Potassium – Top 10 benefits
Potassium is an essential mineral-micronutrient and the main intracellular ion for all types of cells. Here is the list of the top 10 benefits that you’ll gain from consuming foods with a high level of potassium:
1. Better muscle function
Let’s face it. You need to admit that your muscles do a lot of jobs to get you through the day. If they don’t get what they require, it is going to be difficult to get through all your daily duties without constantly feeling fatigued. It doesn’t matter if your intentions are to keep your muscles healthy or try to build some lean muscle mass, potassium will certainly play a big role in helping you make your efforts a reality. Stock up high potassium foods such as bananas and avocadoes, and see it for yourself!
You may wonder how exactly potassium improves your muscle action. Here’s how. It helps repair your muscles more efficiently and quickly, allowing you to handle your daily activities without suffering from fatigue.
2. Better brain function
That’s right. Your brain will likely do its best when you work on your potassium levels. If you ignore taking this important nutrient and go for a while without it, your brain is one for body organs that will end up paying the hefty price. Avoid this situation by ensuring that you get an adequate amount. As a rule of thumb, stick to the recommended amount which is about 3.5g per day. If this means cutting down on your favorite foods, do it. It is worth every effort and you will enjoy good dividends, only this time in the form of a better, healthy brain.
So, how does potassium improve brain function? It’s simple. It helps your body send adequate oxygen to the brain, allowing it to do its job faster and better. If you do not ingest enough potassium, then you will be limiting the oxygen amount to your brain, leading to side effects such as headache.
3. Maintains fluid balance
Water plays a major role in maintaining your body’s fluid balance, but it doesn’t do that on its own. Potassium plays its part as well, keeping all your internal builds in balance. It is one of the many parts of the equation to maintain electrolyte balance in your bloodstream.
Maintaining your fluid balance? How? Well, potassium, together with sodium and calcium, is the nutrient that makes up your body’s electrolyte balance. However, as you take these nutrients, you will want to go slow on sodium, especially the one found in pre-packaged foods. It is recommended that you make your own food as this gives you control of how much to add to your plate.
4. Lower risk of suffering from heart problems
It is proven that potassium goes a long way in helping you stay at bay from heart problems such as heart disease and stroke. Ask anyone suffering from these diseases and they will tell you they have been advised to watch their potassium intake. What is interesting about foods rich in this mineral is that they also contain a generous amount of antioxidants as well as other minerals that have been associated with a healthier heart.
So, what does science says about potassium when it comes to lowering the risk of heart problems? If you take an adequate amount of potassium, your cardiovascular system is the biggest winner as it benefits from reduced blood pressure. This, in turn, means less strain on your arteries, and ultimately, the heart. Simply put, potassium puts your heart in a relaxed state, resulting in better function and more energy in both the short-term and long-term.
5. Reduced stress
In this modern world, anyone could welcome a little stress. It’s true that yoga and massage do help relieve this stress, but maintaining proper levels of potassium is a natural way to handle those triggers you experience in everyday life. It may seem quite normal for you to get stressed more often, but you may not realize that this mineral could come to your rescue. Don’t label yourself a stressful person. Just eat foods such as soybeans, beet greens, cantaloupe, and others, and all will be well.
Here’s how potassium helps reduce stress. Blood pressure has long been associated with stress. It helps reduce this pressure, allowing you to relax. It eases your muscles and keeps you from exacerbating situations and tensing up.
6. Stronger bones
Calcium is good for bone health but combined with potassium, the bone puzzle is well solved. Your body is a system with more complex sub-systems, all working in synergy to keep you alive. Bones do not just rely on a single mineral to stay healthy. It relies on an array of minerals and vitamins, with potassium being one of the key ingredients. Make them thrive by taking the recommended amount of potassium daily. Chances are that you will never have to complain about bone issues.
Science also supports this hypothesis. Along with manganese, phosphorus, and calcium, potassium provides the bones with the necessary nutrients to ensure they stay healthy and strong. It helps prevent diseases such as osteoporosis.
7. Increases metabolism rates
People who don’t feed well or those who rely mostly on processed foods often suffer from a sluggish metabolism. This is especially true for people who find it difficult to lose weight and tone up, even after dieting. Taking in enough potassium per day helps the metabolism get back on track, setting the stage for other nutrients and minerals to do their work.
So, how does potassium achieve improving your metabolism? According to studies, it helps other minerals and nutrients in the body form a team that’s designed to enable your metabolism to work better. It’s one of the team players that’s vital for the metabolism of your body. And do you know what this means for you? More energy and effective weight loss efforts!
8. Improves nervous system
The nervous system is also a big winner of the regular intake of potassium-rich foods. You may not realize it right now, but when you begin consuming foods such as bananas and mushrooms, the benefits will be evident. Remember that the nervous system is responsible for keeping the body signals healthy, allowing you to interact with your environment. Treat it with potassium and it will do the same in return.
How does potassium help in improving the nervous system? Basically, this mineral helps your body tissues on a cellular level, enabling the nervous system to function as it is supposed to. Better function means better wellbeing and better health.
9. Prevents muscle cramps
Do your muscles cramp more often? Do they cramp for no reason? If yes, chances are that you are not watching on your potassium intake. Overusing your muscles is common, and cramping in such cases is understandable. However, if the cramps are present for no apparent reason, then you may want to change your diet to foods rich in potassium to prevent such occurrences.
Here’s how potassium achieves this. This mineral helps your body tissues relax, including the muscles. With proper potassium intake, they are prevented from cramping, even when you do the strenuous jobs. Try it and see how it goes. You will be happy you did.
10. Improves blood pressure
Your blood pressure reading is very important. There is a reason why the doctor checks the readings every time you visit the hospital, even for a general checkup. With the right amount of potassium, studies have proven that your blood pressure will lower to normal figures. This means you are safer from diseases such as diabetes, stroke and heart attack.
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