Potassium is one of the most important Foods for a good health but somehow there are not enough food materials that we can directly receive potassium from. Potassium forms part of every cell in the body and its’ important that we take care of them as they are the building blocks of the human existence itself. Besides maintaining the structure of the body, it also proactively keeps our brain, nerves, heart and muscles healthy and functional. Therefore, it becomes even more important that we take potassium in every possible way.
Usage of Potassium as Food Bi-Product
Potassium acts as a shield by lowering the blood pressure as it is one of the major risk factors for stroke and related heart disease as well. As per Dr. Lawrence Appel, MD, MPH and a professor of Medicine, Epidemiology, and International Health at John Hopkins Medical Institutions, ‘Potassium lowers blood pressure in the diet as High Blood Pressure is the major risk factor for stroke and heart diseases’. It also helps curb the blood pressure by flexing the arteries thereby helping it to get rid of excess sodium because it promotes fluid retention resulting in higher blood pressure. It also strengthens the bone hardness to prevent any bone loss or Arthritis while also being helpful in solving the problems regarding the Kidney Stones.
How Potassium Curbs Blood Pressure?
Potassium has that special and unique feature of curbing the blood pressure in the body. But it has properties more than just curbing the blood pressure. As per Marla Heller, MS, RD, ‘Diets that include foods rich in potassium are associated with lower blood pressure, but its not entirely accurate to give all the credit to only Potassium’. Dr. Appel has also researched in the similar field and found the effects of the Dietary Approaches to Stop hypertension (DASH) diet which helps a lot in curbing the blood pressure. He further found its impact in lowering the blood pressure in a time span ranging weeks. But the DASH diet has to be incorporated well in order to have larger impacts in shorter spans of time.
How Much Potassium is Enough?
Some of the experts in the field as well as the Nutritionists believe that about 4,700 milligrams of Dietary Potassium in the daily diet is essential for an adult person daily. In the United States, the average is slightly lower than the usual for other parts of the world. Adult men should take around 3,2000mg of dietary potassium daily while for women, the quantity is 2,400mg daily. Speaking on the same, Dr. Marla Heller opines, ‘Relying on convenience and restaurants foods and not eating enough foods and vegetables is why so many people do not get enough potassium’. ‘Fresh and lightly processed foods including dairy and meat, have the most potassium’, she adds. Most of the home cooked foods are also devoid of potassium as boiling tends to lower the potassium level in the food. While eating out, you can order an extra salad, steamed or roasted vegetables, beans or fruit cups to supplement the potassium needs of the body.
Which Foods to Prioritize for Potassium?
Food and not supplements are the source of Potassium and people should rely on natural foods and beverages for the same also. Potassium found in the food products will also have other nutrients such as fiber and which is healthy and beneficial for the overall growth of the body. Some of the foods which have good amount of Potassium include – Sweet Potato, White Beans, Winter Squash, Potato, Yogurt, Orange Juice, Halibut, Broccoli, Banana, Cantaloupe, Pork Tenderloin, milk, lentils, salmon, Raisins etc., as per the US Department of Health.
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