essential minerals for bone health, but you’ll need to keep an eye on more than just one, including potassium.
The body is a system of complex subsystems all working together to keep you moving. Bones don’t rely on just one mineral, but an array of vitamins and minerals in order to thrive. You probably don’t pay much attention to your bones until they start having problems, so it’s best to be proactive and help them stay healthy long before any problems arise.
How Potassium Helps: Along with calcium, phosphorous, manganese, and other key minerals, potassium works to keep your bones strong and healthy. Bones need the right minerals in order to continue to stay hard and prevent diseases like osteoporosis, making potassium a very beneficial item indeed.
Research suggests a diet rich in potassium may help increase bone-mineral density and prevent osteoporosis, especially in older women. Potassium affects the body’s acid-base equilibrium, and researchers hypothesize that small changes in blood acidity can increase or decrease bone formation.
Potassium also assists digestive processes, including effectively breaking down and using carbohydrates. Increased potassium intake can help treat nutrient deficiencies caused by certain digestive diseases and conditions like ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease, which prevent the body from absorbing certain essential nutrients from the intestines.
Because potassium is used by every cell in your body to continue on with its function, it only stands to reason that when you’re not getting enough you won’t be able to cope as well with stress.
Potassium benefits you by keeping your stress down and helping to regulate your blood pressure. You’d be surprised at how much less stressed you’ll feel when your blood pressure is at a healthy level. It also helps to relax your muscles, which keeps you from tensing up and exacerbating the situation.
Potassium helps the body break down and metabolize foods by helping the other minerals you take in do their job. It’s a team player that is a vital component to your body’s metabolism.
*Potassium channels play a key role in maintaining the electrical conductivity of the brain and dramatically affect brain function. It is also involved in higher brain function like memory and learning. In addition to this, serious ailments like epilepsy are related to the dysfunction of *potassium channels that can occur through *potassium deficiency. There are actually *potassium currents that play a major role in mammalian neurones. These channels are interconnected with a vast array of neural function and can help moderate and regulate electrical currents throughout the body!
One symptom of low metabolism is muscle weakness and damage, so in order to keep your muscle as healthy as possible, look to foods that are high in *potassium, and stock up on them each time you’re at the grocery store. These include bananas of course, as well as avocados, raisins, and dried apricots.
*Potassium plays an important role in regular muscle contraction. A sufficient concentration of *potassium is required for the regular contraction and relaxation of muscles. Most of the *potassium ions in the human body are located in the muscle cells. It maintains optimal muscle and nerve function, and helps to keep our reflexes fast because it stimulates the neural connectivity of muscles and the brain.
*Potassium-rich foods promote an alkaline environment in the body, unlike the common acidosis caused by the typical Western diet. Metabolic acidosis is triggered by a diet full of acidifying foods like meat, dairy and processed cereal grains, which can cause nitrogen excretion, loss in bone mineral density and muscle wasting.