Potassium is a critical mineral that functions as an electrolyte in the body. Electrolytes conduct electricity when dissolved in water. Other related electrolyte minerals are sodium and chloride. All 3 work closely together to maintain the balance of body fluids, and regulate muscle contractions and nerve transmissions. Potassium is also the third most abundant mineral in the body. There is at least twice as much of it as sodium, with 95% of it located inside cells. It works inside the cells, while sodium and chloride work in the fluid around the cells. Excess potassium is removed in urine by the kidneys.
Top 7 Health Benefits of Potassium:
- Muscle disorders: Potassium plays an important role in regular muscle contraction. The right concentration of potassium is required for regular contraction and relaxation of muscles. Most of the potassium ions of the human body are present inside the muscle cells. They maintain muscle function and optimal nerve function.
- Cramps: Muscle cramps result from lowered levels of potassium in the blood, a condition called hypokalemia. Eating potassium-rich banana every day prevents muscle cramps.
- Blood Pressure: Potassium is helpful in reversing the role that sodium plays in unbalancing the normal blood pressure. Potassium acts as a vital component by maintaining the normality of blood pressure in the human body. This further abolishes the possibilities of heart diseases and hypertension. Regulation of blood pressure is an important function of this mineral.
- Metabolism: It assists in the metabolic processes of various nutrients like fats, proteins and carbohydrates. Thus, potassium is of great value in extracting energy from the nutrients we ingest.
- Heart and Kidney Disorders: Including potassium in your diet ensures good health for your heart and kidneys. This mineral assists kidneys to remove waste by the process of excretion. However, it is strictly advisable to consult your doctor to get recommendations about dosage.
- Electrolyte: Potassium plays the significant role as an electrolyte in the human body. It helps regulate the level of fluids in the human body and thus performs a number of critical body functions.
- Nervous System: Potassium helps in boosting nerve reflexes to transmit messages from one body part to another. This in turn helps in muscle contraction to perform various activities every day.
There are many foods with potassium, the richest sources being fruits and vegetables.
High potassium foods · bananas · carrot juice, orange juice, passion-fruit juice, prune juice, tomato juice, coconut water · potatoes (especially the skin) · dried fruit (apricots, figs, dates, prunes, raisins, pistachio), avocado, sweet potato, pumpkin, winter squash.
Other foods with potassium include · blackstrap molasses · brewer’s yeast· legumes (adzuki beans, kidney beans, lentils, lima beans, pinto beans) ·dairy products (milk, yogurt) · fennel, garlic, ginger, turmeric · fish (cod, flounder, halibut, salmon, sardines, tuna) · fruits (apricots, avocados, cantaloupe, citrus fruits, durian, kiwi fruit, papaya, passion fruit, peaches, strawberries) · meat and poultry · nuts · peanut butter · soybeans and soy products · vegetables (beet greens, bell pepper, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, chard, cucumber, eggplant, kale, mustard greens, parsley, peas, spinach, tomatoes, winter squash) ·whole grains including brown rice · rice and wheat bran · yam.