Potassium is the third largest mineral found in the human body

By: Taylor


Potassium is the third largest mineral found in the human body. It helps to balance the fluid level and electrolyte balance in body cells. It enables the conversion of body glucose into energy. Potassium is required to keep brain, kidney, heart and muscle tissues in good condition. So it is an essential mineral which should be a part of your daily dietary plan or intake.

Functions of potassium

Potassium has an important role in maintaining the water balance in the body.
It also has an important role in nerve reflexes which transfers the message from one part of the body to another. Thus, it helps in muscle contraction for our everyday activity.
Potassium helps the kidney to perform its task properly, playing an important role in eliminating the waste from body through excretion.
Potassium helps in maintaining a normal blood pressure in the human body thus, reducing the possibility of hypertension.
Potassium has a vital role in maintaining the electric conductivity of the brain, helping brain functions like learning and memory.
It is of help in preventing the occurrence of stroke in human brain.
It helps in reducing muscle cramps.
It is considered as a stress buster thus, reducing anxiety and stress among people suffering from it.
Potassium plays a vital role in extracting the energy out of nutrients consumed by man.
Source of potassium

The most important source of potassium is Banana. As per experts our daily diet should contain an appropriate intake of potassium. There is a huge list of grains, vegetable, fruits and meat that serves as a good source of potassium. Examples of potassium rich food are citrus fruits, fresh fruit juice, almonds, pistachios, chicken, salmon, potato, spinach, pecans, prunes, yams, tomato juice, sunflower seeds, peaches, bamboo shoots, pineapples, red snapper, acorn squash, whole milk and poultry.

Deficiency of Potassium

As we have good sources of potassium available in a number of fruits, vegetable, meat and grains its a rare deficiency in healthy individuals. But still exceptions are always there, the possible problems associated with potassium deficiencies are:

Fatigue
Muscle weakness
Abnormal heartbeat or fast heart-beat
High blood pressure
Mood swings
Excessive sweating
The possible cause for deficiency could be:

Diarrhea
Excessive vomiting
Anorexia
Dehydration
Recommended Dietary Allowance of Potassium

The guidelines for RDA vary as per age:

Infants from 0-6 months require 400 mg/day and those from 7-12 months require 700 mg/day.
Children from 1-3 years require 3,000 mg/day, 4-8 years require 3,800 mg/day and those from 9-13 years require 4,500 mg/day.
Adults and children older than 13 requires an intake of 4,700 mg/day.
Breast feeding woman requires 5,100 mg/day.
Tips and Warnings

Having a banana daily can help in reducing muscle cramps.
Do not take potassium if you have a digestive tract disorder.
If you are sensitive to aspirin or tartrazine then do not consume potassium.
Overdose of potassium can lead to weakness, mental confusion, feelings of burning or tingling, low blood pressure, irregular heartbeat and can even cause death.

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