Why Do We Need Potassium?

Potassium is an important mineral for the proper functioning of all cells, tissues, and organs in the human body. Along with sodium, calcium, and magnesium,  potassium shaped group of the most important minerals and electrolytes. Knowing the basic facts about potassium can greatly help in maintaining overall health.

Potassium plays an important role in the processes of the body, such as the function of nerves and muscles and maintaining the balance of fluids. If you suffer from high blood pressure or if you have heart problems, intake of potassium is very important. There is evidence that potassium lowers blood pressure and reduces the risk of arrhythmia.

Read Also: Diabetic Diet – A Healthy Eating Habit.

The presence of enough potassium in the body reduces the amount of calcium lost in the urine, protects bones against osteoporosis and reduces the risk of kidney stones. Although potassium is not directly related to cholesterol, the consumption of foods rich in potassium can contribute to reducing the level of cholesterol in the body.

Low Potassium in your body – Symptoms

Potassium is a mineral that is found in all groups of food, but poor feeding habits can cause lack of potassium in the body. Although the lack is not directly connected with any disease still receiving enough potassium is especially important for overall health and proper functioning of the body, especially the heart. The lack of potassium called hypocalcemia and occurs when the level of potassium in the body is normal.

Some of the symptoms that occur when there is a lack of potassium:

  • fatigue
  • Muscle cramps
  • constipation
  • Abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmia)

If you suspect you suffer from lack of potassium, do consult a doctor.

RISK GROUPS of Potassium lack

Although potassium can be easily recovered through diet, some groups of people are more prone to the phenomenon of lack of this mineral.

  • Athletes. Because more athletes sweat, they lose a large amount of potassium. Athletes should be especially careful with enough potassium.
  • People who consume alcohol. The more you drink, the more you urinate, and thus lose potassium.
  • People taking certain medications. Drugs that have a diuretic effect can easily contribute to an appearance of hypocalcemia.

Recommended daily needs of Potassium

The recommended daily potassium needs vary depending on the age of the person:

  • Infants (0-6 months) – 400mg
  • Babies (6-12 months) – 700mg
  • Children (1-3 years) – 3000mg
  • Children (4-8 years) – 3800mg
  • Children (9-13 years) – 4500mg
  • Teenagers (14-18) – 4500mg
  • Adults (19 years and up) – 4700mg

Foods rich in Potassium

The proper balanced diet should bring enough potassium, so the lack of potassium in people who practice a balanced diet is very rare. You can find potassium in orange juice, potatoes, bananas, avocados, tomatoes, broccoli, cantaloupe, apricots, strawberries, spinach, and milk. But, also can be found in cabbage, eggplant, figs, plums, mushrooms, almonds, peanuts, cucumber, tuna, sardines and most meats and fish.

Here are some additional tips that will help you enter more potassium through food:

  • Do not overdo the cooking. Potassium levels in many foods can drop even 60% if you overdo with cooking.
  • Do not cook vegetables in water. The vegetables that are boiled in large amounts of water in the cooking process lose many of which contain potassium.
  • Avoid processed foods. As often Consume fresh unprocessed food. Processed foods contain very little sodium.
Recovery Diet

Recovery Diet – A General View

All the people who are seriously addicted to the use of alcohol and drugs are malnourished. In order to recover the people and help them, it is very important to know the need and effect of nutrition. It is astonished greatly to know that there are more calories in fat per gram than alcohol.

Due to this addicted people while drinking feel a sense of fullness though eaten a little quantity or nothing at all. These calories of alcohol are an empty calorie that leads to malnutrition and even poor diet. A same effect is observed by drug abusers.

Alcohol and drugs breaks down the nutrients by flushing them as toxins from the body and does not absorb any nutrients properly. This can give rise to a host of many health problems like cirrhosis of liver, Depression, Cardiovascular diseases, Gastritis and others.

Changing habits for physical and spiritual health

The positive response is observed in the essence of recovery and it is changing the negative behavior. For this successful change relaxation, nutrition and proper exercise are more important. To achieve and possess a healthy life style, it is important to learn and make healthy choices of foods.

Experiences in diet by addicts

The addicted people experience problems like gastrointestinal disorders if they neglect their diet. They experience diseases like diarrhea, constipation, lack of capacity to digest food with a poor desired for food. Due to this they require special foods that are high in nutrient supplements to cover up the damaged tissues, organs and get back the proper functioning of nervous and gastrointestinal systems and other parts of the body.

Effects of nutrition to stop alcohol and drugs

Nutrition gets effect deeply to those who stop the craze for alcohol and drugs. The addicts recover themselves newly and battles with the alcohol habit in a very difficult way. It is revealed by the researches that following a diet with exact types of high proteins and rich carbohydrate foods can bring out a better difference in health.

Effect of foods on mood

Food affects on the mood. Deficiency of amino acids, nutrients like complex vitamins and folic acids have a negative and serious effect on mood. The mood of human being changes with intake of sugar and caffeine quantity. So the consuming of sugar and caffeine must be reduced to get recovery during the early stages.

The two important amino acids are tyrosine and tryptophan which are responsible for the production of norepinephrine, serotonin and dopamine in the body. These are prevented from processing properly in the body when alcohol and drugs are used frequently.

These are neurotransmitters compounds that are important for stability of emotions, mental clarity and for a state of being well. When these levels of neurotransmitters are decreased then they effect negatively on behaviour and mood.

Nutrients as chemical messengers

Tyrosine is a precursor to norepinephrine neurotransmitters and dopamine which are identified as chemical messengers to promote alertness and better mental acuteness. It is one of the non essential amino acid that is found in foods with rich proteins like meat, sea food, tofu and poultry products.

Action of tryptophan

Tryptophan is very important for the production of serotonin which gives a soothing effect to mind and is important to get food sleep you find tryptophan in foods like banana, sunflower and milk and even in turkey meat.