Potassium is an invaluable piece of the essential nutrients infrastructure your body requires to stay strong and function normally. In particular, organs like your heart and kidney, and more, all require potassium to operate optimally.
Uses in cells, organs, nervous system, and muscles
Potassium is needed to maintain communication between the body’s muscles and nerves, which essentially dictate the entire functioning of so many systems within the body. Potassium can actually undo some of the ill effects of sodium, helping regulate your blood pressure and lowering it. Besides this, it plays the role of transporter of nutrients to the cells of your body and of by-products or waste out of these cells.
Importance of Potassium
Potassium plays a role in regulating blood pressure and keeping healthy heart functions going. Not having adequate levels could expose you to the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and strokes.
It also seems to have a preventive role to play in certain cancers.
Fertility also rests on having the required levels of potassium.
Taking potassium supplements for someone with arthritis can ease symptoms and restore some function.
Your digestive system too needs potassium to work properly, failing which you could develop various digestive disorders.
A balanced healthy diet contains adequate amounts of potassium. However, the reality for most people today is that their diet is severely deficient in potassium. You may therefore, need to include a dietary supplement to your routine, under the guidance of a physician.
The use of certain medication including birth control pills and diuretics can also cause a potassium deficiency, even if your diet has the necessary daily recommended levels of the mineral.
Individuals with very physically active lives, including athletes, tend to develop a deficiency. Smoking, drug, and alcohol abuse could also impact potassium levels.
Potassium rich diet
Start your day with some banana slices over your cereal or oats and a handful of almonds added for that extra potassium boost.
Enjoy a green meal with spinach and Swiss chard tossed into your pasta or served as a side. Cooking out your fruit and veggies can deplete quantities so they are best eaten raw or very lightly steamed.
Squeeze some citrus into your salads or over your meat for an easy potassium boost or end a meal with a fresh citrus fruit salad to make the most of the potassium in these tart fruits.
Those who like their carbs will enjoy including a portion of sweet potatoes or potatoes baked or lightly roasted to main meals.
Dig out a recipe for some Italian style bean soups for a meal in a bowl. You could use Lima beans, Pinto beans or lentils.
Depending on whether you fall into a category of individual who is likely to be deficient or not, you may wish to consult a physician to prescribe the right dosage of potassium in the form of capsules or tablets.