Potassium is one of the essential nutrients needed by the body. It plays a significant role in maintaining the balance of fluids and electrolyte in your body. This mineral is required for proper functioning of the various body organs such as the kidneys, muscle tissues, brain, and heart. It also plays a crucial role in the body by keeping it hydrated.
Potassium also supports other cellular functions in the body when it works with sodium. Deficiency of potassium in the body leads to a severe health condition such as dehydration, swelling of the tissues and glands, heart palpitations and severe headaches.Its deficiency can also lead to weight gain, irritability, fatigue, cellulite build up, muscle cramps and increased blood pressure.
The main causes of low levels of this mineral include vomiting, low diet in vegetables and fruits, diarrhoea, and lack of proper hydration after cardiovascular exercise. Potassium can be obtained from the natural foods which are considered to be healthy and safe. You are advised to avoid overconsumption of potassium though the potassium salts as this might lead to vomiting and nausea.
Here is a list of the natural foods rich potassium
- Avocado -1068 mg per fruit
- Spinach – 839 mg per cup
- Sweet potato-952 mg for the medium sized one
- Yoghurt or kefir-579 mg per cup
- Bananas-422 mg per fruit
- Acorn squash-899 mg per cup
- Mushrooms-428 mg per cup
- Dried apricots-1510 mg per cup
The following are the health benefits of potassium
Treatment of muscle cramps
Consumption of foods rich in potassium help in improving your muscle strength and thus decrease the cramping of muscles. Muscle cramps are associated with low levels of potassium. This is a common phenomenon in athletes who gets dehydrates because of not consuming potassium rich foods after and before the exercise.
Reduces the risks of stroke
Studies conducted have revealed that consumption of potassium lowers the risks of stroke. It reduces stroke by lowering the blood pressure especially when it is combined with other vegetables and fruits.
Alleviates high blood pressure
Diets rich in potassium such as fresh vegetables and fruits help in lowering the blood pressure. It works bests when someone reduces the consumption of foods rich in sodium.
Reduces cellulite appearance
The build of cellulite in the body causes fluid retention. People who consume a lot of sodium have low levels of potassium in their bodies. Sodium brings more nutrients into the cells whereas potassium helps in flushing the excess waste from the cells. You should, therefore, reduce the consumption of sodium and consume more potassium foods. Proper balance between the potassium and sodium ions helps in reducing the appearance of cellulite.