Potassium

Benefits of Potassium-Rich Foods

 

Tip: Simple Cream of Tartar powder is high in potassium at 495mg per 1 tsp and is a very low cost solution for supplementation IF YOUR DIET IS NOT SUFFICIENT

 

1. Boost Heart Health

One thing a healthy heart definitely does is beat as it should. I’m talking about your heart rhythm, and potassium plays a direct role in making sure that rhythm is healthy and as it should be. If you’re having trouble with your heart rhythm, a potassium deficiency could easily play a role.

2. Decrease Cramps

One of the main benefits of consuming high-potassium foods is decreased muscle cramping and improved muscle strength.  Muscle weakness, muscle aches and muscle cramps are common side effects of low potassium levels.  This can happen if an athlete becomes dehydrated and doesn’t consume enough potassium-rich foods before and after exercise. Potassium is also helpful for cramps related to premenstrual syndrome (PMS).

3. Reduce Risk of Stroke

Several observational studies have found that those with high potassium levels experience a lower risk of stroke. The risk of ischemic stroke in particular is lower in high potassium consumers. The positive relationship between increased potassium intake and decreased stroke risk is believed to be from dietary sources rather than supplements, which do not appear to provide the same positive effect.

4. Alleviate High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)

According to a recently updated Harvard Medical School publication, “the average American diet delivers too much sodium and too little potassium,” which is highly counterproductive when it comes to discouraging high blood pressure. Studies show that a diet high in potassium, especially potassium from fruits and vegetables, lowers blood pressure. This is especially true if the increase in potassium foods is not accompanied by an increase in high-sodium foods. One group that shouldn’t aim too high with potassium intake is people with kidney problems.

5. Lower Cellulite Appearance

One of the main causative factors of cellulite buildup is fluid retention. Most people consume far too much sodium and not near enough potassium. Sodium brings nutrients into your cells where potassium helps flush excess waste out of your cells. For this reason, if you reduce sodium intake and start consuming potassium-rich foods, you may reduce the appearance of cellulite.

6. Osteoporosis Protection

Research has found a direct relationship between increased bone density and increased intake of dietary potassium. Citrate and bicarbonate are two potassium salts that are naturally found in potassium-rich fruit and vegetables, and a recent study reveals that these potassium salts can actually improve the health of your bones and ward off osteoporosis.

This 2015 study out of the University of Surrey published in the journal Osteoporosis International found that a high consumption of potassium salts significantly decreases the urinary excretion of both acid and calcium. Why is this significant? Because the potassium salts actually help the bones not to reabsorb acid and also to maintain vital mineral content. So by consuming potassium-rich fruits and vegetables, you can actually help preserve your bones and prevent serious bone-related health issues like osteoporosis.

7. Proper Food Processing and Growth

Your body actually requires potassium in order to process and utilize the carbohydrates you consume. As an a child or an adult, you also require potassium to build protein and muscle. If you’re younger in age and your body is still growing, then potassium helps ensure that your growth continues at a normal, healthy rate.


Dangers of Low Potassium

Your body continuously performs a balancing act between two electrolytes: potassium and sodium. When sodium levels go up, potassium levels go down, and when sodium levels go down, potassium levels go up. It’s important not to overdo it on dietary sodium while it’s also crucial to keep your potassium intake up.

A deficiency in potassium can lead to:

  • Fatigue
  • Constipation
  • Irritability
  • Muscle cramps
  • Weight gain
  • Blood pressure problems
  • Heart palpitations
  • Cellulite buildup
  • Nausea
  • Arthritis
  • Abdominal cramping, bloating
  • Abnormal psychological behavior, including depression, confusion or hallucinations

The main culprits that can cause hypokalemia are endurance cardiovascular exercise without proper hydration, vomiting, diarrhea, and a diet low in fruits and vegetables. Other causes of suboptimal potassium levels include poor kidney function, blood pH and hormone levels. Medications like diuretics and laxatives can also make potassium levels too low.

Unless you’re on dialysis, receiving cancer treatment or have another special condition, overdose of potassium from natural sources is rare — however, it’s possible to consume too much potassium via potassium salts, such as potassium chloride, which can lead to nausea and vomiting. This condition is known as hyperkalemia, which occurs when your potassium levels are high.

Hyperkalemia is connected to psoriasis,


How Much Potassium You Should Be Taking In

According to the Food and Nutrition Center of the Institute of Medicine, the recommended daily intake of potassium is:

  • Infants 0–12 months: 400–700 milligrams/day
  • Children 1–8 years: 3,000–3,800 milligrams/day
  • Teens 9–18 years: 4,500–4,700 milligrams/day
  • Adults age 19 and older, men and women: 4,700 milligrams/day
  • Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding: 5,100 milligrams/day

Athletes who work out for more than an hour most days may need even more potassium, and intakes vary based on muscle mass, activity levels, etc.

 

 

Tip: Simple Cream of Tartar powder is high in potassium at 495mg per 1 tsp and is a very low cost solution for supplementation IF YOUR DIET IS NOT SUFFICIENT