Potassium is one mineral that is rarely in our faces. Yet, it is one of the most important minerals which the human body cannot do without. If you’ve ever ignored its sources, you’ve definitely been doing your body a lot of disfavors. Your body needs potassium. Today, I’ll be letting you in on just how much you need potassium. Let’s get talking.
What is Potassium?
Potassium is a mineral element that is essential for wellbeing. It is also an electrolyte. Potassium aids the execution of a number of body functions like homeostasis, digestion, pH balance, and muscles contractions. It is one of the seven macro minerals that are considered essential to the overall functioning of your body system. According to experts, the human body needs a minimum of 100 milligrams of potassium to support its daily functions. This goes to show just how much of your everyday health is dependent on potassium.
Nearly 98% of your body’s potassium is stored within cells; especially your red blood cells. Potassium is also found in high concentrations in your muscles, bone, and liver. It is a powerful antioxidant that can help prevent cardiovascular damages and reduce the adverse effects of lithium in your body.
How Much of Potassium do you Need?
It is recommended that adults should consume as much as 3.510 milligrams to 4,700 milligrams of potassium every day. Sadly, however, many adults do not meet this requirement; hence the reason they have to deal with so many health complications.
Where to Get it from?
Fortunately, many sources of potassium are food-based. This means that it can be derived from your everyday food. Vegetables like leafy greens, carrots, and potatoes are healthy natural sources of protein. Potassium can also be got from fruits like oranges, bananas, and pineapples. Lean meats, whole grains, beans, and nuts are other food-based sources of potassium.
What can I gain from Potassium?
Quite a lot, I must say. Here are six amazing health benefits of potassium.
Enjoy stronger and healthier bones with the right quantity of potassium in your everyday diet. According to experts, consuming potassium-rich diets regularly will reduce your chances of suffering metabolic acidosis. Metabolic acidosis is a condition that happens when you consume meals that are rich in acids such as meat, processed cereal, and dairy products. It can result in the loss of muscle mass, bone mineral density and ultimately, muscle wasting plus nitrogen excretion.
Eating foods that are rich in potassium will guard you against all these terrible conditions. Particularly, it will preserve the mass of your muscle and protect you from conditions that can bring about muscle wasting such as diabetic ketosis. Potassium may also be useful for increasing your bone’s overall density and adding some flesh to lean mass bone tissues.
A Happy Heart
Potassium is one mineral you should not miss out if you want your heart to stay happy. Sadly, when it comes to the heart’s health, many persons rarely go the potassium way. If you are one of those who ignored potassium at any time, you’ve been making your heart extremely sad and weary. Reduced potassium intake has been linked to a number of cardio-vascular related conditions like high blood pressure, hypertension and cardiac arrests.
Potassium works with other minerals to ensure that your heart stays healthy and happy. It helps your body get rid of excess sodium which can be extremely dangerous for your health.
Helping your Brain Function Better
Potassium is great for your brain too. The more potassium you take, the better your chances of enjoying optimum brain activity and productivity. Experts say that potassium aids the circulation of oxygen in the brain. This helps to stimulate the activities of the brain, thus improving its cognitive functioning.
In addition, eating potassium-rich foods regularly will reduce your chances of suffering a stroke; especially as you age. Since potassium acts as a vasodilator, it helps to relax your nerves and blood. This consequently makes your blood flow freely and prevents clots and break offs.
You will enjoy better body metabolism if you have more potassium in your body. Potassium helps your body extract the nutrients from the food that you consume. It is also useful in the breakdown of carbohydrates and fats. Potassium is an essential element needed for protein synthesis. It aids tissue regeneration, cell growth, and metabolism equilibrium.
Maintaining your Body Fluids
Potassium acts as a great electrolyte in your body. In simple terms, the implication of this is that having the right amount of potassium in your body will help to regulate your body fluids. This will aid the functioning of your body. In addition to this, potassium also helps to speed up the rate of transmission of electric charges all around your body. This means that your body will function more effectively. Potassium helps you to rehydrate fast and optimize your body’s fluid balance.
Beat the Stress with Potassium
With all the stress around, you definitely will not want to go a day without having some potassium. According to experts, potassium is great for persons who are dealing with stress and anxiety. Now, what potassium does is to simply regulate the secretion of various hormones in your body; especially the stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. This will help to control your stress levels and keep you healthy.
Potassium also reduces your risk of suffering osteoporosis; a bone disease. It is extremely beneficial for persons who are diabetic too.
What Happens if you Stay away from Potassium?
Staying away from potassium is definitely bad news for your health. Here are a few things you expose yourself to when you avoid potassium-rich diets.
When you avoid potassium, you put yourself at the risk of suffering from a condition known as hypokalemia. This is simply the result of having low potassium levels or potassium deficiency. Patients diagnosed with this condition are likely to experience weaknesses and fatigue regularly. Muscle cramps and spasms may also follow.
The patient is also likely to have issues with food digestion. He or she may experience bloating and constipation. Other issues that may arise include heart palpitations, muscle aches, and stiffness; tingling and numbness.
I certainly do not wish to deal with any of these problems so I’ll be sure to have potassium in my everyday diet. You should do the same.
Something about Difficulty in Breathing
Oxygen is free but what happens when you can’t get enough simply because you have stayed away from potassium for too long? I’m talking about experiencing difficulty in breathing here. If you have ever experienced breathing difficulties, you will know it is as harrowing as it gets.
Potassium deficiency can lead to breathing difficulties. When your body lacks this vital mineral, your lungs may not expand and contract properly and this can lead to shortness of breath. It can also affect your oxygen levels. If this persists, your lungs could stop working and this will be fatal.
What about Supplements?
Although not usually advised, you can also turn to potassium supplements for your potassium needs. However, the best sources of this essential mineral are your natural foods and fruits.
Potassium is my new bestie! There are too many reasons not to miss potassium in your next diet. It sure offers a wealth of opportunities for your well-being. I will be enjoying a potassium-rich diet for lunch, today. Do well to join me.