Foods rich in potassium. Why potassium is so important
- 1 What is Potassium ?
- 2 Importance of Potassium
- 3 High potassium levels
- 4 Potassium loss
- 5 Symptoms of Lack of Potassium
- 6 Potassium RDA
- 7 Potassium regulation
- 8 Sodium Potassium balance
- 9 Potassium in the diet
- 10 Top 10 foods high in potassium
What is Potassium ?
Potassium is an essential mineral that is present in the body, and particularly important for cellular and electrical function. It is one of the main ” electrolytes ” (together with sodium and chloride), which means carrying a small electric charge (potential). In many functions, potassium is sodium opposition, and the two positive ions are jointly balanced by the negative chloride ion.
Importance of Potassium
The potassium along with sodium, regulate the balance of water and acid-base balance in the blood and tissues. Potassium enters the cell more easily than sodium and instigates the sodium-potassium brief exchange through cell membranes.
In nerve cells, this flow generates the sodium-potassium electric potential that helps the conduction of nerve impulses. When potassium leaves the cell, it changes the membrane potential and allows the nerve impulse progresses.
This electrical potential gradient, created by the ” sodium-potassium “, helps generate muscle contractions and regulates the heart beat.
Important in cellular biochemical reactions and energy metabolism. Potassium is also involved in carbohydrate metabolism, helping the conversion of glucose into glycogen, and storage as future energy source.
Involved in protein synthesis from amino acids in the cell, so that it plays a prominent role in normal growth and muscle building role.
High potassium levels
This disorder is known as hyperkalemia, and the main cause of excess potassium in the body is due to an increased contribution, redistribution or decreased renal excretion. Very high levels of potassium are a medical emergency due to the risk of cardiac arrhythmia. An excess of potassium can lead to:
- Muscular weakness
- muscle cramps and / or muscle paralysis
- Cardiac arrhythmia
Among the most common factors that produce losses potassium levels in our body are:
- Sweating (may account for the loss of 3,000 mg per day)
- Excess tea / coffee / caffeinated beverages
- some antibiotics
Symptoms of Lack of Potassium
Potassium deficiency is called hypokalemia, resulting in a decrease in plasma potassium, so that may result in the following symptoms:
- muscle and nerve dysfunction
- Water retention
- cardiac arrhythmia (rhythm disturbances, palpitations)
- Muscular weakness
- Impaired renal function
- continuous thirst
- Hypotension or low blood pressure
- Vomiting (also increase the rate of loss of potassium)
According to Regulation (EU) 1169/2011 of 25 October 2011, the reference daily intake of potassium for adults is at 2000 mg. However, according to the recommendations emanating from the Food and Nutrition Center of the Institute of Medicine:
- Children : 3 grams ranges from early childhood up to 4-4.5 grams between 4 and 13 years.
- Adults and children over 14 years: 4.7 grams.
Our body uses controls to ensure that the correct potassium levels to support the normal functioning of muscle and nervous system. When the potassium concentration rises, the adrenal glands secrete the hormone aldosterone, for the kidneys to excrete excess potassium. Conversely, when there are low potassium levels, there is a decrease of this hormone, leading to conservation of this electrolyte. The circumstances that interfere with the balance of potassium can affect the electrical impulses needed to sustain a heartbeat, causing an abnormal heart rhythm.
Sodium Potassium balance
A diet high in sodium but low potassium intake influences to raise blood pressure. The most common requirement is to prescribe diuretics that may cause further loss of potassium, exacerbating the underlying problems. In this aspect, it is necessary to include a right balance of foods with high potassium content, to avoid mismatch this mineral in our body.
Potassium in the diet
- If you take large amounts of coffee, perhaps without realizing dissimilar account the fatigue that you suffer from lack of potassium
- If you have anxiety about eating too many sweets, this may mean low potassium levels
- With sweating potassium and magnesium is lost. To replace them must take fruits and vegetables after training hours
- If you suffer from hypoglycemia you can lose potassium and retain water
- Diabetics and people with kidney disease should monitor their potassium intake with medical indication
Top 10 foods high in potassium
We often completely abandon this product because of starch and carbohydrates. But this should not be done. One medium potato contains 900 mg of potassium. Eating just one potato in the afternoon as a side dish, you can get a little more than 1/5 of the daily potassium. Potatoes also contain vitamin C, vitamin B6, iron and fiber (especially in the peel).
Fresh tomatoes also contain potassium. But much more of it is in dried tomatoes or tomato paste. A glass of such tomatoes contains 1 800 mg of potassium, which is about 40% of the daily recommended amount. Plus, tomatoes contain a lot of fiber, vitamin C, vitamin E, improve the digestive and immune systems and are useful for the heart.
Red and white beans are equally good for the body. And both contain a lot of potassium in one Cup of red beans 600 mg, white – 1 000 mg of bean is high in fiber, protein and iron.
The concentration of nutrients contained in fresh apricots increases in dry form. Therefore, 100 grams of dried apricot contains as much as 1,162 mg of potassium-more than in many other foods!
In addition to potassium (686 mg per 0.5 Cup), prunes contain vitamins B1, B2, C, magnesium, phosphorus and iron.
Avocado-one of the most useful fruits, the properties of which will never get tired to tell. One avocado contains 975 mg of potassium, as well as magnesium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, various vitamins and healthy fats, which are so important for the heart and good skin condition.
In 100 grams you can find 628 mg of potassium-this is more than in any other fish. In addition, the red fish a lot of omega-3 and vitamin D. By the way, Harvard scientists have found such a pattern – the more fish in our diet, the longer life expectancy, and the risk of death from heart disease can be reduced by as much as 35%.
Excellent garnish for fish and meat dishes, as well as a frequent ingredient of the most delicious smoothies contains 558 mg of potassium in 100 grams. Leafy salads are the most useful thing nature has given us. This is exactly the kind of food you need to eat every day: minimum calories and maximum benefit.
Different types of pumpkins – acorn and winter-have rather big stock of potassium: in 100 grams of cooked acorn pumpkin its 437 mg, and in winter-448 mg.
Freshly squeezed orange juice is a healthy start to the day. In addition to vitamin C and b vitamins, folic acid, oranges also contain potassium. In one glass of juice will be about 473 mg of potassium.