Potassium is the most abundant mineral in the human body. Furthermore, it plays a significant role in some of the body processes. However, some people do not consume enough of it. Just like any other minerals that our body needs, there is a proper amount of taking Potassium as well. This article will answer your question “How much potassium do you need?” This is in order to fill in the right amount of Potassium needed by the body to function well.
Potassium: What is it?
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Potassium is an important mineral and an electrolyte. In a variety of whole foods like leafy vegetables, fish, and legumes. 98% of the potassium in our body is found mainly in the cells. 80% of which are found inside the muscle cells, while the other 20% are found in the bone, red blood cells, and liver.
Potassium plays an important role in several processes that our body does. It is intricate in the contractions of muscle in the body, water balance management, and heart function. Notwithstanding its significance, some people don’t get enough of it.
A diet plan that is rich with this amazing mineral is often associated with lower risk of high blood pressure. Furthermore, it also helps in reducing the risk of having some serious conditions like kidney stones and osteoporosis.
Is Deficiency Common?
Unluckily, some people do not consume enough amount of potassium. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are deficient in it.
Hypokalemia or potassium deficiency is often characterized by a less than 3.5 mmol blood level of potassium per liter. Astoundingly, deficiencies are infrequently triggered by the lack of potassium in the diet.
It actually occurs when the body loses a large amount of potassium, same as with vomiting or diarrhea. Taking diuretics may also cause a deficiency in potassium. Diuretics, by the way, is a certain type of medication which causes the body to lose water.
Dietary Sources of Potassium
The most suggested way of increasing potassium in the body is by means of diet. Here are some of the foods that you may take to increase potassium levels in your body. Furthermore, also indicated here are the corresponding potassium contents of each food.
-Bananas: 358 mg
-Salmon, cooked: 414 mg
-Edamame beans: 436 mg
-Spinach, cooked: 466 mg
-Baked Sweet potato: 475 mg
-Avocado: 485 mg
-Soybeans, cooked: 539 mg
-Baked White potatoes: 544 mg
-Yams, baked: 670 mg
-Beet greens, cooked: 909 mg
Health Benefits of Potassium
A potassium-rich diet is often associated with astounding health benefits. It can alleviate or prevent some illnesses including the following:
– Kidney stones -Studies show that potassium-rich diets are linked with a significantly reduced risk of kidney stones than the diets low in potassium.
– Osteoporosis -Studies show that potassium-rich diets help in preventing osteoporosis, a condition where there is an increased risk of bone fractures.
– Stroke –Some studies show that a potassium-rich diet helps in reducing the risk of stroke by up to 27%.
– Salt sensitivity –Some people who are sensitive to salt may experience a 10% increase in their blood pressure after eating salt. Potassium-rich diet helps in eliminating salt sensitivity.
– High blood pressure -Many studies show that potassium-rich diets can help in reducing blood pressure. Hence, it is essential for those who have high blood pressure.
How much potassium do you need every day?
We now know that it is beneficial to our health, however, how much potassium do you need really to be healthier?
The daily intake of potassium depends on some factors including the health status, ethnicity, and activity levels. Despite the fact that there is no RDI for potassium, health organizations all over the world suggest or recommend potassium intake of at least 3500 mg a day. This is through food consumption.
The said organizations include the WHO or World Health Organization, and some other countries like Spain, UK, Belgium, and Mexico. Moreover, countries like Canada, US, Bulgaria, and South Korea recommends potassium consumption of at least 4700 mg a day.
Surprisingly, it seems that when some people consume more than 4700 mg/day, there are a lesser or no extra health benefits.
Conversely, there are some who can benefit more than the recommended potassium intake. This includes the:
–High-risk groups: This is a group of people who are at risk of high blood pressure, osteoporosis, stroke, or kidney stones. They may benefit from consuming no less than 4,700 mg of potassium per day.
– Athletes: We all know that all the athletes should be strong and all tough. Those who involve themselves in different sports may lose a substantial amount of potassium through sweating.
Potassium is essential for the body. Furthermore, it helps in maintaining the heart function, water balance, and muscle contraction. Large consumption of this mineral may help in reducing high blood pressure, the risk of stroke, and salt sensitivity. Additionally, it helps in protecting the body from kidney stones and osteoporosis.
As to the question, how much potassium do you need, it has to be answered by professionals or your own doctor. This is to ensure that the given dosage is just good for your health condition.