Potassium is one of the important macro minerals found in many kinds of foods. Potassium is highly reactive in water that’s why it is classified as an electrolyte. It produces positively charged ion when dissolved in water. It conducts electrical impulses all over the body. The body cannot naturally produce potassium, eating foods that are rich in potassium is required.
Many foods are rich in potassium like fruits such as (bananas, kiwi, apricots, oranges, and pineapples), green leafy vegetables, carrots, potatoes, lean meats, beans and nuts, and whole grains. The benefits of potassium can decrease the risk of stroke, protect against loss of muscle mass, preserve bone minerals, lower blood pressure, and reduces the formation of kidney stones. People that are low in potassium usually recommend an intake of potassium supplement or for severe cases like potassium deficiency it needs intravenous (IV) treatment.
1. It is Important for the Nervous System
One of the potassium health benefits is it can help to maintain healthy nerve function. The nervous system delivers messages between the brain and the body. Nerve impulses are created by sodium ions moving into cells and potassium ions moving out of cells. Activation of nerve impulse happens when the movement of ions changes the voltage of the cell. Lack of blood levels of potassium can affect the body by generating nerve impulses. It is important to get enough potassium from the diet to help maintain healthy nerve function.
2. Helps Reduce Blood Pressure
Potassium benefits are that it can reduce blood pressure by removing excess sodium in the body. For those people with high blood pressure, high sodium levels can increase blood pressure. There are almost 33 studies in people with high blood pressure showed the increased significant result in systolic and diastolic blood pressure after an increased intake of this mineral. For those people with a higher intake of potassium, their systolic blood pressure decreased by 3.49 mmHg, while their diastolic blood pressure decreased by almost 1.96 mmHg only.
3. May Help Prevent Kidney Stone
Kidney stones or also called renal calculi are hard deposits made of salts that are formed inside the kidney. The benefits of potassium may help to fight kidney stones. Some studies show that potassium citrate lowers calcium levels in urine. Foods that are rich in potassium citrate is easily add in the diet because it is commonly found in many fruits and vegetables. There is a study conducted in 45,619 men and the results show that men who consumed most potassium daily had a 51% lower risk of kidney stones. Also, there is a study conducted in 91,731 women and the results show that women who consumed most potassium daily had a 35% lower risk of kidney stones.
4. May Help Prevent Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is one of the common signs of aging in women. It is a bone disease in which the quality and density of bone are reduced. The common cause of osteoporosis is low levels of calcium. Potassium benefits can prevent osteoporosis by simply adding potassium-rich foods in the diet. There is a study conducted in 62 healthy women aged 45 to 55 and the result shows that women who ate the most potassium had the greatest total bone mass.
5. May Help Protect Against Stroke
Stroke is one of the causes of death at any age. Stroke has no symptoms; it just happens when there is a sudden interruption in the blood supply of the brain. The benefits of potassium are related to the decreased risk of stroke. There is a study conducted in 128,644 participants who are eating foods that is rich in potassium and the study found out that they have experienced a 24% lower risk of stroke compared to those people who ate the least.
6. Bone and Muscle Maintenance
One of the potassium health benefits is it can maintain bone and muscle health. Acidosis is one of the causes of loss in bone mineral density. Eating foods that are high in potassium can help to preserve muscle mass in older people. There is a study that shows 5,266 mg of potassium per day can maintain an average of 3.6 more pounds of lean tissue mass.