As one of the alkali metal we could find in the nature, potassium is indeed important. While we might know it as its other name, Kalium, potassium has many benefits and role in the human body. This particular element is very important to be consumed by us in a balance state though, because high potassium levels is dangerous for the body. Too little potassium is also not healthy as it will brings many negative effects that we will talk further in the article. Indeed, here are potassium uses and properties in daily life.
PROPERTIES OF POTASSIUM
Potassium is a chemical element with K symbol (which was taken from Neo-Latin, kalium) and has an atomic number of 19. It was first isolated from potash, the ashes of plants (this is where the names come from). Potassium is one of the alkali metal in periodic table and occurs only in ionic salts. It can be dissolved in sea water and is part of many minerals in the body.
There are many things that should be taken into consideration when we are talking about potassium, as this particular chemical indeed has so many roles for our body. A necessary element to make sure that our body has the right fluid and electrolyte balance is just one of its various benefits.
Potassium is the third most abundant element in the body after calcium and magnesium. It is an absolute element that is needed by our body to make sure that some organs function properly. These organs are vitals, such as kidney, brain, heart, and muscular tissue.
What is Potassium Good For?
- If you are consuming rich potassium food, you would definitely reaps many benefits as you should. What are they? Let’s find out the potassium uses and properties in daily life.
- Boost Your Heart Health
- Decrease Cramps
- Reduce the Risk of Getting Stroke
- Alleviate High Blood Pressure
- Reduce The Appearance of Cellulite
- Osteoporosis Protection
- Proper Food Processing and Growth
- Maintaining The Balance in Our metabolism
- Cure Insomnia
- Prevent The Body from Dehydration
So there you have it, top ten benefits of consuming potassium in your daily diet. Interesting, is it not?
Those ten are not even all benefits you can reap if you are consuming an enough amount of potassium for your body. Some other benefits are including :
- Potassium helps increase your energy
- Potassium helps balancing the water in the body
- Potassium helps reducing the risk of kidney stones
- Potassium helps neutralize the acid in the body
- Keeping the health of Brain
- Keeping the Skin health
- Maintaining the health of your body overall
- Preventing you from depression
POTASSIUM DEFICIENCY TREATMENT
A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that only 2 percent of American adults meet the recommended dietary intake of potassium through their daily diet.
Potassium has a crucial role in numerous body functions, ranging from contraction and relaxation of muscles to transfer of messages in the nervous system, and therefore, it is important for us to maintain optimum levels of the same in the body. The optimum levels in this case are in the range of 3.6 to 4.8 milliequivalents per liter (mEq/L). A fall in the same results in hypokalemia―a medical condition typically characterized by deficiency of potassium in the body.
If potassium levels are in the range of 3.0 to 3.6 mEq/L, it is known as ‘mild hypokalemia’, and if they are lower than 3.0 mEq/L, it is known as ‘severe hypokalemia’. If blood potassium levels fall below 2.5 mEq/L, it can cause life-threatening complications with fatal consequences. A person suffering from potassium deficiency―regardless of whether it is mild or severe―should be promptly subjected to medical attention to avoid unnecessary complications.
HOW IS POTASSIUM DEFICIENCY (HYPOKALEMIA) TREATED?
Basically, the treatment of potassium deficiency will revolve around the treatment of the underlying cause of this condition. Most of the causes of the same are attributed to loss of potassium through urine or the digestive tract as a result of some underlying health problem. Other causes of the same include diarrhea, vomiting, eating disorders, overuse of laxatives and diuretics, and even something as serious as chronic kidney failure at times. Yet another surprisingly common cause of low potassium in the body is lack of potassium-rich foods in the diet.
The treatment options generally range from increased potassium intake to intravenous potassium supplements, depending on―like we said earlier―the underlying cause. The doctor will run some tests to diagnose the condition and recommend the suitable treatment option. If potassium loss is caused as a result of diarrhea or vomiting, then medication for the treatment of these conditions will be prescribed. In contrast, if the condition is triggered by prescribed medication, like diuretics or laxatives, the interfering medication will be replaced with some other medication.
If the person is suffering from mild hypokalemia, wherein the level of potassium in the blood is higher than 3.0 mEq/L but less than the required 3.6 mEq/L, the doctor may prescribe oral potassium chloride supplements. On the other hand, if the person is suffering from severe hypokalemia, wherein the level of potassium is less than 3.0 mEq/L, the doctor will recommend intravenous (IV) supplementation to initiate quick recovery. In case of intravenous supplementation, the condition of the patient will be monitored in order to avoid any complications.
FOODS HIGH IN POTASSIUM
Wondering what food has more potassium than bananas check this list of foods that are high in potassium. We did some research about this, check the food list below.
Half-fillet of salmon contains about 755 milligrams of potassium. Other than that, it also contains many nutrients, vitamins, minerals and proteins, as well as omega-3 fatty acids. This essential acid could prevent us from having depression, hearth disease and stroke, as well as ADHD, high blood pressure and chronic skin pain like eczema. Consuming salmon regularly could be one of our strategy to lead a healthy and full of nutrients life.
Spinach is among the best sources of potassium. You can find as much as 839 milligrams of potassium in just a cup of cooked spinach. Popeye the sailor has his own reason when he use spinach to boost his energy levels at an instant, apparently. This is because not only spinach contains various health benefits in it, it could also helps us in preventing cancer. Yes, spinach contains an effective cancer fighting agent called chloroplast glycoglycerolipids.
Acorn squash are not that famous yet, but it definitely could’ve been more famous than this. This is because in one serving of acorn squash, we could get many antioxidants that are very much needed by our body. We can even find carotenoids in it, a type of antioxidants that are famous for being able to prevent some serious health condition like cancer. This is including skin cancer, breast cancer, and prostate cancer. A cup of acorn squash can provide us with more or less 896 milligrams of potassium.
A large fruit of sweet potato contains about 855 milligrams of potassium which is considered good sources of potassium inside of it. This is very good to consume (of course, not excessively) compare to the white potato as it has higher amounts of nutrients inside of it. You can also find high quantity of beta carotene, vitamin C, and vitamin B6 in sweet potatoes. Not only that, it is also a food that is very good for fighting peptic ulcers as there are many successful case effectively handled using only the consumption of sweet potato.
A whole fruit of avocado is good source of potassium it contains 1,067 milligrams of potassium and this is definitely one of our favourites when it comes to this list. Several studies has found that people who consume avocado in their daily life tend to have healthier diet overall as well as reducing their own risk of having metabolism diseases. The more nutrients are also guaranteed to entering our body when we consume avocado routinely.
So, are you interested in just grab those rich potassium yet and put it in your daily diet? Go for it, and feel your best as soon as possible.