What role does potassium play in our health?
- Improves heart health: Potassium helps maintain a healthy heart rate. Contraction and relaxation of the heart muscles are dependent on potassium.
- For high blood pressure: Potassium rich foods reduce the effects of sodium and thus control the blood pressure. Potassium dietary supplements help lower blood pressure too.
- Pregnancy: The need of this element increases during pregnancy. Almost 4700mg of potassium per day is needed by pregnant women. 5100mg of potassium daily is required by nursing mothers. Potassium is needed to maintain electrolyte balance.
- Osteoporosis: Foods rich in potassium help contain bicarbonate ion and preserve calcium in the bones; thus, preventing osteoporosis.
- Kidney stones: Excess calcium excretion increases the risk of developing kidney stones. Increasing your intake of potassium decreases excretion of urinary calcium. However, it is important to note that excess potassium is harmful in older people and people with kidney stones.
- Diabetes: Increasing potassium consumption may not be helpful for diabetics. Check with a doctor before increasing your potassium intake. In cases of diabetic ketoacidosis, the potassium level drops; thus, foods rich in potassium are recommended for individuals with this condition.
Potassium is no doubt an important mineral that needs to be a part of any healthy diet. Therefore, it is important to consume foods that contain potassium on a regular basis.