Know the Benefits of Potassium for the Body
Know the Benefits of Potassium for the Body
Potassium or potassium is one type of mineral needed by the body. There are various benefits of potassium for the health of the body. One of them is to protect the body from various diseases. Potassium intake can be obtained by eating several types of vegetables and fruits.
The benefits of potassium are always associated with its role as a type of electrolyte in the body. Electrolytes play an important role in regulating body fluids, conducting electrical signals to nerves, and regulating muscle contraction.
Therefore, the adequacy of electrolytes (one of which is potassium) is very important because it can affect organ function and body performance.
Benefits of Potassium for Body Health
Not only that, potassium also has several important health benefits, including:
1. Lowering blood pressure
Potassium helps relieve tension in the walls of blood vessels, thereby lowering blood pressure. In addition, foods containing potassium can help reduce excess salt levels in the body by excreting it through urine.
2. Maintain a healthy heart and blood vessels
Adequate potassium intake can prevent diseases of the blood vessels, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. Potassium is also able to prevent atherosclerosis or narrowing of the arteries.
In addition, the benefits of potassium in maintaining healthy nerves and muscle strength will also maintain the heart's ability to pump blood adequately. Some studies even mention that potassium is also useful for reducing the risk of heart rhythm disturbances (arrhythmias).
3. Maintain nerve function
The nervous system connects the brain and body. The brain sends messages to certain organs and body parts through electrical stimuli or impulses. Due to the performance of these nerves, the body is able to regulate muscle contractions and heart rate, as well as receive stimuli and feel pain (sensory function).
If the level of potassium in the blood is reduced, this can affect the brain's ability to generate nerve impulses.
Several studies show that long-term potassium deficiency can cause nerve and brain disorders, such as frequent tingling, forgetfulness or dementia, and muscle weakness.
4. Prevent kidney stones
Potassium is able to bind calcium in the urine, thereby preventing the formation of calcium mineral deposits that can become kidney stones. According to a study, people whose daily potassium intake is adequate have a lower risk of developing kidney stones than people who are deficient in potassium.
5. Maintain bone density
Potassium plays a role in keeping calcium from being wasted through urine. In addition, potassium can also increase the absorption of calcium in the bones, so that the bones do not lose their density (osteoporosis) and are not easily broken.
6. Prevent muscle cramps
Muscle cramps are conditions when muscles contract suddenly and uncontrollably. This condition can occur due to a lack of potassium in the body. Inside muscle cells, potassium helps convey signals from the brain that stimulate muscle contractions, as well as help end those contractions.
When potassium levels in the blood are low, the brain cannot communicate signals effectively, so muscles continue to contract and cause cramps.
Types of Foods Containing Potassium
Adults need 4,500-4,700 mg of potassium per day. However, the body is not able to produce potassium on its own, so potassium intake must be obtained from food.
Some types of foods that contain a lot of potassium are:
- Vegetables, such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, broccoli, spinach, asparagus, and mushrooms.
- Fruits, including bananas, bananas, apples, tomatoes, melons, oranges, and pumpkins.
- Legumes, such as kidney beans, peas, almonds, and soybeans.
- Milk and its products, such as yogurt and cheese.
- Red rice.
Apart from food, potassium can also be obtained from electrolyte drinks, herbal plants, such as Moringa leaves, and supplements. However, consumption of potassium supplements must be based on doctor's advice to avoid excess potassium (hyperkalemia) which is also dangerous.
In addition, if you suffer from certain diseases, such as kidney disorders, diabetes, or heart rhythm disorders, you should not eat foods that are high in potassium and potassium supplements are too much.
Consult with your doctor about how much potassium intake is recommended according to your condition and whether you need to take potassium supplements to meet potassium needs.