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What is Potassium Good For?

Updated on July 9, 2020
NateB11 profile image

Like most people, I'm concerned with the practical needs of everyday life, and therefore research issues of health and livelihood.

Potassium is a salt mineral and electrolyte that is crucial in the normal functioning of internal organs, nerves, cells, muscles, energy and fluids in the body. Low levels of potassium can weaken muscles, cause high blood pressure and even cause osteoporosis.

Let's find out the various reasons why potassium is so important to your body's health and well-being.

Heart Health

Potassium is responsible for your heart beat. It is an electrolyte, so it conducts electricity in the body and helps in the normal functioning of your internal organs, along with your nerves and cells. It is what triggers the heart to pump blood to your body.

Research has shown that potassium lowers blood pressure and reduces the risk for stroke.

Fruits and vegetables are rich in potassium and are ideal for heart health because they are also low in fat.
Fruits and vegetables are rich in potassium and are ideal for heart health because they are also low in fat.

Bone Health

Potassium aids the balance of potassium and salt in the body, so that you do not lose calcium through urine and the intestines. Loss of calcium could lead to unhealthy bones and osteoporosis. So, getting enough potassium in your diet could help to prevent bone disease.

Did you know that potassium makes your heart beat?

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Potassium aids in the normal use of your muscles.
Potassium aids in the normal use of your muscles.

Metabolism and Energy

Potassium functions to help in the metabolism and synthesis of proteins and carbohydrates in your body, helping to convert them to energy. It also helps in muscle growth, aiding you to make those workouts productive.

Digestion

Potassium helps the muscles generally to contract and particularly it helps muscles in the intestines to contract and so aids in normal digestive processes.

Brain Function

Potassium helps the cells in the brain to operate correctly and also sends oxygen to the brain. So, if you aren't thinking straight, you might need more potassium.

Benefits of Potassium

Heart
Bones
Metabolism
Digestion
Brain
Helps heart to beat correctly. Lowers and manages blood pressure. Lowers risk of stroke.
Helps body retain calcium it needs for strong bones and prevents osteoporosis.
Aids in the metabolism of proteins and carbs for energy.
Helps muscles in intestines contract for normal digestive processes.
Helps cells in brain function properly and sends oxygen to the brain.
 
 
 
 
 
Bananas and oranges have a lot of potassium.
Bananas and oranges have a lot of potassium.

Potassium is found in many meats, grains, dairy products, nuts and fruits and vegetables. Including these in your diet, particularly low-fat fruits and vegetables can ensure that you are getting significant potassium in your system. This is good for heart health because it aids the proper working of your heart and counteracts the effects of salt (sodium).

Some foods rich in potassium include:

  • Greens
  • Spinach
  • Beans
  • Potatoes
  • Peas
  • Tomatoes
  • Bananas
  • Grapefruit
  • Oranges
  • Melons (Cantaloupe and Honeydew)
  • Prunes, Apricots and Raisins
  • Milk and Yogurt
  • Molasses and Honey
  • Tuna and Halibut

Depletion of potassium in the body, sometimes caused by loss of it in the urine or intestines, can lead to a condition called Hypokalemia, which is characterized by low energy, weakness, muscle cramps, digestive problems, heart problems and irregular heartbeat. This shows how crucial potassium actually is, important for the normal functioning of organs of the body and responsible for giving the body energy and allowing you to use your muscles.

So, next time you're snacking, grab a banana, an orange, some raisins or nuts. Your body will thank you for it!


Comments

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    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 

      5 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      Banana is the best, how about berries? I love those

    • NateB11 profile imageAUTHOR

      Nathan Bernardo 

      6 years ago from California, United States of America

      Exactly! Thanks, Arun!

    • adevwriting profile image

      Arun Dev 

      6 years ago from United Countries of the World

      A informative hub! Potassium is indeed very important for people with heart problems!

    • NateB11 profile imageAUTHOR

      Nathan Bernardo 

      6 years ago from California, United States of America

      Thanks, Chitrangada.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 

      6 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Very useful information regarding potassium. I have seen how potassium deficiency can cause fatigue and some people faint also.

      Thanks for sharing the helpful tips about which foods are rich in potassium.

      Thanks, voted up and pinned!

    • NateB11 profile imageAUTHOR

      Nathan Bernardo 

      6 years ago from California, United States of America

      Cool, radhapriestess, that's another one for the list. Glad you liked the article.

    • radhapriestess profile image

      radhapriestess 

      6 years ago from Minneapolis, MN

      Well written piece. Coconut water has a lot of potassium in it. It is right on the label.

    • NateB11 profile imageAUTHOR

      Nathan Bernardo 

      6 years ago from California, United States of America

      You're right about that, tirelesstraveler. Glad you stopped by.

    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 

      6 years ago from California

      Potassium rich foods are delicious and eating a good variety is definitely healthy. Thanks for the information.

    • NateB11 profile imageAUTHOR

      Nathan Bernardo 

      6 years ago from California, United States of America

      Thanks, Gloria. Glad you liked it and glad you stopped by.

    • GarnetBird profile image

      Gloria Siess 

      6 years ago from Wrightwood, California

      Good solid hub!

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