Amazing Benefits Of Potassium
Potassium is the third most abundant mineral in the human body and is a powerful element in improving health. It contains the components for maintaining a high level of well-being and an improved lifestyle. You should not underestimate the importance of potassium in your dietary plan.
|9–13 years||2,500 mg||2,300 mg|
|14–18 years||3,000 mg||2,300 mg|
|19–50 years||3,400 mg||2,600 mg|
|51+ years||3,400 mg||2,600 mg|
Food rich in potassium
Food rich in potassium are as follows
Dried fruits (raisins, apricots)
Winter squash (acorn, butternut)
Oranges, orange juice
Benefits of potassium
Stabilizes Blood Sugar
Studies suggest that lower levels of potassium are associated with a higher risk of diabetes.
A study published by a team of researchers from Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, USA, found a link between high levels of insulin/glucose and low levels of potassium in people who were otherwise considered to be healthy.
This is also why those suffering from diabetes are encouraged to keep their potassium levels normal, to reduce the chances of unpredictable spikes and plunges in their glucose and insulin levels by stabilizing the blood sugar levels throughout the body.
Doctors consider low levels of potassium with high levels of insulin as characteristics of developing diabetes.
Reduces Muscle Disorders
A sufficient concentration of this mineral 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 keep our reflexes fast because it stimulates the neural connectivity of muscles and the brain.
Muscle cramps are a common result of low levels of potassium in the blood, a condition called hypokalemia.
If you consume a banana every day, you can easily prevent muscle cramps because bananas have rich potassium content.
Enhances Bone Health
The benefits of potassium even extend to improving the health of your bones.
There are certain qualities of this mineral that neutralize various acids in the body, which helps in retaining and preserving calcium, making it accessible to use for bone strength and durability.
Furthermore, a study at the Linus Pauling Institute Micronutrient Information Center says that eating fruits and vegetables having high levels of this mineral results in higher mineral density in bones, further strengthening and prolonging their life.
Regulates Neural Function
Potassium channels play a key role in maintaining the electrical conductivity of the brain and dramatically affecting the brain function.
It is also involved in higher brain function like memory and learning.
In addition to this, ailments like epilepsy are related to the dysfunction of potassium channels that can occur through its deficiency.
There are potassium currents that play a major role in mammalian neurons.
These channels are interconnected with a vast array of neural function and can help moderate and regulate electrical currents throughout the body.
Stabilizes Blood Pressure
Potassium is helpful in reversing the role of sodium in unbalancing normal blood pressure, as researched by Cappuccio Francesco P et al. published in the Journal of Hypertension.
Thus, it acts as a vital component that maintains the normality of blood pressure in the human body.
This further reduces the risk of heart diseases and hypertension. Regulation of blood pressure is one of the most important functions of this powerful mineral.
As mentioned earlier, it has vasodilation properties that work to relieve the tension of blood vessels, which is one of the main causes of high blood pressure.
One of the useful benefits of potassium is its role in ensuring the proper growth of muscle tissues and the utilization of energy released during metabolism, which adds significantly to muscular strength.
The muscles, including those all-important cardiac muscles, are prone to paralysis due to a deficiency of potassium in a person’s diet.
Stimulating cell growth and providing the metabolic energy to do so is a vital function of potassium and muscular health would be compromised without it.
Also, without the contraction and relaxation that potassium allows muscles to perform, exercise and additional muscle training would be impossible.
Potassium assists in the metabolic processing of various nutrients like fats and carbohydrates.
Thus, it is of a great value in extracting energy from the nutrients that are consumed.
Detailed studies conducted in Denmark have shown that this mineral is also an integral part of the synthesis of protein, which has an impact on tissue regeneration, cell growth, and overall balanced metabolism.
Reduces Anxiety & Stress
Potassium is of great importance for people suffering from undesirable mental states like anxiety and stress.
It is considered a powerful stress buster and therefore, ensures an efficient mental performance. Anxiety and stress are very detrimental to other parts of the health and any bonus from things like potassium is considered a good idea if you suffer from chronic stress.
This mineral can help regulate various hormones in your body, including stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline, excess amounts of which can be detrimental to the body.
Symptoms of potassium deficiency
Deficiency of any nutrient in the body is undesirable and potassium is not an exception.
A diet deficient in it may lead to symptoms like fatigue and muscle weakness.
Other indications for its deficiency include inactive reflexes, abnormal heartbeat, heart palpitations, anemia, and severe headaches.
Potassium-deficient people may also experience high blood pressure, pain in their intestines, swelling in their glands, and diabetes as serious side effects of this deficiency.