The Importance of Potassium Rich Foods

There are countless diets and diet books on the market that people utilize to lose weight and achieve a healthy lifestyle. Some people give up carbs or stick to a short list of acceptable foods in order to limit their intake of certain substances. While some of these tactics may help you to succeed in becoming healthier or losing weight, often they take a toll on your body in the long run. The best way to become healthier is to learn about what your body needs and to take the proper steps to ensure that your body gets all of the essential nutrients. For example, many people are unaware how important potassium rich foods are in maintaining the healthy function of the body. By learning about the role potassium plays in your body and by increasing your intake of this valuable mineral you can achieve a healthier lifestyle without all the hassle that some of the popular fad diets demand.

Potassium is one of the three most abundant minerals in the body and it plays a role in many bodily functions. For example, it is crucial in regulating blood pressure and heart function and it also plays a role in the elimination of wastes. This valuable mineral regulates fluid levels and electrolytic functions in addition to maintaining electrical conductivity levels important for brain function. Without potassium, or with a potassium deficiency, the body begins to break down – muscle spasms occur, energy cannot be properly processed, blood pressure and heart rates increase, and serious conditions such as heart failure and stroke may even occur. In order to avoid these consequences and to maintain the proper function of the body, it is important to consume adequate amounts of potassium rich foods.

There are many natural sources of potassium including fruits, vegetables, and several types of proteins. Bananas are well-known for containing potassium but other fruits like papaya, prunes, apricots, oranges, raisins, mangoes, kiwi, and cantaloupe do as well. Vegetables that are rich in potassium include tomatoes, potatoes, pumpkins, spinach, brussel sprouts, asparagus, beets, artichokes, and carrots. The least-processed forms of these foods contain the most potassium as do natural protein sources such as beef, salmon, poutlry, peanuts, soy, and beans. In addition to these natural sources, potassium can be consumed via supplement tablets which generally come in 99mg doses. These supplements may be beneficial for those who need a boost in their potassium intake but an intake of more than 99mg of potassium supplement can lead to stomach irritation and difficulties with absorption.

While there are many benefits to increasing your intake of potassium rich foods, there are dangers associated with having too much potassium in your body. The recommended level of potassium is 2,000mg to 3,000mg daily and to exceed this amount may result in heart palpitations, stomach cramps, irritability, or heart failure. In many cases, kidney disease, severe infection, or diuretic medications are the cause of potassium overdose, or hyperkalemia, but it is still important for everyone to keep an eye on their potassium intake. By taking the initiative to learn about the essential nutrients your body needs and by taking steps to supply those nutrients, you can easily make the change toward a healthier lifestyle.

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