potassium rich foods || Key to healthy food
In this article, we will try to find out potassium rich foods which are not only easily available but are also within the reach of common people.
But before we delve on the food which is rich in Potassium, I would first like to make people aware about the importance of potassium and what role they play in body functioning.
Potassium is basically a mineral which is needed by the body for efficient functioning like regulating heart beats, maintaining blood pressure, fluid regulation etc.
The problem with potassium is that it does not get stored inside the body. Our kidneys work continuously to remove potassium through urine and apart from that some amount of potassium is also removed from our body sweat.
The lack of potassium storage makes it essential for us to take a daily intake of potassium.
You will be surprised to know that only 3% of American Population take a daily dose of potassium, the remaining 97% are in the risk zone of potassium deficiency.
I am stressing on Potassium intake because it has an important role to play in body functioning. Some of its functions are:
1. Electrolyte Function
potassium rich foods act as an electrolyte which helps in the transfer of electric signals from the brain to different parts of the body.
It is important to understand that our brain controls the body through electrical signals which are sent throughout the body through electric nerves.
For example, if you want to move your hand, your brain sends electrical signal to the muscles and then the muscles act as per instructions.
Now in order to send electric signals, the proper environment is necessary. And this environment is maintained by potassium.
If you get potassium deficient, the electrical signals will not be sent properly and this will create issues like muscle pain, irregular heartbeat, constipation etc.
2. Heart Functioning
Potassium controls the beating of the heart.
Insufficient potassium leads to improper heart beating which can be dangerous for your health.
It has also been found in various research that the people who fulfill their regular dose of potassium are less likely to suffer from heart problems.
This point is especially important for patients suffering from diabetes, as these guys are more likely to suffer from heart issues.
If diabetics take care of the potassium levels, there are chances that they can reduce the risk of getting heart problem in the future.
3. Controls Blood Pressure
Potassium is also responsible for controlling blood pressure.
Infact, it is used by the patients with high blood pressure to take the level down.
There is a mechanism behind blood pressure control.
Ideally, to keep blood pressure at a normal level, it is important to maintain the right balance between sodium and Potassium levels.
If the sodium levels get increased, there is a huge risk that you can suffer from high blood pressure.
Potassium is a mineral which helps in reducing the blood pressure, thus reducing the side effect of high sodium.
But the problem is they most people around the world are prone to a modern diet which is full of sodium (salt). The packet of chips you buy, the frozen food you eat is all full of sodium.
Sodium based products are so common that it has become part of our daily lives.
Eating these foods disturbs the Sodium-Potassium Balance which results in high blood pressure problem among the public.
4. Bone Health
potassium rich foods are alkaline in nature, which means that it neutralizes the acid produced in the digestive system during food metabolism.
The lack of sufficient potassium minerals disturbs the balance and which results in high acidic environment in the body.
The acidic environment is responsible for damaging the bones and reducing the density. This slow decaying of bone results in high pain and multiple fractures to the patient’s body.
This may not sound serious to you and there are chances that you may not take this point seriously.
There is a reason behind it.
Fron our childhood we have been educated that calcium is responsible for bone health.
There has been no mention of potassium.
But let me tell you that various studies have confirmed the role of potassium on our bones.
Ignoring this nutrient can have serious consequences.
Take a look at the elderly population who face difficulty in moving.
This can happen to you at a younger age.
So be careful and be mindful of the potassium intake
Potassium is required for glucose and protein metabolism, this makes potassium in
Now you have understood how important potassium is for our body, i would like to introduce some natural foods which are a good source of potassium.
One large banana contains around 500 milligrams of potassium.
The only problem with Banana is that it is also high in carbohydrates.
High carbohydrate content is a concern for diabetes as it can spike their blood sugar.
So, if you are diabetic, please don’t over-rely on this fruit otherwise you will face trouble managing your blood sugar.
However good carbohydrate content is good for person who performs the high-intensity workout. The workout can lead to drain of potassium through sweat which can be easily fulfilled by one or two bananas.
This potassium rich food is easily available at affordable cost throughout India.
2. Coconut Water
One cup contains around 600 milligrams of potassium.
Coconut water is a good alternative for diabetic patients as they are low in calories, so diabetics can drink it without worrying about blood sugar.
Coconut water can be easily available throughout the country (India) within a reasonable rate.
In India, you can find street vendors selling coconut water.
One fruit contains around 700 milligrams of potassium.
The fruit is also a good source of Vitamin C and K.
But diabetics should be careful as it can spike their blood sugar.
Another important potassium rich foods
This is also a good choice for the diabetic patient as its carbohydrate content is low.
Fish are also a good source of Omega 3 fatty acids.
Omega 3 fats are polyunsaturated fats which provide immense benefit to the body.
One of the major benefits of Omega 3 is that it helps to reduce the risk of getting heart problems. Omega 3 is responsible for reducing bad cholesterol from our body, thus protecting us from heart diseases.
Omega 3 also plays important role in brain development, that is why pregnant ladies are asked to take a suitable dose of this nutrient.
One cup contains around 800 milligrams of Potassium.
Spinach is also good source of Iron.
Irin is responsible for the formation of red blood cells which is required to carry oxygen to different parts of the body.
Lack of Iron can cause anemia which can severely hamper the quality of life.
6. White Beans
One cup contains around 1000mg of Potassium.
White beans are widely used in Indian Households. One can easily find Indian recipe on the net which i think will be liked by people around the world.
You can also boil the beans and include it in your daily salad.
100 gms of watermelon contains around 110 mg of Potassium.
Watermelon is an excellent food for diabetics as they are low in carbohydrate.
They are also packed with nutrients like Lycopene, Vitamin A, C and B6
I am Type 1 diabetic myself and I love to eat watermelons.
They are nutrient rich and are available at a low price.
The only problem with the food is that it is a seasonal food only available in summers.
This is also a good source of Potassium.
But make a point to stay away from flavored yogurt which is found in the marketplace.
Flavored yogurts are filled up if artificial sweeteners and chemicals that harm the body.
Papaya is also an excellent Potassium source.
100 grams of potassium contains around 180 mg of potassium.
Papaya is also diabetic friendly food.
It is low in carbohydrate and calories, this means that a diabetic can easily incorporate this food without worrying too much about blood sugar.
They are also filled up with nutrients like Vitamin A, C, folate, and magnesium.
100 gms of Mango contain around 170mg of potassium.
The problem with mango is that they are high in carbohydrates, hence diabetic should be careful eating this fruit.
This fruit is seasonal and is only available during summers (in India)
After this list of potassium rich foods, let us try to understand the daily intake of potassium that our body needs on a daily basis.
Daily Intake of Potassium
Now you have understood the importance of Potassium and its sources, it’s also important for you to understand your body’s daily potassium requirement.
Keep in mind that potassium is not stored in the body and is easily washed away through urine, so you have to take Potassium daily.
A normal person is asked to take around 4500 mg of Potassium daily.
This potassium rich foods dosage is not for people suffering from kidney problems or diabetes.
The patients should consult their doctor about their body requirements.
One of the major cause of potassium deficiency is improper diet.
People all around the world are in the habit of eating processed foods which are full of sodium and refined sugar. The modern food lacks essential nutrients and is damaging the body.
Other factors which can make people potassium deficient are:
1. Kidney Problems
2. Intestine Problem
Due to improper working of the intestine, the potassium nutrients do not get absorbed effectively which results in potassium deficiency.
Upset stomach can also result in Potassium deficiency.
This point is especially important for infants.
Parents should keep in mind that their infant can get potassium deficient and should take suitable measures.
Dangers of Low Potassium
Deficiency of potassium can leads to the following problems:
As I have said earlier, potassium act as an electrolyte and is responsible for transferring of nerve signals.
Deficiency of Potassium leads to weak signals to your muscles and this can lead to difficulty in performing daily activities.
Deficiency can lead to stomach problems.
The brain signals may not be able to reach stomach muscles and this lead to improper working of the digestive system.
That’s why it is important to incorporate potassium rich foods in your diet on a daily basis.
3. Muscle Cramps
4. Blood Pressure
Potassium controls your blood pressure.
Lack of this mineral can leads to high blood pressure or hypertension
5. Irregular Heart Beat
6. Bone Problem
Potassium maintains the normal PH of the body.
Potassium deficiency can lead to the development of the acidic environment of the body, which slowly decays your bone.
This can be problematic in your old age.
Large portion of elderly population are facing this issues, hence it’s important to get cautious about this problem.
7. Mood Swings
I hope this article has helped you in understanding this nutrient properly.
Make sure you to take the regular dose and eat the right food.
One thing more,
If you are considering taking supplements, it’s extremely important to consult your doctor first.
The doctor will analyze your case and will figure out the exact requirement for your body.
If upi liked this article about potassium rich foods, share it with your friends and family for their nutritional understanding.