Facts About Potassium and Potassium Rich Foods List
Potassium is a trace mineral, just like the manganese, essential for various functions of the body. Along with Sodium and Chloride, Potassium forms the electrolyte family of minerals. They are called electrolyte because when dissolve in water they conduct electricity. The proper amount and distribution of electrolytes in the body is essential for health. Most of the Potassium in our body store within the cells and regulates the activity of muscles and nerves. Regular consumption of Potassium is extremely important because body does not store it and the kidney continues to excrete it in the urine.
The role of Potassium in the body is extremely important when it comes to muscle contraction and nerve transmission. Potassium moves in and out of the cells through specialised channels but if this movement is interrupted or the Potassium is blocked then both muscles and nerves can suffer badly. Potassium is essential to keep pH or acid-base (the normal equilibrium between acids and alkalis in the body) balance. It also helps to keep normal water balance in the body. Potassium is needed for controlling the high blood pressure. In addition, Potassium is essential for kidney and heart functions, also helps lungs to get rid of carbon dioxide. Potassium stores Carbohydrate as muscle fuel.
Potassium Deficiency: Potassium Deficiency Symptoms
There are many symptoms that indicate the body needs more Potassium rich foods. These are:
• Muscle weakness
• Dysfunction of nerve and muscle
• Water retention
• Heart problem
• Kidney problem
• Low blood pressure level
• Dry Skin
• Hypokalemia (Abnormally low level of potassium in the circulating blood leading to weakness and heart abnormalities, starvation or taking diuretics)
Besides these there is another condition called Hyperkalemia. Although it is not Potassium deficiency condition but it’s a condition of abnormal blood Potassium level. In Hyperkalemia, Potassium levels go higher than normal levels in the circulating blood. This is associated with kidney failure or sometimes with the use of diuretic drugs.
Food Sources of Potassium
Potassium is found profusely in many foods. Lots of fruits and vegetables are rich sources of Potassium. Given below is the complete list:
3. Swiss Chard
10. Ripe Tomato
11. Mustard Greens
12. Winter Squash
13. Collard greens
14. Lima Beans
15. Green Beans
16. Dried Apricots
18. Crimini mushrooms
19. Bell Peppers
20. Romaine lettuce
22. Honeydew melon
29. Whole Milk
30. Blackstrap molasses
Deficiency of Potassium can happen due to poor dietary intake and overuse of muscles. These factors can increase the need of Potassium in the body. People with high blood pressure need more amount of Potassium.
Potassium plays an important role in the prevention and treatment of Atherosclerosis (involving fatty deposits (atheromas) inside the arterial walls, thus narrowing the arteries), Cataracts, Dehydration, Diabetes, Hepatitis, High blood pressure, Inflammatory bowel disease and Osteoporosis.