Sunday, 3 November 2013

Potassium: Importance, Deficiency Symptoms & Sources

  • Role of Potassium:
Potassium is generally essential to maintain optimal human health. It is one of the most important nutrients for human body that assists major organs, cells and body tissues to function properly. It helps in keeping a healthy condition of cardiovascular health, brain, kidneys and good for muscular endurance. Potassium performs a host of multiple functions in the body such as it prevents from heart strokes. It plays a major role in the functioning of human brain cells. It is beneficial for the effective working of musculoskeletal system. Along with sodium it keeps a balance of salt and water in the body which is efficient in preventing kidney stones, maintaining the osmotic pressure and to maintain the pH of the blood.

Studies show that maintaining a good potassium level in the body is vital to improve the bone density in the elderly. It reduces the risks of onset of osteoporosis. The lower level of potassium is related with high blood pressure.
  • Potassium Daily Requirement:
Potassium is the macro nutrients that are vital to take in daily diet like calcium, sodium, magnesium and phosphorus. Maintaining a level of potassium in body is imperative to avoid health complications. There are diverse effects of various levels of potassium in the body. Diet conscious people often like to know that how much of which nutrition is needed on a daily basis.

An adult requires a minimum of 4700mg/day of potassium on daily basis. New born babies till children of about 10 years of age require 500mg/day to 2000mg/day as per their age. The requirement can be different individually.
  • Potassium Deficiency Causes:
The deficiency of potassium in the body is known as Hypokalemia. Diarrhea, excessive sweating, usage of insulin, side effects of certain medications, eating disorders, magnesium deficiency, malnutrition, renal illnesses, unnecessary use of laxatives for long time and dieting without proper planning are the major causes of Potassium deficiency.
  • Potassium Deficiency Symptoms:
Women are at a higher risk of developing the deficiency of potassium in their bodies. Excessive fatigue, weakness, abnormal heart beats, muscle cramps, palpitations, paralysis and muscle spasms and depression are the major symptoms to mark potassium deficiency in a n individual.
  • Sources of Potassium:
Grapes and other fruits that grow on vines, Carrots, Apricots, Bananas, Dry beans, Avocado, Dates, Nuts, Potatoes, Spinach and other leafy green vegetables, whole grains, Celery and fish are the major sources of gaining Potassium naturally. Additionally, with the dietary sources of potassium it can be ingested through capsule supplements, powder or in liquid form.

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