Potassium is widely distributed in the body fluid. An average amount of 4 gm of Potassium is present in the diet. Potassium is easily absorbed. Daily Recommended Potassium 3,500 mg. It helps in contraction of muscle, maintain in acidity & alkalinity, help in heart function, energy production & sensation in nerve muscles. One of the main functions of potassium is to help your body maintain the proper level of calcium by binding it to your bones, decreasing the risk of osteoporosis. It also helps remove any surplus potassium through your urine. People with low potassium levels are more prone to develop kidney stones. In addition to helping manage your nervous and circulatory system, people with a normal potassium level usually have lower blood pressure and less likely to have a stroke or heart attack. Nearly all foods have some potassium, so if you eat a well balanced diet your daily potassium level should be just fine.
However if your blood potassium levels are low then there are many foods, fruits and vegetables, which will help you raise your potassium.
Bananas: Bananas are everyone's first choice when they need a potassium rich food. The yellow South American fruit has approximately 550mgs of potassium per medium sized fruit. Although bananas can be eaten baked in bread or mixed into a pudding, you will get the maximum amount of potassium just by eating the banana raw or cut into pieces and mixed in your cereal.
Papaya: Another fruit that is an excellent source of potassium is the papaya. Just one eighth ounce papaya has 936 mg of potassium. In addition to being a food that is potassium rich food, the papaya also helps prevent cancer and easing ulcer pain. The papin in papayas helps cure all sorts of digestive problems.
Cabbage: One cup of cooked cabbage will provide your body with 277mg of potassium. Eating cabbage is also an excellent way to maintain your ocular health. Cabbage has also been useful in the prevention of Alzheimer's disease.
Additional potassium rich foods include; skim milk, apples, low-fat yogurt, peanuts, peanut butter, mushrooms, strawberries, tomatoes, potatoes, onions, ice cream, pumpkin, and raisins.
Importance of Potassium Rich Foods: If you follow a healthy, well-balanced, and plentiful diet of foods high in potassium, it is not likely that you will need to worry about suffering from mineral imbalance. Potassium is naturally found in fresh fruit, vegetables, whole grains, and dairy products, meat, poultry & fish foods. A number of potassium supplements are available in the market, and quite a few people include these in their daily regimen.
Some people, of course, don't have much choice. Various ailments deem it necessary for them to monitor their potassium intake, and so it is necessary for them to take supplements which inform them about the exact amount of potassium that is daily ingested.
Athletes and other sports people also require potassium supplements. If you exercise vigorously, keep in mind that sweating brings mineral imbalance and you should take frequent breaks to refuel depleting potassium levels with electrolyte drinks and energy bars.
What foods are high in potassium? Aside from the aforementioned cantaloupe, potassium rich foods include: Bananas, Oranges, Apricots, Avocado, Strawberries, Potatoes, Tomatoes, Cucumber, Cabbage, Cauliflower, mushrooms, Brussels, Turmeric, Parsley, Spinach, Broccoli, Halibut.
Potassium is a mineral salt (electrolyte) that is essential for maintaining the balance of pH levels in our body fluids. It plays an important role in regulating our blood pressure; bone mass, nervous system, muscle function, heart, kidney and adrenal functions. Low levels of potassium can cause potassium deficiency and bring on a whole host of health problems. People with a potassium deficiency are said to be suffering from Hypokalemia. There are number of causes that can bring on potassium deficiency. The usual suspects are a poor or inadequate diet that required potassium rich food. People with diabetes and kidney problems are also likely to suffer from mineral imbalance.
You will know that you are deficient in potassium if you find yourself experiencing an overall weakness and seem to be constantly fatigued. You are also likely to have trouble concentrating on your daily tasks, and may have difficulty with muscular coordination. Potassium deficiency can lead to high blood pressure problems, hypertension, strokes, and heart irregularities.
Lecturer (Kriya sharer)
State Ayurvedic College & Hospital
Atarra (Banda) 210201