Importance of Potassium || Understanding Nutrients Better
In this article, we will try to understand the importance of Potassium and the role it plays in the body function.
Everybody knows that potassium is a nutrient which does play an important role, but are these people aware of the details?
Having a basic understanding of the body nutrient goes a long way in keeping the body healthy and fit.
With a mission to make people aware of the important health parameters, i have tried to explain the importance of potassium in this article.
What is Potassium nutrient?
It is a nutrient which we can get only from the food we intake.
Our body does not produce this nutrient and we can only get our requirement fulfilled from our daily meals.
The importance of potassium is huge for body functions like the transmission of nerve impulse, maintaining a heartbeat, regulating blood pressure and functioning of muscles.
In the below section, we will try to figure out the importance of potassium and from what sources we can get it.
Functions and Benefit of Potassium
Potassium is basically an electrolyte, which means that it act as a medium for the transfer of nerve impulses to different parts of the body.
Insufficient potassium levels can lead to the improper heartbeat and muscle contractions.
You need to understand that the brain which is the master of the body, sends information through electrical impulses. For transmission of these electrical impulses, you need a good medium; the potassium built that suitable medium so that the information gets channelized effortlessly.
2. Helps in reducing blood pressure
Insufficient amount of potassium in the body can disturb your blood pressure.
If you are already a patient of high blood pressure, taking high potassium diet can help you to lower your blood pressure.
It is important to understand it is necessary to maintain the balance of sodium and Potassium.
Taking too much sodium is one of the causes of rising blood pressure cases.
Infact, foods like chips, packaged items, fast food etc which we consume in heavy amounts are full of salt and are responsible for the increased amount of sodium in the diet.
If you are taking too much of sodium-rich diet, make a note to balance it with a good amount of potassium otherwise soon you will become patient of blood pressure.
3. Heart Health
Potassium is important for heart and muscle functions.
Insufficient potassium intake lead to the improper heart beating and you will be at high risk of getting heart problems in the future.
Potassium plays important role in the metabolism of amino acid into proteins.
It is also required to convert glucose into glycogen, which is stored in the liver for future energy.
5. Bone Health
Potassium is extremely important in maintaining bone health.
Our body produces lots of acid during metabolism which is dangerous for our health and is also damaging to out bones.
Potassium is needed to neutralize these acids and maintain a healthy environment inside the body.
Also, it has been found that potassium is needed for good absorption of calcium by bones.
People with low levels of calcium in the body have high calcium wastage through urine. If you increase the consumption of potassium, the levels of calcium absorption will increase.
Daily Dose of Potassium
Generally, a normal person should take around 4500 mg of potassium daily.
This intake may not be valid for person dealing with kidney or heart issues. It is better to consult your doctor for your ideal potassium dose.
Your kidneys are the chief regulator of potassium storage. Even if you consume high potassium diet, it will not cause any problem as the extra potassium will be eliminated through urine.
There is a very little amount of potassium which gets stored in the body, most of it gets removed by the kidneys. That’s why it is extremely important to get consistent dose of potassium through your diet otherwise you will face potassium deficiency.
When you are potassium deficient you feel fatigued, have an irregular heartbeat, muscle weakness, constipation and mood swings.
There are conditions which can make you potassium deficient.
Some of those conditions are:
a. Kidney Problem
b. Gastrointestinal Problems
Infants suffering from diarrhea are in the high risk of potassium deficiency.
Parents should take care and make their infants eat foods that are potassium-rich.
Also, there are chances that your body may have elevated levels of potassium.
People suffering from kidney problems are more likely to have elevated level of potassium in the body as their kidney may not be that efficient in removing extra potassium from the body.
High levels of potassium will also affect your cardiovascular health, hence it is important to maintain ideal potassium numbers.
Source Of Potassium
I have listed some of the potassium food sources below:
The best thing you can do for your body is eliminating packaged and processed foods.
These food are high in salt which increases sodium level in the body.
High sodium level is responsible for high blood pressure which can only be dealt by increasing the intake of potassium.
So, less sodium you take, the less potassium your body will need.
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