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Potassium – What You Need To Know.

Potassium – What You Need To Know.

Potassium is not just an element found in igneous rocks or its uses limited to fertilisers. Its also found in the human body and plays an important role in its daily functioning. So, having the right measure of potassium in your diet keeps your body working like the well-oiled machine it is designed to be!

Potassium is not just an element found in igneous rocks or its uses limited to fertilisers. Its also found in the human body and plays an important role in its daily functioning. So, having the right measure of potassium in your diet keeps your body working like the well-oiled machine it is designed to be!

Why You Need Potassium

Potassium plays a vital role in regulating fluid, sending nerve signals and muscle contractions.

Potassium aids your kidneys in eliminating the extra sodium from your body through the urine. This is something to be thankful for, in light of the fact that an excess of sodium can cause hypertension and other problems!

Bone health and regulation of calcium absorption and calcium loss from your body is tied to its potassium levels. This implies that potassium is important to prevent thinning of your bones.

Thats not all, potassium is immensely important in regulating your heart rhythm aka your heart beat!

On the off chance that your kidneys aren’t functioning at peak levels, an excessive amount of potassium could remain in your blood, a state known as hyperkalemia, which can cause heart and muscle issues and if not treated promptly, will become fatal.

Hypokalemia or low blood potassium is seen in people with poor nutrition, excessive vomiting, adrenal gland disorders, using certain drugs. Hypokalemia can present with weakness, fatigue, muscle cramps, depression, hallucinations etc.

How Much Is Enough?

There is no recommended daily allowance but the WHO recommends consuming at least 3,500 mg per day through food. Although, taking an amount higher than 4700 mg/day has not shown any beneficial or negative effects .

AgeAdequate Intake
(approx.)
0-6 months400 mg/day
7-12 months700 mg/day
1-3 years3000 mg/day
4-8 years3800 mg/day
9-13 years4500 mg/day
14years and up4700 mg/day
Pregnant women4700 mg/day
Breastfeeding women5100 mg/day

Your potassium needs may be unique if you have a kidney disorder, electrolyte imbalance, heart disease, diabetes.The amount needed may be higher or lower than the daily recommended dose. If you ail from these disorders and are worried about your potassium intake, consult your physician.

Athletes, manual labourers, certain ethnicities require a higher amount.

Food Sources of Potassium

Photo by Chris Johnson
Fruit Soures
  • Bananas
  • Oranges
  • Melon
  • Honeydew
  • Apricots
  • Grapefruit
  • Prunes
  • Raisins
  • Dates
Plant Sources
  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Potatoes
  • Yams
  • Mushrooms
  • Peas
  • Cucumbers
  • Soybeans
  • Lentils
  • Green beans
  • Pinto beans
  • Kidney beans
Animal Sources
  • Halibut
  • Cod
  • Trout
  • Rockfish
  • Tuna
  • Meat
  • Poultry
Other sources
  • Salt substitutes (read label to check potassium levels)
  • Molasses
  • Nuts
  • Meat and poultry
  • Brown and wild rice
  • Grain oat
  • Whole wheat bread and pasta

Conclusion

Potassium is an important element that ensures the smooth functioning of your body. Get daily dose effortlessly by adding from an array of yummy fruits and veggies to your diet!

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