The potassium , calcium and after phosphorus is the mineral that is in larger quantities in our body. It is a very important nutrient for the health of the body, since it helps it at different levels. To begin with, it is in charge of balancing the fluids and minerals in the body, it is key to maintaining healthy muscles and it participates in the contraction of these and the heart, it facilitates the correct function of the nerves and the kidneys and helps to maintain the blood pressure to normal levels. Therefore, it is essential to provide the body with the recommended daily dose of potassium and for this, nothing better than knowing which foods are richest in potassium.
In this post we show a complete list of the main food sources of this mineral, in addition to the most important benefits it has for health.
Recommended daily potassium dose
The recommended doses of potassium per day vary depending on the age of the people. In the case of children from 0 to 3 years old, the daily amount of potassium should be 0.8 grams per day; children from 4 to 6 years of 1 gram a day and children from 7 to 10 years of 2 grams a day. Adults should consume around 3 grams of potassium daily.
Health benefits of potassium
Potassium is a very necessary mineral for the body, since it performs very important functions and offers health benefits such as those listed below:
- Protects and improves cellular health: it is a key mineral for the cells of the body to remain perfectly nourished and hydrated. Thanks to this nutrient, the entry of sodium into the cells is possible, which is essential for their correct nutrition, as well as the elimination of toxic substances and excessive liquids.
- It is key for the formation and recovery of muscles: on the one hand, this mineral provides the body with a lot of energy and helps to replace all the fluids and electrolytes lost during the perspiration process. On the other hand, it is an electrolyte that makes possible the transmission of nerve impulses and, consequently, that the muscles contract and recover favorably after each physical effort.
- Very beneficial for heart health: it helps reduce hypertension and prevents fluid retention. In addition, it is excellent for protecting the health of the heart because it regulates the heart rhythm and prevents conditions such as arrhythmias .
- It is an antioxidant mineral: potassium has been shown to be a mineral that also helps fight the action of free radicals in the body, which are mainly responsible for the oxidation of cells and the development of diseases such as cancer.
- Improves bone health: it is excellent for maintaining bone density and preventing osteoporosis . Foods rich in potassium decrease the amount of calcium that is expelled through the urine, which contributes to improved bone health, preventing them from demineralizing.
- Improves the functions of the kidneys: it protects kidney health by improving the blood supply to these organs and also prevents the formation of stones or stones in the kidneys.
- Production of gastric juices: it is a mineral necessary for the production of gastric juices in the stomach, since its cells release potassium chloride which, later, becomes hydrochloric acid (gastric juices).
- Balances fluids in the body: together with sodium and chlorine, potassium maintains the balance of the amount of fluids in the body and controls the normal distribution of water.
- It is involved in important metabolic processes: it helps in the production of proteins, in the metabolism of carbohydrates , in the secretion of insulin, in increasing neuronal excitability, etc.
Symptoms of a lack of potassium
Some of the symptoms that may indicate a significant potassium deficiency include the following:
- Muscle weakness and fatigue
- Bone and joint pain.
- Lack of energy.
- Stomach bloating
- Low tension.
- Loss of appetite
- Swelling or edema
Potassium rich foods
Let’s see what are the main food sources of potassium in the following list, we will show the approximate amount of potassium in milligrams that is found in a serving of 100 grams of each food:
Who needs to increase potassium intake in the diet
There are several conditions or situations that may require a person to need to ingest a greater amount of potassium through diet or through taking supplements prescribed by the doctor:
- You suffer from hypertension or high blood pressure.
- Diuretic medications are being taken, which cause the body to lose potassium.
- Follow a diet rich in salt: our daily diet should be richer in potassium than sodium.
- Doing physical exercise without eating: practicing physical activity without consuming isotonic drinks or the right foods can lead to low levels of electrolytes, such as potassium, sodium and chlorine.
- Follow a diet very low in potassium: those who focus their diet on the consumption of meat may present low levels of this mineral, since it is found mostly in foods of plant origin.
Hello Readers, I am Nikki Bella a Psychology student. I have always been concerned about human behavior and the mental processes that lead us to act and think the way we do. My collaboration as an editor in the psychology area of Well Being Pole has allowed me to investigate further and expand my knowledge in the field of mental health; I have also acquired great knowledge about physical health and well-being, two fundamental bases that are directly related and are part of all mental health.