Potassium - Benefits, Deficiency Symptoms And Food Sources
What is Potassium?
Potassium is the third most abundant mineral in the body and is considered an electrolyte. The human body has about a 4 1/2 ounce supply and most of it is located inside muscle cells. Potassium is a major nutrient in fruits and vegetables and is the predominant positive electrolyte in body cells. Potassium, together with sodium - potassium inside the cell and sodium in the fluid surrounding the cell, work together for the nervous system to transmit messages as well as regulating the contraction of muscles.
Uses and Benefits of Potassium
Potassium mineral is important for a healthy nervous system and a regular heart rhythm. It helps prevent stroke, aids in proper muscle contraction, and works with sodium to control the body's water balance. Potassium is important for chemical reactions within the cells and aids in maintaining stable blood pressure and in transmitting electrochemical impulses. A 1997 review of earlier studies showed that low potassium intake may be a significant factor in the development of high blood pressure. Potassium also regulates the transfer of nutrients through cell membranes. This function of potassium has been shown to decrease with age, which may account for some of the circulatory damage, lethargy, and weakness experienced by older people. Together with magnesium, potassium can help prevent calcium-oxalate kidney stones.
Recommended Dosage of Potassium
The Recommended Dosage for Potassium are :-
Special Intake of Potassium
Potassium is easily lost in the urine, and if large amounts of salt is ingested, it may be wise to take a potassium supplement. If you are suffering from vomiting, diarrhea or extreme sweating you may require more potassium or if your diet includes mostly processed foods, large amounts of caffeine, alcohol, or if you take diuretic pills or laxatives.
Deficiency Symptoms of Potassium.
Signs of potassium deficiency include abnormally dry skin, acne, chills, cognitive impairment, constipation, depression, diarrhea, diminished reflex function, edema, nervousness, insatiable thirst, fluctuations in heartbeat, glucose intolerance, growth impairment, high cholesterol levels, insomnia, low blood pressure, muscular fatigue and weakness, nausea and vomiting, periodic headaches, proteinuria (protein in the urine), respiratory distress, and salt retention.
Rich Food Sources of Potassium
Food sources of potassium include dairy foods, fish, fruit, legumes, meat, poultry, vegetables, and whole grains. High amounts are found in apricots, avocados, bananas, lima beans, blackstrap molasses, brewer's yeast, brown rice, dates, dulse, figs, dried fruit, garlic, nuts, potatoes, raisins, spinach, winter squash, torula yeast, wheat bran, yams, and yogurt. Herbs that contain potassium include catnip, hops, horsetail, nettle, plantain, red clover, sage, and skullcap.
Cautions and side effects of Potassium
Kidney disorders, diarrhea, and the use of diuretics or laxatives all disrupt potassium levels. Tobacco and caffeine reduce potassium absorption. Using large amounts of licorice over long periods can deplete the body's potassium supply. Potassium is needed for hormone secretion. The secretion of stress hormones causes a decrease in the potassium-to-sodium ratio both inside and outside the cells. As a result, stress increases the body's potassium requirements.
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