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.