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Overview

Benefits of Potassium And Its Side Effects

Potassium, the alkali metal is a highly reactive element essential for the proper health and functioning of the human body. The human body requires potassium because it works in the form of an electrolyte and helps in conducting electrical charges. Apart from conducting electrical charges, potassium also helps in promoting cardiovascular health by reducing the chance of stroke. It helps in lowering or controlling high blood pressure and is also important for the health of the bones. Bone formation can effectively increase by having a balanced diet that is rich in its content of potassium.

Benefits of Potassium And Its Side Effects

Table of Content

Potassium
Nutritional Value of Potassium
Health Benefits of Potassium
Contains potassium
Regulates sugar
Muscle contraction
Low pressure
Alkaline content
Treats cramps
Retains fluid
Contains salts
Builds muscle
Removes tiredness
Manage stress
Uses of Potassium
Side-Effects & Allergies of Potassium
Origin And Cultivation of Potassium

Potassium

Potassium is one important mineral considered essential for the life of an individual. It is one of the most important minerals needed for the proper functioning of the kidneys, the heart and other important organs of the body. It is one out of the seven significant macrominerals which include magnesium, calcium, sodium, phosphorous, sulfur and chloride. The human body requires minimum 100 milligrams of potassium on a regular basis for supporting important bodily procedures. Consuming potassium in high quantities can help in reducing the risk of lower blood pressure, stroke, loss of muscle mass, reduction in formation of kidney stones and preservation of bone mineral density. The primary function of potassium in the human body is regulating fluid balance while controlling electrical activity of the heart and the other muscles. Potassium is basically an electrolyte counteracting the influences of sodium while maintaining the acid-base balance of the human body.

Nutritional Value of Potassium

Potassium should be one of the most important parts of a balanced and nutritious diet. Citrus fruits, grains and vegetables are the most important sources of potassium. It is also possible to get potassium in good amounts from chicken, salmon, fresh fruit juices, almonds and whole milk. Lime beans, nuts, poultry and potatoes also contain potassium. Nevertheless, the most significant dietary sources of potassium include coconut water, avocados and bananas. It is important to keep in mind that cooking procedures like boiling can destroy the potassium content in foods.

Health Benefits of Potassium

Mentioned below are the best health benefits of Potassium
Health Benefits of Potassium

Contains potassium

Potassium has an important role to play in the normal functioning of the human brain. High levels of potassium mean more oxygen reaching the brain which further stimulates neural activity and increases cognitive function. Bananas are rich in their content of potassium and this is the only reason why they are called brain foods. Brain strokes can also be prevented to a great extent by having potassium in good quantities. Potassium works in the form of a vasodilator relaxing the blood vessels which helps in the free flow of blood within the body

Regulates sugar

High levels of potassium can help in an increase in blood sugar. Maintaining normal levels of blood sugar in the body is necessary because blood sugar decrease can result in headache, sweating, trembling, nervousness and weakness. Immediate relief from such situations is only possible with the intake of potassium. It is only because of this reason that diabetic individuals are encouraged to maintain normal levels of potassium

Muscle contraction

Potassium plays an important role in muscle contraction. Sufficient potassium concentration is needed for proper relaxation and contraction of muscles. Potassium helps in maintaining optimal nerve and muscle function and also keeps the body reflexes fast by stimulating the neural connectivity of the brain and the muscles

Low pressure

Cardiovascular disease and low blood pressure are the result of low intake of potassium. It is always very important for people to ensure proper potassium intake as it helps in reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Alkaline content

Foods that are rich in their content of potassium help in promoting alkaline environment within the body. This is completely different from the common acidosis which are a result of western diet. Diets that are rich in their content of acidifying foods such as dairy, processed cereal grains and meat trigger metabolic acidosis resulting in the excretion of nitrogen, loss of the mineral density of bones and wastage of muscles. High intake of potassium can always help in increasing bone density.

Treats cramps

One of the most important advantages of having foods that are rich in their potassium content is a decrease in muscle cramps and an improvement in the strength of the muscles. Muscle aches, muscle cramps and muscle weakness are the side effects of low levels of potassium. Potassium also helps in treating cramps which are a result of premenstrual syndrome.

Retains fluid

Fluid retention is one of the most common reasons behind cellulite formation. There are a lot of people who take in a lot of sodium but are not aware of the importance of their potassium intake. Potassium is also important because it helps in flushing out excessive waste out of the cells. This is the reason why it is beneficial to consume foods that are high in their content of potassium as it can help in reducing cellulite formation.

Contains salts

It has been proved through research that there is a direct relation between the intake of potassium and increased bone density. Bicarbonate and citrate are the two important potassium salts naturally found in vegetables and fruits that contain potassium. It has been found through studies that potassium salts go a long way in improving the health of the bones and in warding off osteoporosis.

Builds muscle

The human body needs potassium for processing and using the carbohydrates that it gets through different foods. Potassium is also needed by the body for building muscle and protein. For young individuals with their bodies still in the development phase, potassium helps in ensuring that the development of their body continues at a healthy and normal rate.

Removes tiredness

The muscles of the body help a lot in getting an individual throughout his or her day. If the muscles do not work in the proper manner, it becomes very difficult for people to carry out their daily activities without getting tired. Potassium has an important role to play in building lean muscle mass and in keeping the muscle healthy for a very long span of time.

Manage stress

Stress, which is one of the most common occurrences in the lives of people in this modern world, can easily be warded off with the proper intake of potassium. Since potassium is effectively used by each and every cell of the human body, it helps in improving the function of the cells and in helping individuals cope up very well with stress

Uses of Potassium

Potassium is important for normal cell respiration and the deficiency of this important mineral can result in decreased oxygen levels which further reduce the efficiency of the cell functions. Potassium in good amounts is used for regulating heartbeat, facilitating normal contraction of the muscles and regulating the transfer of important nutrients to the cells. Potassium is also used for regulating stomach juice secretion and kidney function. One of the most important uses of this mineral in the human body is during the procedure of nerve transmission. Potassium works in the form of a cofactor catalyst activating different enzyme systems. It is therapeutically effective in different ways. It helps in treating alcoholism and acne; promoting faster healing of burns and alleviating allergies.

Side-Effects & Allergies of Potassium

Excessive intake of potassium can result in serious health issues for individuals. The deficiency of potassium in blood is called hypokalemia resulting in abnormal heart rhythms, increase in blood pressure and weak muscles. Too much potassium in blood is a condition called hypokalemia resulting in dangerous or abnormal heart rhythms.

Origin And Cultivation of Potassium

Excessive intake of potassium can result in serious health issues for individuals. The deficiency of potassium in blood is called hypokalemia resulting in abnormal heart rhythms, increase in blood pressure and weak muscles. Too much potassium in blood is a condition called hypokalemia resulting in dangerous or abnormal heart rhythms.

Popular Questions & Answers

I am 17 years old and I want to gain mass on my body. Which type of fruit and vegetable is good for mass gaining.

MBBS
General Physician, Delhi
To gain weight you need to consume above 3000 calories. Fruits that are good source of energy and fat are 1. Mangoes - additional benefit of vit a, c, e 2. Banana - additional benefit of potassium content 3. Avocado - good fat, vitamin m and potassium 4. Olives - good source of sodium 5. Dried fruits - almonds, cashew, nuts, fig etc use them with milk as a shake or smoothie for better taste and added benefits.
2 people found this helpful

She is feeling weak since 4 days, with dysentery symptoms. She can not digest even a grain if food and unable to get out from bed due to so much weaknesses.

MBBS, MD - Internal Medicine, Post Graduate Program in Diabetology
General Physician, Delhi
lybrate-user please get pulse blood pressure checked Get a stool test and sodium potassium checked Hive Lot of ORS and consult doctor.

I am suffering from kidney failure ckd my creatine level is 3.0 and potassium is 5.76 previous I was diagnosed with SLE lupus nephritis recently kidney biopsy has done report showed that the findings are consistent with lupus nephritis class v with chronicity index of 6/12 and tubulointeritial infiltrate involving 30% of the core.

DM - Nephrology, MD - General Medicine
Nephrologist, Delhi
Dear lybrate-user Since you have lupus nephritis your CKD is likely to progress over time. You need regular follow up with your nephrologist to monitor progression and modification of medications with time. Apart from creatinine, potassium you have to target Hb, calcium, phosphorus, uric acid, Urine protein and RBCs, and bicarbonate. Dietary precautions are also very important. I hope your concerns have been answered. Regards.
3 people found this helpful

Sir. I am experiencing back pain. After ultrasound, my mid ureter was having a kidney stone of 4.8 mm, another stone of 3.2 mm in the kidney. The left kidney was having 4.2 mm stone. It also mentioned cystitis and insignificant PVR. I am taking the treatment from last 3 months still there is no improvement. Please suggest precautions and foods to avoid. I am regularly consuming vitamin b6 syrup with potassium and magnesium citrate composition. Please help sir.

DM - Nephrology, MD - General Medicine
Nephrologist, Delhi
Dear lybrate-user, For a 10 mm stone in ureter the more appropriate approach would be to remove the stone by surgery. Please consult an urologist at the earliest for proper treatment. Obstructive stone in the ureter can lead to permanent damage to that particular kidney. I hope you get the right kind of treatment and advise.
1 person found this helpful

Is rock salt (saindhava lavanam). Good? instead of sodium salt? Doctors say that sodium salt is not good for the heart-health. Rack salt has potassium content and it is good for heart. Is it correct sir.

Diploma In Human Nutrition, Certified Diabetes Educator, Diploma in Holistic Nutrition, Diploma in Sport & Exercise Nutrition, Lifestyle Medicine, BSc
Dietitian/Nutritionist, Bangalore
Rock salt is better than factory processed salt. But all salts have sodium as main content. In rock salt, there are other minerals apart from sodium which are beneficial. In factory salt other minerals are removed and only sodium remains. Thought rock salt is better, it should not be over consumed.
4 people found this helpful

Popular Health Tips

Health Tip

BSc - Food & Applied Nutrition, MSc - Food & Applied Nutrition
Dietitian/Nutritionist, Faridabad
Health Tip

MONDAY MOTIVATION:

WholeGrains are those in which the nutrients remain intact. Whole grains are better sources of fiber and other important nutrients, such as selenium, potassium and magnesium. Whole grains are either single foods, such as brown rice and popcorn, or ingredients in products, such as buckwheat in pancakes or whole wheat in bread.

RefinedGrains are milled, a process that strips out both the bran and germ to give them a finer texture and longer shelf life. The refining process also removes many nutrients, including fiber. Refined grains include white flour, white rice, white bread and degermed cornflower. Many breads, cereals, crackers, desserts and pastries are made with refined grains, too.

 

BENEFITS OF HAVING WHOLE GRAINS:

 

  • They are high in fibre, so help in digestion.
  • They help to lower the cholestrol
  • They lower blood pressure
  • They help to control to weight
  • They will provide more satiety
  • Help to regulate blood sugar
  • They are rich in vitamins and minerals

 

1 person found this helpful

Kidney Dysfunction - The Ayurvedic Remedies For It!

Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery (BAMS)
Ayurveda, Valsad
Kidney Dysfunction - The Ayurvedic Remedies For It!

The bean-shaped organ kidneys in our body is one of the most important parts that helps in eliminating waste products from the body and also for maintaining the hormonal balance. But due to various reasons such as stress or wrong diet, often the kidneys may face irregular working disorder.

Of course, there are a number of medicines today and also medical treatments to cure various kidney diseases. But if you are not pretty sure of taking such treatments and wish to have something much secure, then trying the home remedies can be the best thing. Ayurveda has a list of remedies that help in curing such kidney issues.

Things To Avoid

  1. Reducing Salt Intake: When the condition of the kidney is not feasible, consuming salt over it can make the situation even worse. If you are urinating, again and again, this means that your body already have an excess amount of potassium and the kidney failure is may be due to an abnormal balance of hormones in the body fluid. Hence, it is the best thing to take a low salt diet. Consuming frozen food items may also add extra salt to the body and hence an ideal practice is to go for fresh fruits, vegetables and meat items.
  2. Lowering Protein Intake: Now, this is a tricky thing and you need to cross check this. There are many times when kidney problems take place due to the high amount of protein intake while some other times it takes place due to lack of protein in the body. So, lowering the protein intake can be done to cross check whether the condition is improving or not.

Remedies To Follow

  1. Herbal Tea: Among various natural remedies that can be started to cure kidney ailments, one of the best one is to include herbal tea in the diet. There are a number of herbal tea options that can be included in your daily diets such as dandelion tea, blueberry tea and marshmallow tea, but the one that is said to affect the most is the green tea. Green tea is said to be high in antioxidant properties and hence they are great in curing kidney ailments.
  2. Aloe Vera Juice: This one plant helps in curing a number of issues both externally as well as internally. Whether it is skin issue or intestine issue, aloe vera juice can be of great help. Aloe Vera has an anti-oxidant property and hence it is great in treating kidney infection and then curing the diseases of the kidney completely.
  3. Water: This can be the simplest way to treat any kind of kidney problem. If you are in the initial stage of any kidney ailment, then the best way is to treat it with water. Drink at least about 6-8 glasses of water each day that will allow you to urinate more and hence the problem may get cured.
  4. Yoga: Pranayam, suryanamaskar and meditation should be followed everyday. 

There are different medicines and also herbs available to treat kidney dysfunction. But these above mentioned can be the easiest methods of all.

4 people found this helpful

Brown Sugar Vs. Normal Sugar - Which One Is Healthier?

Bachelor In Clinical Nutrition and Dieteics, Master in Nutrition and Dietetics
Dietitian/Nutritionist, Pune
Brown Sugar Vs. Normal Sugar - Which One Is Healthier?

They say, not everything sweet necessarily leaves a sweet taste. True to that, sugar, whether brown or white, is often considered detrimental to health. Not only does it trigger glucose imbalance in the body, it also heightens the potential of cardiovascular diseases. However, if a comparison is drawn between white and brown sugar, the latter is assumed to be healthier. Brown sugar is essentially granulated sugar with molasses, so it contains greater amount of minerals and consequently is recommended over white sugar. Molasses, being a more natural constituent, reaps more health benefits in comparison to white sugar.

The usual process of manufacturing sugar involves extracting the juice from sugar cane, which then is centrifuged to form finer granules. Unlike white sugar, it goes into further processing; brown sugar is blended with molasses. This enhances the natural constituency of the sugar and makes it more refined. Brown sugar has certain explicit advantages. Often, white sugar includes synthetic flavors which may cause further damage to your health. As against this, brown sugar is slightly more beneficial.

Brown sugar comes with few other discrete advantages. A large number of weight watchers vouch for it. Compared to white sugar, brown sugar supplies a fairly reduced amount of calories. Moreover, brown sugar is surfeit in minerals. It provides one with a decent quantum of calcium, magnesium, iron and potassium. With regard to taste, brown sugar has a quainter taste than white sugar. Brown sugar, on account of the greater proportion of molasses content, usually is less saccharine than white sugar.

While the minimal processing that goes into making brown sugar enhances its nutritive value, it really isn't a healthy alternative to plain sugar. True, it retains more health enzymes than plain sugar, but it does not really benefit your body. Many perceive that the hype around the health benefits of brown sugar is a marketing strategy and gimmicky stance to increase its market values.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

2 people found this helpful

A Perfect Natural & Effective Weight Loss Technique!

MD - Ayurveda
Ayurveda, Visakhapatnam
A Perfect Natural & Effective Weight Loss Technique!

Obesity not only looks bad, it is the starting point of major life threatening diseases today. People who are obese or who are overweight try out desperately all kinds of weight loss programs and are willing to pay any price to lose that extra weight. All kinds of diets and trainers have mushroomed promising the moon and in course making money at their will. In Ayurveda, this problem and its solution was diagnosed centuries ago. In the past decade, the popularity of Ayurvedic products have seen a resurgence. Ayurveda recommends Bottle Gourd as an excellent source for weight loss and hence, a perfect solution for obesity. Most of us are not aware of the fact that a bottle gourd juice is a healthy daily tonic and can work wonders for our health.

Bottle gourd juice is extremely effective for those who want to lose weight. Bottle gourd is commonly known as ghia, lauki, dudhi and soorakaya, in addition to other names. One just needs to do is peel off the skin of a fresh bottle gourd, chop it into little pieces, put it in a juicer and prepare the juice. One must include this juice regularly in breakfast to reduce weight. Since this juice is full of vitamins, potassium and iron, it is extremely nutritious. This juice is known to curb one’s appetite if one can manage to drink it in the morning on an empty stomach.

Those who detest the juice form, they can eat raw bottle gourd or peeling the skin of a fresh bottle gourd and cutting it into little pieces to eat as part of salad. This is also a healthy option which could lead to weight-loss. Bottle gourd is one of the best foods you can have if you want to lose weight as it contains 96% water, and a 100g serving contains as little as 15 calories. The high fibre content will take care of one’s hunger pangs thus, preventing one from over eating. Its juice can work as a wonderful snack replacement. The bottle gourd as well as its juice is a powerful fat burner as it has rich fibre content, water, vitamins (especially B complex and C), potassium, iron, and sodium. It’s fibre content is an effective appetite suppressant that allows easy control of food consumption.

While preparing the juice of a bottle gourd, one should not strain with a sieve as the fiber is the key to weight loss. One cannot expect to melt all your fat by just drinking bottle gourd and it has to be coupled with a low calorie diet and adequate exercise. One must have the bottle gourd juice as a first thing in the morning as it is a great way to detox one’s body. It is low in calories and fat and rich in antioxidants, which make it a great supplement to weight loss. So what are you waiting for? Just include the bottle gourd juice in your regular breakfast today and lose weight in an effective stress free manner.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

3372 people found this helpful

Best Diet For People Suffering From COPD!

MD PULMONARY, DTCD
Pulmonologist, Faridabad
Best Diet For People Suffering From COPD!

One of the best and easiest ways to manage the symptoms of the chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD is through a healthy and nutrient dense diet. This would not only help you to not only keep the severity of the symptoms in check but also to maintain a healthy weight.

Tips to keep in mind when choosing a diet

  1. Managing Weight: It is essential for patients with COPD to manage their weight. The symptom of breathlessness could be more severe if you are overweight. You might feel fatigued and tired if you are underweight. Therefore it is crucial to monitor your calorie intake and therefore also your weight as recommended by the American Lung Association.
  2. Balanced Diet: It is essential for patients with COPD to eat a healthy, nutritious and balanced diet. One that is varied and rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean meats or proteins according to a study published in the August 2014 issue of the International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. A well-balanced diet will ensure that you get all the necessary vitamins such as C, E, and D that are necessary to help you cope with this condition.
  3. Protein: Lean proteins such as eggs, meat, poultry, nuts, beans, and fish especially oily fish such as mackerel and sardines, should be incorporated into your meal plan. These proteins are necessary for patients with COPD especially if they are managing their condition through exercise.
  4. Carbohydrates and food high in fibre such as lentils, oats, and beans will improve the functioning of the digestive system.
  5. Potassium: Fruits and vegetables such as beets, potatoes, bananas are especially beneficial in preventing water retention in patients

Foods To Limit Or Avoid
People react differently to foods, there are some foods that patients with COPD should limit or avoid but if they do not seem to have an impact on your symptoms you can make them a part of your meal plan.

  1. Limiting salt intake irrespective of whether you are a COPD patient or not is always a good step to take. But if you are a COPD patient excessive salt in your diet could cause fluid retention which could worsen your shortness of breath.
  2. Dairy products such as milk and cheese can irritate the respiratory pathways making phlegm thicker.
  3. Certain fruits and vegetables such as apples, cabbage, stone fruits such as peaches and soybeans can cause gas and bloating.
  4. Caffeine in coffee and chocolate could interfere with certain medications that you have been prescribed. Confirm with your doctor if you can still include them in your diet. Patients with COPD need to drink plenty of fluids and it might be beneficial to opt for non-caffeinated beverages.
  5. Fried, greasy and spicy food can cause gas and indigestion which can affect breathing.

Discuss your diet with your doctor or ask for a recommendation of a nutritionist who would help you to work out a meal or diet plan best suited for your condition.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

5 people found this helpful

Table of Content

Potassium
Nutritional Value of Potassium
Health Benefits of Potassium
Contains potassium
Regulates sugar
Muscle contraction
Low pressure
Alkaline content
Treats cramps
Retains fluid
Contains salts
Builds muscle
Removes tiredness
Manage stress
Uses of Potassium
Side-Effects & Allergies of Potassium
Origin And Cultivation of Potassium