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Health Benefits Of Potassium Rich Foods

Potassium is an essential mineral that your body requires to perform a range of functions relating to your kidneys, fluid balance, cardiovascular health, bone health and maintaining the strength of your muscles.

Health Benefits Of Potassium Rich Foods

You can obtain potassium from a variety of food sources as well as through supplements. To learn more about potassium, its health benefits, what foods contain it and how much of it you should take every day, you can go through the following sections.


What Is Potassium?

Potassium is a mineral that your body needs for performing a range of functions properly. Your cells, in particular, need this mineral to help various organs perform their role properly.

Usually, potassium and sodium go hand in hand since they are both associated with ensuring fluid volume and balance in the body. Potassium is usually present between cells, although some of it can also be present outside your cells.

You can obtain potassium through various kinds of foods that you can incorporate into your meals on a regular basis. Make sure you are getting the required levels of potassium in your body.


Benefits Of Potassium

There are several benefits that potassium can have on your health. You can go through these in further detail below.

Fluid Balance

Your body needs plenty of fluid to ensure that all the functions are carried out properly. In particular, your cells contain, retain and use most of the fluids in your body in the form of intracellular fluid while a smaller amount is present outside the cells in the form of extracellular fluid.

When it comes to the fluid present inside your cells, potassium helps maintain a balance between the water and the electrolyte level. This can then ensure that your cells have enough fluid to work with otherwise this can hamper their healthy functioning and, by extension, of the other organs in your body.

Cardiovascular Health

Potassium can impact your cardiovascular health to a considerable extent as well. It can help regulate your blood pressure, reduce the risk of strokes and reduce the risk of developing major heart conditions and diseases.

In particular, since potassium and sodium are usually important parts of the fluid in our body, sufficient levels of potassium can help balance out the sodium levels which can otherwise end up increasing your blood pressure significantly.

Food rich in potassium, when consumed regularly and in the right quantities, can naturally build up a system of balance in your body. Supplements can also work in addition to the food you consume.

Bone Health

Your bones can become stronger as a result of the potassium levels in your body. While calcium is one of the primary minerals associated with bone health, potassium is significant since it can help your body retain and maintain the levels of calcium instead of simply excreting it out.

Health Benefits Of Potassium Rich Foods

Thus, your bone health can improve overall by maintaining its density. Without potassium to retain the calcium, osteoporosis has the risk of occurring which can lead to weak and brittle bones.

This can then also keep your bones protected against severe and frequent injuries.

Kidney Health

Potassium levels in your body can improve the health of your kidneys. This is also often associated with the calcium level since potassium can assist your kidneys when it comes to regulating calcium levels.

If the calcium level becomes too high in the kidneys, this can result in painful kidney stones. Thus, if you ensure that you take sufficient potassium through the food you eat, you can prevent the risk of developing kidney stones.

However, in case you already have kidney issues or have had kidney failure, increasing your intake of potassium considerably is not a good idea as this can do more harm than good.

In such a case, make sure you consult your doctor first.

Muscle Strength

Muscle contractions usually take place when you carry out some kind of activity, which can be as minor as picking something up or more intense such as exercising or stretching.

Potassium is an important mineral that can help your body (through the nervous system) carry out such contractions, following which they can relax.

In case your body does not have enough potassium levels, however, then this can affect the ease with which your muscles contract. This can result in pain or more effort while carrying out simple movements and tasks while also sometimes leading to prolonged levels of pain.

Enough potassium in the blood, therefore, is important for various functions.


Foods With Potassium

There are several foods containing potassium that you can incorporate in your meals to help you achieve the benefits mentioned above. Some of these include:

  • Apricots
  • Lentils
  • Bananas
  • Milk
  • Yams
  • Potatoes
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Kidney beans
  • Soybeans
  • Chicken breast
  • Turkey breast
  • Salmon
  • Lettuce
  • Cheese
Health Benefits Of Potassium Rich Foods

Daily Recommended Dose Of Potassium

The daily recommended dose when it comes to potassium is 3,400 mg for adult men and 2,600 mg for adult women. Pregnant and lactating women require a bit more in their daily diet—2,900 mg and 2,800 mg respectively.

You can usually obtain these through food.


How To Take Potassium

You can take potassium through the food sources covered in the previous sections. This should usually be enough to give you the required levels of potassium, although you might need to add these foods to your diet.

You can also take supplements at the recommendations of your doctor, although supplements are usually available as multivitamin supplements which might not have enough potassium in them.


Potassium Side Effects

Too much potassium intake can lead to the following side effects that you should watch out for:

  • Kidney problems (if pre-existing)
  • Pain in the chest
  • Breathing troubles
  • Palpitations

Potassium toxicity is unlikely to occur through food or even supplements. However, if you happen to take a high dose of supplements for a long time, then these might occur.


Health Benefits Of Potassium Rich Foods: Summing Up

Potassium is a vital mineral responsible for fluid balance and kidney functions in our bodies while also having other benefits. Make sure you eat potassium-rich foods to achieve these benefits and improve your overall health.

Rosemary Richards
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