Health Benefits of Potassium

 Potassium is a very important mineral for our body.  It is also known as an electrolyte since it helps in conducting electrical charges in our body.  Other electrolytes include magnesium, calcium, sodium and chloride.  If we have excess or little potassium in our body, health problems of the heart and nervous system may develop.  Our body uses potassium to Control the acid-base balance of our body, build our muscles, build proteins and to control the electrical activity of our heart.
1 Regulating Blood pressure
Diets that are rich in potassium have been able to reduce hypertension.  Potassium is an important mineral that lessens the effect of sodium and these two minerals need to be balanced in our body.  The dietary approach to stop hypertension recommends that we eat more fruits and vegetables and consume less sodium. Sodium is found in table salt, canned foods and most of our processed foods.  Diets that are aimed at bringing down hypertension will always incorporate foods that are rich in potassium.

2 Healthy Kidneys
Potassium is able to prevent kidney stones from developing.  Research has attributed this to the ability of potassium salts to neutralize the acidity of our blood stream. When our blood stream is acidic, calcium from our bones will leech in to help in neutralizing this acidity which will result increased urine calcium. Increased urine calcium can result in deposition leading to the formation of kidney stones.  It is worth noting that people who have already been diagnosed with kidney problems should consult with their Doctor or Nurse before increasing their intake of dietary potassium.

3 Treating the symptoms of Hypokalemia
Hypokalemia results when our body loses too much potassium through our intestines and urine, especially during a case of diarrhea. It is hardly caused by a diet deficient in potassium. The symptoms of hypokalemia include irregular heartbeat, muscle cramps, body weakness and lack of energy.  The Doctor may prescribe potassium supplements in combination with foods that are rich in potassium.

4 Prevention of stroke
Studies have showed that people who consume foods that are rich in potassium have a reduced risk of developing stroke.

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