Why are potassium-rich foods so important? The fact is that the human body is an incredibly complex biochemical structure that can function normally only in the presence of a certain amount of various microelements.
Potassium is one of them. He is responsible for the work of many systems: bone and muscle, excretory, cardiovascular and even nervous. Potassium is easily absorbed, but just as easily excreted from the body. Therefore, it is extremely important to know with the help of which food products you can maintain the balance of this substance in the body.
Potassium functions in the body
Potassium belongs to the soft metals of the alkaline series, occupies a place in the periodic table with atomic number 19 and is designated by the letter “K”. It is so chemically active that it does not occur in free form in nature, but it is a part of many elements. In terms of the content of potassium in the earth’s crust, it ranks seventh.
During the electrolysis of caustic solid potassium in the fall of 1807, the English chemist Davy isolated a metal that was later named potassium (from the Arabic “al-kali” – potash). And only 150 years later it was discovered how important this element plays in animal cells. This discovery was made by the 1997 Nobel laureate, Danish chemist Jens Skow. Studying the exchange of potassium, sodium and magnesium ions in crab cells, he made the assumption that similar chemical processes occur in other living organisms. This prompted scientists to take a closer look at the light metal.
Any substance is built from the simplest elements that are in constant circulation. Chemically indivisible molecules are the basis for all living things. Minerals make up about 4-5% (~ 2.5 kg) of our body weight.
A list of the main functions of potassium in the body:
• participates in the transmission of nerve impulses and the contraction of muscle cells, in the work of these cells (especially affects cardiac activity);
• maintains osmotic pressure in cells, tissues and biological fluids;
• provides acid-base balance;
• regulates water balance in the body;
• helps to lower blood pressure
The body needs to maintain blood potassium levels within a narrow range. Too high (hyperkalemia) or too low (hypokalemia) levels can cause serious consequences, such as irregular heartbeat or even cardiac arrest.
13 Foods rich in potassium:
Almost a quarter of the daily value of the element is contained in one medium-sized potato, so meals with this vegetable in the diet are an excellent way to strengthen the heart muscle. In addition to potassium, potatoes contain a large amount of beta-carotene and vitamin C, which remains in them even after boiling. These substances stimulate the immune system and are able to repair damaged blood vessels and arteries.
A half of a salmon fillet contains more than 20% of the required amount of potassium. In addition, red fish is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, other vitamins and minerals that are very beneficial for humans. With regular consumption of salmon in food, blood pressure is normalized, the nervous system is strengthened.
One fruit of the avocado, or “alligator pear”, covers approximately 30% of the daily requirement for potassium. You can prepare a separate dish from it or add it to a salad.
It is well known that bananas improve the balance of electrolytes in the body, so when preparing for a competition, athletes actively include them in their diet. 1 large banana provides about 15% of your daily potassium intake.
All legumes are a source of potassium to one degree or another. In addition to fiber, ½ cup of lentils contains 350 mg of the element, which corresponds to 10% of the daily intake. Plus, the body will replenish the balance of copper and manganese, thereby strengthening the heart muscle and maintaining bone mineral density.
A healthy snack with regular potassium replenishment is raisins. A quarter cup contains almost 250 mg of the vital element. Although this is only 7% of the daily amount, raisins will also add fiber and other important minerals to the body.
Healthy edible mushrooms – a source of antioxidants, protein, and other organic compounds. Potassium in one cup of chopped mushrooms contains about 12% of the daily value, which will help lower blood pressure and oxidative stress.
A 150 g serving of tuna provides more than 10% of the potassium a person needs on a daily basis. Sea fish normalizes cholesterol levels, promotes heart health, and supplies our bodies with beneficial omega-3 fatty acids. They quite successfully play the role of antioxidants in some parts of the body.
The vibrant root vegetable is one of the richest foods in potassium and the most readily available source of the vital element. One glass of beets can easily cover 25% of your daily need. It is also high in phytonutrients and antioxidants to help support the immune system.
Almost 15% of the daily value of potassium, fiber, and other trace elements – all this is contained in half a glass of white beans. When consumed regularly, legumes can lower cholesterol levels and improve heart function.
Pomegranate juice is a storehouse of nutrients and vitamins. The grains of one fruit contain almost 20% of the daily intake of potassium, as well as vitamin C and other important antioxidants.
For heart problems, constipation, doctors strongly recommend including dried apricots in the diet. Indeed, in addition to fiber and vitamin A, almost 100 mg of potassium can be obtained from each fruit after soaking.
Since ancient times, in the East, dried figs have been taken with them on a journey. 100 grams of this sweetness contains almost 100 mg of potassium. In addition, dried figs are prized for their high content of bone-strengthening calcium, copper and manganese to enhance immunity.
In conclusion, we would like to remind you that every medal has two sides. Despite the fact that potassium is very important for our body, it can bring both benefits and harm with equal ease. Therefore, do not forget about the consumption rate, because we ourselves monitor our nutrition, and it is in our power to maintain a balance of the intake of all the necessary elements that are beneficial for health into the body.