What is Potassium?
Potassium is one of the substances that regulate the electrolyte balance in our body. Its functions are many. It ensures the proper functioning of the kidneys and prevents water retention. It also maintains a steady heart rate and limits blood pressure. Potassium containing sodium ensures that the acid-base balance in the body keeps the pH value at an acceptable level.
Potassium, which is indispensable for the proper functioning of our body, works together with sodium to maintain the acid-base balance of our entire body. Thanks to this mineral, our heart can also beat and other muscles can contract. Adequate potassium protects us from high blood pressure and reduces the risk of heart disease, stroke and osteoporosis.
What Foods Find Potassium?
Some foods are known for their high potassium content. This mineral is especially found in large quantities in spinach. There is about 302 mg of potassium in every 100 g. What are the other recommended foods? Coffee is one of them. This hot drink replenishes potassium.
However, caution is advised against the risk of overdose, often referred to as hyperkalemia. The level of potassium in the blood should normally be about 0.2 g / l of blood. This pathology is often due to other conditions. Intestinal bleeding, kidney problems, infection. It is usually manifested by vomiting and heart problems. Hyperkalemia can cause serious health problems, so seek medical attention as soon as possible.
It is also found in foods such as dried tomatoes, nuts and bananas. Since potassium is essential for the proper functioning of nerve impulses and muscle contractions, a deficiency can also lead to muscle weakness for the heart muscle. It is also found in meat, lean and especially fatty fish, chocolate and whole grains. Only fatty substances of animal origin (butter, cream), vegetable (oil, vegetable) or mixed (margarine) practically do not contain potassium.
What Causes Potassium Deficiency?
Often, along with high blood pressure, a potassium deficiency can be caused by edema.
Conversely, too much potassium can have the same consequences on the heart, we’ve seen cardiac arrest due to ingestion of high doses of potassium found in food supplements. These are very rare cases. There are no known cases of potassium overdose from food. It is excreted very well in the urine.
Potassium works inside cells, along with sodium formed outside the cells. This movement has the effect of sending nerve impulses to the muscles, which can then contract. Therefore, potassium is essential for cardiovascular health. It also has a role in terms of proteins and carbohydrates. The level of potassium, called serum potassium, must be balanced to keep the heart, muscles and kidneys working properly.
What Are the Benefits of Potassium?
Potassium plays an important role in the body’s acid-base balance and helps neutralize acids metabolized after meals. It participates in the transmission of nerve impulses and is necessary for muscle contraction. It helps regulate blood pressure and thus compensates for the negative effects of excess sodium to lower high blood pressure.
Cases of excess are relatively rare, the level of potassium in the blood (or serum potassium) is normally regulated by the kidneys and the excess is excreted in the urine. Cases of severe deficiency (or hypokalemia) are also relatively rare. On the other hand, cases of deficits are frequent and are manifested by a certain degree of fatigue or weakness, muscle cramps, bloating or constipation.
The need may increase in athletes (who can eliminate most of it by sweating), post-menopausal women, hypertensives, those who do not eat enough fresh fruits and vegetables, those who receive certain medical treatments or those who use them regularly.