Potassium is a common alkaline metal in nature, being the seventh most abundant element in the earth’s crust. In the case of the body, it is like the electrolyte for the car battery.
Potassium is an essential mineral that we need to keep our body functioning at a normal level.
Every particle in the body needs potassium to exist. This is because, along with sodium and chlorine, it supports the electrical activity of cells, a fundamental process of life.
In today’s article, I want to give you a brief guide to one of the most important minerals for the health of our body: Potassium. We’ll learn about the role, benefits, deficiency, natural sources, recommended dose, and excess potassium.
Role / Benefits
Without potassium, cells can no longer generate energy and die. That is why potassium has the most important roles in the neuromuscular system: it controls the functioning of nerves and muscle contraction.
At the same time, potassium has the role of regulating blood pressure, but also body weight, because it extracts sodium from cells, which reduces the volume of fluids in the body.
Helps prevent stroke.
Potassium is also important for chemical reactions inside cells and helps maintain normal blood pressure and the transmission of electrochemical pulses.
Last, but not least, the mineral activates renal function and participates in chemical reactions involving proteins and carbohydrates, stimulating insulin production.
Deficiency / Symptoms
In general, potassium deficiency occurs due to alcohol abuse, coffee, sweets, prolonged treatments with anti-inflammatory drugs, but also very salty diets.
The first manifestations are:
• Muscle weakness
• Muscle cramps
• Loss of appetite
• Abdominal pain
• Heart problems.
To ensure the daily requirement of potassium we must eat:
• Fruits – apples, pears, bananas, grapes, grapefruit, kiwi, plums, strawberries, raisins, figs, dried apricots, dates, avocado
• Vegetables – celery, fennel, cucumbers, eggplant
• Plants with green leaves – spinach, lettuce, Brussels sprouts, Broccoli, parsley
• Whole grains
• Wheat germ
• Dairy products
Recommended daily dose of potassium
The recommended daily dose of potassium is 3.5 mg
|Infants||0 – 6 months||400|
|Babies||7 – 12 months||700|
|Children||1 – 3 years||3000|
|Children||4- – 8 years||3800|
|Children||9 – 13 years||4500|
|Teenagers||14 – 18 years||4500|
|Adults||Above 19 years||5100|
It has symptoms such as:
• Muscle spasms
• Neurological disorders
• Cardiac arrhythmias.
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