Potassium

Health Benefits of Potassium

Potassium is the third most abundant mineral in the human body and classified as an electrolyte because it is highly reactive in water.

Potassium dissolved in water produces positively charged ions. This special property should not to be underestimated since it allows it to conduct electricity which is vital for maintaining a high level of well-being and the enjoyment of an improved lifestyle and help reduce blood pressure, help prevent osteoporosis and kidney stones.

Potassium is an essential nutrient that acts as an electrolyte in our bodies and is the mineral required to regulate fluid balance and assist in keeping the heart, brain, kidney, muscles and organ systems of the body in good order.

A deficiency in potassium is indicated by symptoms such as fatigue and muscle weakness, abnormal heartbeat, heart palpitations, anemia, severe headaches. Potassium-deficient people may experience severe symptoms such as high blood pressure, intestinal pain and diabetes.

Your diet can provide ample amounts of potassium, potassium-rich foods include citrus fruits, vegetables and grains, salmon, poultry, whole milk, almonds, lima beans, avocados, bananas and coconut water.

 

Potassium Maintains Water Balance & Critical Body Fluids

The body is made of approximately 60% water, 40% in cells in a substance called intracellular fluid (ICF). 60% is extracellular fluid (ECF) and is found outside your cells in your blood, spinal fluid and between cells. The amount of water in the ICF affected mainly by the concentration of potassium and ECF is affected by the concentration of sodium. Another significant role of potassium is to maintain optimal fluid balances in the human body. Fluid balance promotes optimal organ systems functions. Poor fluid balance can lead to dehydration, which affects the heart and kidneys. Potassium is also a great human body electrolyte, it helps regulate critical body fluids and functions. Electrolytes help transmit electrical charges from the brain and nervous system to the rest of the body. Proper cell hydration boosts nerve reflex efficiency and facilitates everyday activities without tiring quickly.

 

Potassium Enhances Bone Health

Maintaining normal to high levels of potassium neutralizes various acids in the body and allows the body to preserve calcium, making it accessible for bone strength and durability. A study at the Linus Pauling Institute Micronutrient Information Center says that eating fruits and vegetables with high levels of potassium results in higher mineral density in bones, thus strengthening and prolonging life.

 

Potassium Regulates Neural Function

Potassium plays an important role in keeping brain function at normal levels by maintaining electrical conductivity. Potassium currents are interconnected with a vast array of neural function and helps moderate and regulate electrical current throughout the body. Optimal levels of potassium allows more oxygen to reach the brain, stimulating neural activity and increasing cognition. A high intake of potassium from food sources may protect against stroke-associated death. Potassium acts as a vasodilator and blood vessels relax when adequate levels of this mineral is attained. Relaxed blood vessels allow blood to flow more freely and are less likely to clot and break off to cause strokes.

 

Potassium Stabilizes Blood Pressure & Blood Sugar

Blood sugar drops in conjunction with potassium levels. A decrease in blood sugar can cause sweating, headache, weakness, nervousness and trembling. Taking potassium chloride and sodium provides immediate relief, this is why diabetics are encouraged to keep potassium levels normal, to reduce the chances of unpredictable spikes and plunges in glucose and insulin levels by stabliizing the body’s blood sugar levels.

 

Potassium Strengthens Muscles & Reduces Muscle Cramps and Disorders

Sufficient concentrations of potassium is required for muscles to properly contract and release. Most of the body’s potassium ions are located in the muscle cells. Optimal muscle and nerve function helps stimulate neural connectivity of the brain and muscles and helps keep our reflexes fast. Muscle cramps are commonly experienced as a result of low blood levels of potassium in the blood.

 

Potassium Boosts Metabolism

Potassium assists with metabolic processing of fats and carbohydrates, extracting energy from the nutrients in the foods we eat. Detailed studies done in Denmark have shown that potassiym also synthesizes protein which helps with overall balanced metabolism and cell growth and tissue regeneration.

 

Potassium Reduces Anxiety and Stress

Potassium is considered a powerful stress buster and is of great importance for people suffering from stress and anxiety. Adequate levels of potassium ensures efficient mental performance. Potassium assists with hormone regulation, including stress hormones like cortisol and adreniline, excess amounts of which are detrimental to your overall health.

 

Potassium Boosts Heart & Kidney Health

The health benefits of potassium ensure good health for the heart & kidneys by playing a role in regulating the body’s metabolism and helping to keep the heart and kidneys operating smoothly. This irreplaceable mineral assists the kidneys in removing waste through the process of excretion.

 

Caution

Excess potassium can be detrimental or harmful in certain situations, such as people with kidney issues that cannot properly process this mineral. Excessive levels of potassium can lead to heart disease, muscle paralysis, symptoms such as shortness of breath, tingling in the hands and feet, nausea and heart arrhythmia.

 

[1] https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/minerals/health-benefits-of-potassium.html
[2] https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF02425493#page-1
[3] https://www.healthline.com/symptom/dehydration
[4] https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/food-beverages
[5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2819012
[6] https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1185/03007997409111880