Potassium is an essential mineral which maintains fluid and electrolyte balance in the body. It is the third most important mineral which is required for the functioning of several organs, including the kidneys, brain, heart and muscular tissues.
Potassium also plays a major role in keeping the body hydrated and works along with sodium to support cellular function and perform several critical body tasks.
Potassium is found in a number of fruits and vegetables from salmon, milk, chicken, banana, almonds, potatoes, avocados to coconut water. Potassium is a prime nutrient that cures blood pressure, heart and kidney disorders, enhances muscle strength, electrolyte functions and nervous system.
If you do not include potassium-rich foods in your diet, you may suffer from potassium deficiency. Low potassium levels in the body can lead to hypokalaemia, which includes headaches, dehydration, heart palpitations and other health disorders.
Potassium benefits your body in many ways. So, have a look at the health benefits of potassium.
1. Boosts Heart Health
Potassium plays a direct role in maintaining the rhythm of your heartbeat. It helps to keep your heart healthy and kidneys running smoothly. Low potassium levels in the body can slower your heartbeat, which causes stroke or a heart attack.
2. Decreases Muscle Cramps
Potassium decreases muscle cramps and improves muscle strength. Low potassium levels cause muscle weakness, muscle cramps and muscle aches. Consume a banana daily to prevent muscle cramps because bananas are high in potassium.
3. Alleviate High Blood Pressure
Studies have shown that a diet full of potassium-rich foods helps to lower blood pressure. Potassium aids in reversing the role of sodium in stabilizing the blood pressure. This reduces the risk of hypertension and heart diseases.
4. Prevents Osteoporosis
Did you know citrate and bicarbonate are two potassium salts that are found in potassium-rich vegetables and fruits? This helps to improve the health of your bones and prevents osteoporosis. Potassium also neutralizes various acids in the body, which aid in preserving calcium that is required for bone strength.
5. Stimulates Neural Activity
If you have enough potassium in your body, it will allow more oxygen to reach the brain and stimulate neural activity and increase cognitive function. It will help to sharpen your memory and that’s the reason why banana is called a ‘brain food’.
6. Boosts Metabolism
Potassium helps in the metabolic processing of important nutrients like fats and carbohydrates. This mineral also assists in extracting the energy from nutrients that you consume. Potassium plays an integral part in the synthesis of protein, which impacts cell growth, tissue regeneration and balances metabolism.
7. Reduces Anxiety And Stress
If you are suffering with stress and anxiety, consume potassium-rich fruits and vegetables. Because potassium acts as a powerful stress buster and ensures efficient mental performance. It helps to regulate various hormones in the body.
8. Maintains Water Balance
Potassium plays a chief role in optimal fluid balance in the body. Different cells in your body require a proper water balance for effective functioning. Potassium helps these cells in regulating the balance and thus optimizes fluid balance.
9. Improves The Nervous System
Potassium is an effective mineral in boosting the efficiency of nerve reflexes that transmit the message to other body parts. This assists in muscle contraction to perform various activities throughout the day without getting tired quickly.
10. Reduces The Risk Of Stroke
People who consume potassium-rich foods experience a lower risk of stroke. Increase in high blood pressure can lead to stroke. So, to decrease the risk of stroke, consume fruits and vegetables which are high in potassium.
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Story first published: Tuesday, February 13, 2018, 12:06 [IST]