Potassium in the Human Body
Importance of potassium in the human body cannot be underrated. The National Academies’ Food and Nutrition Board note that the healthy potassium intake per day is 4.7 grams. However, many people in the world today consume about 3 grams of potassium with women consuming on average below 2.5 grams per day.
Nevertheless, studies reveal that there are many benefits that can be derived from consuming the recommended amount of potassium every day. Some of the foods that are rich in potassium include citrus juices, bananas, potatoes, tomatoes, salmon, chicken, cod, most meats and lima beans.
Potassium is among the crucial electrolytes in the body. An electrolyte is a substance that helps in conducting electricity in the body. With other electrolytes in the body such as phosphorous, calcium, sodium, and chloride, potassium play a significant role in conducting electricity in the body. As such, potassium is very important because it ensures healthy functioning of all cells, organs and tissues in the body.
Potassium also helps in regulating water levels in the body and maintaining a healthy pH level in the blood. As such, because the body loses high amount of electrolytes in the sweat, it is important to obtain potassium after or during an intense activity.
Another reason why potassium is important in the body is because it helps in maintaining healthy blood pressure. For electrolytes to function properly, potassium and sodium must be balanced properly. As the body struggle to maintain a balance of potassium and sodium, it is important that you reduce sodium impact by taking more sodium.
Sodium has significant impact on blood pressure. Boosting the daily intake of potassium will help in maintaining a healthy level of blood pressure in the body. Nevertheless, you cannot depend on sodium and potassium uptake to control your blood pressure and you need other measures such as exercising regularly and controlling your diet.
Another important role played by potassium in the body is ensuring proper muscular functioning. Potassium plays a vital role in ensuring that muscles and skeletal system functions properly. For muscles to contract properly, adequate potassium intake is required on daily basis. This helps not only in proper functioning of the muscles, but also regular digestion.
In addition, potassium helps in ensuring good health of the heart. This is because normal rhythm of the heart is caused by optimal functioning of the muscles. This is apparent especially for individuals with excessively low or high levels of potassium which can lead to irregular heartbeats. Since heart arrhythmias are life-threatening, it is important that you ensure that you are taking potassium adequately on daily basis.
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