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Image Source - Kidneys Disease
Potassium, the third most abundant mineral in human body, is a powerful element in improving health. It contains the components for maintaining a high level of well-being and an improved lifestyle. Potassium chloride is the main variety of this mineral, and it works in association with sodium to perform a number of critical body tasks. Potassium is often considered an essential health nutrient, due to its numerous health benefits, such as discussed below.
Potassium plays an important role in keeping brain function at a normal level. High levels of potassium allow more oxygen to reach the brain, thereby stimulating neural activity and increasing cognitive function. It is of great importance in preventing the occurrence of stroke in the human brain.Since potassium acts as a vasodilator, the blood vessels relax throughout the body when proper amounts of potassium are consumed. This means that blood flows more freely, and is less likely to clot and break off to cause strokes.
Another significant role that potassium plays is in the maintenance of an optimal fluid balance in the human body. Different types of cells require a proper water balance for efficient functioning and potassium aids these cells in regulating the balance. Fluid balance keeps all of our organ systems functioning in one way or the other, which is why many people recommend eating bananas after athletic events, or after a heavy night of drinking, in order to rehydrate and optimize fluid balance.
Potassium plays an important role in regular muscle contraction. A sufficient concentration of potassium is required for the regular contraction and relaxation of muscles. Most of the potassium ions in the human body are located in the muscle cells. It maintains optimal muscle and nerve function, and helps to keep our reflexes fast because it stimulates the neural connectivity of muscles and the brain.
It plays an irreplaceable role in regulating the functions of the metabolism and keeping the heart and kidneys running smoothly. Additionally, this mineral assists kidneys in removing waste through the process of excretion. However, it is strongly advised to consult your doctor to get recommendations about potassium dosage, because potassium can help stimulate the body to absorb more calcium than necessary, which can actually calcify and cause kidney problems, rather than solve them.
The benefits of potassium even extend to improving the health of your bones. There are certain qualities of potassium which neutralize various acids throughout the body which retain and preserve calcium, making it inaccessible to use for bone strength and durability. Furthermore, a study at the Linus Pauling Institute Micronutrient Information Center claims that eating fruits and vegetables that have high levels of potassium results in higher mineral density in bones, further strengthening and prolonging the life of your bones!
Potassium channels play a key role in maintaining the electrical conductivity of the brain and dramatically affect brain function. It is also involved in higher brain function like memory and learning. In addition to this, serious ailments like epilepsy are related to the dysfunction of potassium channels that can occur through potassium deficiency.
Potassium is helpful in reversing the role of sodium in unbalancing normal blood pressure. Thus, it acts as a vital component that maintains the normality of blood pressure in the human body. This further reduces the risk of heart diseases and hypertension.
Potassium is of great importance for people suffering from undesirable mental states like anxiety and stress. It is considered as a powerful stress buster and therefore ensures the efficient mental performance of the human body. Potassium can help regulate various hormones in your body, including stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline, excess amounts of which can be quite detrimental to a wide array of the body’s systems.
A balanced diet must contain a fair quantity of potassium, as per the recommendations of health experts. The most important dietary sources of potassium are citrus fruits, vegetables and grains. Also, you can get an ample amount of potassium from salmon, chicken, whole milk, fresh fruit juices and almonds. Apart from those, nuts, lime beans, potatoes and poultry are other products to be included in the potassium boosting list. However, the most important sources of potassium are avocados, bananas and coconut water.
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