While you may remember everything about vitamin D, C and calcium from your elementary school, how much do you know about potassium? You cannot afford to shortchange on this essential electrolyte. A steady supply of the same is required to maintain optimal health throughout your body.
1. Being an electrolyte, potassium has the ability to carry electrical impulses through the body that stimulate nerves and muscles. It aids in the smooth movement of muscles and can prevent painful cramps and spasms. Potassium is also required for the contraction and relaxation cycle of muscles in response to an impulse.
2. Potassium is rightly known as the ‘manager of fluids’ as it helps in maintaining the electrolyte balance in the body. The human body requires sufficient amount of liquids to function properly but excessive fluids can result in severe health complications. Potassium works relentlessly to maintain the optimal fluid balance in the body. If your body runs low on potassium, water can accumulate within tissues, resulting in swelling.
3. Potassium plays an important role in removal of wastes from the kidneys and is important for maintaining healthy kidneys. It also prevents the formation of stones.
4. One of the most vital functions of potassium is the regulation of your heart beat. It controls the rate at which your heart muscles contract. If you have heart rhythm problems you may want to check your potassium levels.
5. Potassium is also believed to guard against hypertension. Several research studies have suggested that a healthy potassium intake can keep your blood pressure levels in check and reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.
6. Did you know that potassium is also required for stronger bones? It enables the body to store adequate amounts of calcium in the bones, thereby strengthening the skeletal system.
How Much Potassium Do You Need?
An intake of 4,700 milligrams of potassium is recommended per day for healthy people. The easiest way to achieve and maintain these levels is by including foods rich in potassium in your daily diet.
Foods Rich In Potassium
Here is a list of some foods, which can all work to give you your daily recommended intake:
1. Sweet Potatoes: Containing nearly 700 milligrams of potassium in a single serving, this root vegetable also comes with an added bonus. One sweet potato contains as little as 130 calories so that you get your carbohydrates without derailing your diet plan.
2.Bananas: Bananas are the first fruits that come to mind when we talk of potassium-heavy foods. One banana contains 422 milligrams of potassium.
3. Yogurt: Yogurt is low in its calorie content and contains a sizable supply of nutrients such as calcium and potassium. This dairy treat boasts a significant amount of potassium containing 579 milligrams in one cup.
4. White Beans: These colorless beans are arguably your best bet when it comes to upping your potassium intake. Half a cup of beans contains about 350 to 380 milligrams of potassium.