Written By Liz Oakes
The benefits of potassium relate to its action to help the body to work correctly, as it controls many important functions in the body.
In particular it ensures you have a healthy nervous system, regular heart rhythm and controls water levels in body cells.
This mineral has many functions in the body and one of the valuable ways it helps you is to help the body to covert glucose into glycogen for energy.
It is also important to control blood pressure and may help to prevent hypertension. It is helpful to aid fatigue, as it is involved in the way that the body produces energy.
Having an ample amount of this mineral is also important for your digestion, as it helps to eliminate waste products and balance the levels of fluid in the body.
If you are doing physical work, there are potassium benefits to help you to have adequate energy levels to work easily. It helps to ensure you have sufficient strength and stamina and prevents you from feeling lethargic.
It may not be advisable to take potassium supplements unless they are suggested by your health professional, as having too much can also cause health issues.
If you are taking any prescription drugs it can react with them, so check with your doctor if you have been prescribed any medications, in particular do not take potassium supplements if you are taking diuretics without asking your doctor.
What causes low potassium? This mineral has a strong relationship with sodium, and your sodium potassium balance is important.
Taking diuretics, often prescribed for high blood pressure, may also reduce your ability to absorb this mineral.
If you have high sodium levels caused by high dietary intake, you may discover that you have potassium deficiency symptoms.
Other things that can reduce your ability to absorb this mineral include both tobacco smoking, and drinking high amounts of beverages that contain caffeine, such as coffee or caffeinated cold drinks.
There are benefits of potassium if you live in a hot climate, and in summertime, as potassium is one of the important electrolytes in the body, along with both sodium and chloride.
Unfortunately if you have too much of one, the other goes up, so it is important to keep your sodium and potassium balanced.
The average person in western countries, including the USA, has a diet containing too much sodium, much of it found in the fast food that they consume.
Most processed food contains elevated amounts of sodium, which can be one of the causes of low potassium levels and potassium imbalance.
Too much sodium in your diet can reduce the level of potassium in your body, and can cause a number of health issues.
For the average person, there are benefits of potassium being increased in your diet, as this is a safe way to get this mineral.
The potassium in food and in supplements is not pure potassium, but is always bound to other non-metallic substances.
There are a number of valuable ways that this mineral aids the body, so it is of value to ensure that you eat adequate potassium rich foods to ensure that you remain healthy.
This mineral is found in the body in all cells but may be more concentrated in muscle tissues. The main effects of potassium in the body include the following:
If you have been experiencing high levels of stress, one of the effects of stress on your system, can be for the body to increase production of adrenal hormones.
When this continues long term, it can lead to adrenal gland exhaustion.
Too many adrenal hormones circulating in your blood can cause changes in your metabolism, and may cause the body to excrete minerals.
This includes phosphorous, potassium and magnesium, which may lead to deficiency of these minerals, and can also lead to high blood pressure.
A study into the effect of using supplements of potassium citrate and potassium chloride on subjects with normal blood pressure.
This study found that it lowered their blood pressure to the lower side of normal which was thought to be a good outcome. There are so many benefits of potassium and any excess is excreted in your urine.
The amount given was the equivalent of eating five half cup servings of fruit and vegetables. This survey established the importance of potassium in your diet.
There is a relationship between potassium and hypertension, or abnormally high blood pressure. A review in 1997 found that low potassium intake may be a factor in the development of high blood pressure.
Changing your diet to increase a range of different fruits that contain potassium, such as dried apricots, prunes and raisins, as well as fresh avocado, bananas, papaya and tomatoes is one of the natural gout remedies.
It is valuable to increase potassium rich food if you have high blood pressure, as it is difficult to get an excess by eating good sources of potassium in the diet.
Adding extra potassium to your diet, is a natural remedy for high blood pressure, and is easy to manage.
This natural health approach was found to be the best way to get this mineral rather than taking supplements. Eating vegetables and fruits high in potassium in your diet is beneficial in a number of ways.
The potassium in fruit and vegetables contains organic salts, such as citrate and malate. These salts are beneficial as they neutralize the acid in urine that causes kidney stones.
Other potassium benefits relate to its action to aid gout, as low potassium levels are related to gout.
Including these foods in your diet, will help to keep the uric acid in solution and prevent the painful gout symptoms caused by uric acid crystals.
Dietary sources of this mineral will not put you at risk of elevated potassium levels, which can happen if you take an excess of this mineral by using what may be inappropriate supplements.
If you are not sure, it is always of value to discuss this with your naturopath or other health professional if you have specific health issues.
There are so many benefits of potassium, that it is valuable to make sure that you include some good sources of potassium in your diet every day.
If you have been eating a diet that is high in salt such as eating a lot of fast foods or salt rich food, take action to change the situation.
This is especially important if you have health problems, including stress, this may mean that you might need extra potassium.
Are you aware of the effects of stress on your health? Do you suffer from high blood pressure or have a family history of hypertension?
If you have any of the potassium deficiency symptoms, make sure you take action to change your diet and begin eating more healthy alternatives.
If you have health problems such as severe kidney disease or are taking diuretics you may not be able to have extra potassium.
For the average person, if you take too much of this mineral you can excrete it in your urine, so it is safe to increase food high in potassium in your diet.
It is the safest way to take potassium, although your health care professional may suggest potassium supplements if you have health issues where they feel that is appropriate.
If you take daily vitamins supplements mention that to your doctor, as there may be small amounts in them as well.