Potassium: Health Benefits, Sources, and Side Effects
Potassium is an important mineral and electrolyte. It plays an important role in many functions of the body for instance heartbeat and blood pressure regulation, proper conduct of the nerve, protein synthesis, glycogen synthesis (the storage form of the glucose), and contraction of the muscle.
It is a major mineral in the intra and extracellular environments that maintain osmotic pressure. In most fruits, vegetables, lentils, and seeds, potassium is naturally present.
Abnormally low or high blood potassium levels are uncommon in healthy people with normal kidney function.
Dosage of potassium
· The recommended amount of potassium for males is 3400 mg and for women is 2300 mg.
· The recommended intake of potassium is for males and women of more than 19 years.
Foods rich in potassium
The food sources of potassium are;
- Lean meats and whole grains
- Nuts and beans
- Vegetables such as carrots, potatoes, and green vegetables
- Fruits such as bananas, pineapples, apricots, oranges, and kiwi
Health Benefits of Potassium
1. Potassium helps in treat migraine headaches
Potassium is also used as a diclofenac to relieve pain, swelling (inflammation), and joint stiffness caused by arthritis. K flam diclofenac potassium is a well know medicine to relieve pain from various conditions.
2. Potassium helps in Reduction of Stroke
Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States and is the main cause of disability in adults, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
By taking different measures, you can reduce your chances or prevent stroke risk.
3. Potassium Increases Bone Mineral Density
In today’s diet of the western world, the alkaline (fruit and vegetables) sources and the acid source are relatively high (fish, meats, and cheeses) in comparison to the alkaline sources.
The body will take out alkaline calcium salts from the bone to neutralize the pH when the pH equilibrium is low.
Some scientists suggest that increased intakes of potassium-rich fruits or supplements of potassium minimize the diet’s net acidity and can retain calcium in bones.
4. Potassium for Kidney Stones
The risk of developing kidney stones is increasing due to abnormally high urinary calcium (hypercalciuria). Diets high in protein and low in potassium can help increase the formation of stone.
The increased intake of potassium will decrease the risk of urinary calcium either by adding fruit and vegetables or by increasing the intake of supplements.
5. Potassium for Hypertension
High Blood pressure can make it difficult for the heart to function, and it raises the risk of heart and other diseases such as stroke, heart failure, blindness, and kidney disease.
Diet enriched with fruit, vegetable, and low-fat dairy products will significantly lower blood pressure with a reduction in saturated and total fat.
6. Potassium for Prevention of Muscle Cramping
Hard core workouts do not need the replacement of potassium and sodium electrolytes since they are depleted by sweat.
However, sufficient levels of potassium and sodium seem most essential before, during, and after exercise for the prevention of muscle cramping.
Side Effects of potassium
You should take the recommended amount of potassium or as prescribed by the healthcare professional otherwise it can cause many serious health conditions. There are side effects of taking too much potassium such as;
- Abdominal and stomach pain
- Hyperkalemia (high amount of potassium in the blood)