There are seven macrominerals that play an essential role in the improvement of our health and one of them is potassium.
It is suggested that people take in no less than 100 mg of potassium on a daily basis in order to maintain the function of different body parts.
In fact, potassium can be found in a wide range of foods, especially green leafy vegetables.
Nevertheless, a number of people in the United States do not provide enough potassium for their body due to the lack of vegetable consumption. As a consequence, they are more exposed to health problems.
It is worth concerning that too low or too high potassium level can put an end to the function of our brain and heart.
Therefore, it is necessary to include potassium in every meal to support your health.
Overall, foods which contain the most considerable amount of potassium are often natural and unprocessed.
As mentioned before, leafy green vegetables are top sources of potassium, with some typical examples: avocados, bananas, tomatoes and potatoes.
It is also important that you understand the association between potassium and sodium.
They serve as each other’s partner and contribute to the balance of minerals in the body together.
As the amount of potassium intake decreases, the concentration of sodium in the body will be foreseen, which might have negative effects on our health.
Health Benefits of Potassium
Here are top 8 health benefits of potassium that might persuade you to increase the daily intake of potassium-rich foods.
One of the most popular health benefits of potassium is to help you cope with cramps and sometimes, pain in the muscles.
When the level of potassium is low in your blood, it might trigger hypokalemia (1).
As a result, you are likely to experience muscle cramps.
The supplement of potassium will prevent these problems quickly.
In addition, potassium-rich fruits, such as banana, are often a close companion of those who work out intensely at the gym. It is because potassium can provide a quick relief from muscle pain.
Some studies also concentrated on the effectiveness of potassium in improving muscles among elderly people (2).
Bottom Line: Potassium can have protective effects on your muscles, prevent cramps and pain.
2. Blood Pressure
To prevent high blood pressure is crucial if you want to lead a healthy life. And there are numerous ways to achieve the goal (3).
In terms of nutrition, the presence of potassium in daily meals is necessary for this objective.
To lower the level of blood pressure is also one of the best health benefits of potassium.
Several research pointed out that the participation of potassium is effective to control the blood pressure and the flow of blood (4).
Besides, it is commonly acknowledged that low potassium levels are associated with an increase in high blood pressure and as a consequence, a higher risk of heart disease is clearly seen.
The efficiency of potassium in preventing hypertension (high blood pressure) was even examined on children (5).
Bottom Line: The regular provision of potassium for your body is one of the best ways to prevent high blood pressure.
3. Heart Health
As potassium has positive impacts on the blood pressure, it is undeniable that there are amazing potassium health benefits on the heart.
Dr. Mark Houston, who works at Vanderbilt Medical Scool, claimed that the combination of increasing potassium intake and decreasing sodium intake plays a vital role in the prevention against cardiovascular disease.
According to a study in which participants took in 4,069 mg of potassium on a daily basis, the risk of heart disease in these people fell by 49 percent.
Bottom Line: Scientific evidence shows that potassium is associated with a lower exposure to cardiovascular disease.
4. Stroke Prevention
Among top health benefits of potassium, it is important to mention the prevention against stroke.
The result from an experiment with female participants indicated that those with non-hypertension experienced a 27-percent reduction in the risk of stroke (8).
Besides, there was another study which examined the effects of three minerals (calcium, potassium, magnesium) on the stroke prevention.
While the first was reported to have no significant effect, the two other minerals could lower the times of stroke efficiently (9).
Bottom Line: There have been many reliable studies demonstrating the potassium health benefits on the stroke prevention.
Another among the best health benefits of potassium is to improve the kidney health.
Potassium-rich foods can limit the formation of kidney stones (10).
Thanks to potassium salts in plant foods, the acidity in your blood stream can be neutralized.
This will lower the amount of urine calcium and prevent the appearance of stones in the kidney.
Nevertheless, patients with kidney problems should pay attention to the use of potassium because it might not be good in every situation.
The best way is to ask for advice from professionals first (11).
Bottom Line: In general, potassium has positive impacts on the kidney health by preventing kidney stones efficiently. However, sufferers of kidney diseases should be careful when consuming it.
Health benefits of potassium have been the heart of many scientific research for years.
Although it is necessary for further studies to take place, the results are very promising until now.
Potassium is beneficial for the electrical conductivity in your brain, which enhances some activities of the brain, such as learning or memory (12).
Some research even proved that the intake of potassium could make a positive change in patients with Parkinson’s disease (13).
The next health benefits of potassium that you should bear in mind are on bones.
Potassium can make contributions to the preservation of calcium in the body.
This is beneficial for improving the bone health (14).
In a study, 266 70-80-year-old women consumed potassium.
The result showed that their bone density was improved significantly.
In addition, they were less likely to suffer from osteoporosis (15).
Bottom Line: By supporting the calcium amounts, potassium can enhance the bone density and lower the risk of osteoporosis.
8. Stress and Anxiety
Few people are aware of the health benefits of potassium in the prevention and treatment for stress and anxiety.
By controlling the regulation of many stress hormones in the body, suc as adrenaline or cortisol, potassium can put an end to the nervous feeling immediately.
While health benefits of potassium have drawn much attention from the science community and the public, its side effects seem not to be cared much.
In fact, if you are not aware of the right consumption of potassium, you might suffer from a series of health benefits.
Even worse, if the potassium level becomes too high, it may lead to death.
First, it is important to know that some people have allergy to potassium.
As a result, the intake of this element can cause them to experience annoying reactions, such as irritation on the skin, rashes or swelling.
Besides, potassium overload can make you suffer from nausea or vomiting.
In some severe cases, diarrhea is also common.
In the long term, the overuse of potassium may affect the absorption of other minerals in the body. This has catastrophic effects on your health.
Therefore, it is a good idea to make some notes on the use of potassium.
- Always use fresh foods to absorb potassium.
- Check the recommendation from doctors or experts before the consumption of potassium-rich foods.
Disclaim: The effectiveness from using these foods on certain problems and diseases will be depended on the body condition of the applicant.