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What you should know about the mineral – potassium?

It is a good thing that we get abundant potassium in our daily diet intake but it is equally important to understand what is the role of the potassium, why is it important for overall growth and development and what are those dietary sources which are rich in potassium.

Potassium is required by our body for plenty of reasons:

  • They help to maintain a healthy heart by regulating the optimal fluid balance in the body.
  • Potassium is considered to be an electrolyte and our body is in need of such electrolytes to maintain a right balance in the body to help it function smoothly. (There are other electrolytes also which are required by the body like magnesium, sodium etc.)
  • Potassium helps in putting the protein we consume to work for strengthening the muscles and bones and also other cells.

As we have come to know about the role potassium plays in the body, it is equally important to know that who should pay attention to the amount of potassium they consume.

So who are the people who should keep a watch on their potassium intake?

People who suffer from kidney disease: those who suffer from kidney disease report high levels of potassium in the blood. This is due to the inefficient working of the kidneys. They do not get rid of the extra potassium. The high level of potassium in the blood is also a health condition called Hyperkalemia. Well there are other reasons like medication or hormonal deficiency which could also be responsible for the high potassium levels. But the kidney disease is the biggest culprit. A person could also experience irregular heart beat due to these increased levels of potassium. This is the reason why people who suffer from various kidney ailments are advised to undergo regular tests for potassium levels.

People who suffer from high blood pressure: high blood pressure could result in making the potassium levels low. Also eating disorders, vomiting, and diarrhea could also cause low potassium levels. If the body has reduced potassium levels it could give you warning signs like fatigue, constipation, weakness and cramps in the muscle. If you are taking medications for treating high blood pressure, you should talk to your doctor if you experience these symptoms.

Rich dietary sources in potassium: Yes, bananas are the richest source of potassium but there are plenty of other options also like orange juice, melon, figs, beets, dried apricots etc. Dairy products, soy, potatoes with skin on, meats all are also rich in potassium.

The good news is that we all enjoy the foods which contain potassium. But if you fear that you are suffering certain problems like high blood pressure or kidney issues, it is better that you ask your doctor about the daily potassium intake required by the body.