Find Out Why Do You Need Potassium
Do you know that Potassium is the 3rd most abundant mineral present in the human body? It has a vital role to play in many bodily processes but many people don’t consume enough of it. Keep reading to find out why you need potassium for good health and how much of it you need per day!
Potassium – What is it?
Potassium is a vital mineral and electrolyte present in the body. This mineral is found in various foods which include legumes, leafy veggies and fish.
98% of the potassium in the body is present inside cells. 80% of that is present inside muscle cells whereas 20 percent is in bone, liver and red blood cells. This mineral has a role to play in heart function, muscle contractions and managing water balance.
The sad part is that many adults don’t consume enough potassium. But that does not mean that they are getting deficient. The surprising fact is that potassium deficiency is rarely caused by lack of potassium intake. It usually occurs when the body loses a huge amount of it due to vomiting or diarrhea. You can lose potassium if you are on diuretics (they are medicines that make you lose water).
What are the best dietary sources of potassium?
Potassium health benefits
How much potassium do you need per day?
Potassium needs vary based on your activity level, ethnicity and health status. Right now there is no RDI for potassium but organizations all over the world recommend consumption of a minimum of 3,500 mg per day through diet.
Excess of potassium
Do you know that there is a health condition called hyperkalemia due to excess of potassium in your blood? It can be dangerous but you need not worry as there isn’t any significant evidence that potassium from your diet can lead to hyperkalemia. This condition affects those who have a poor kidney function or people who are on medications that can affect kidney function. The reason behind this is that excess potassium is removed from the body by the kidneys. Having poorly functioning kidneys can cause a buildup of the mineral in the blood.
Consuming excessive potassium supplements can also lead to hyperkalemia.
People who need less of potassium than others
Those suffering from chronic kidney disease should ask their doctor regarding the right intake of potassium. People consuming blood pressure medicines are also at the risk of hyperkalemia and should watch their potassium intake. The third group includes the elderly because as one ages the kidney function declines and hence they need to be careful about their potassium intake.
The Bottom Line
Potassium is important for the body and you must make sure that you have enough of it. So, include potassium rich foods in your diet.
I am sure you found this post about why you need potassium useful!
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