Do you know how to increase potassium in the body? This mineral plays a key role in overall health, but you might not be getting enough from food. Potassium helps in maintaining a fluid balance, and keeps your brain, nerves, heart and muscles functioning normally.
Potassium in your diet can also lower blood pressure, as high blood pressure is the major risk factor for stroke and heart disease. It also can curb high blood pressure levels by contributing to more flexible arteries, and by helping the body to get rid of excess sodium.
Apart from this, potassium may increase bone strength by helping guard against bone loss and also by reducing the risk of kidney stones.
It is important to eat enough potassium every day to help prevent certain chronic conditions too. Low potassium could jeopardize your health in more ways than one.
How Much Potassium To Eat In A Day?
Experts suggest 4700 milligrams of dietary potassium to be taken per day for adults as a part of a balanced diet.
Here's a list of how many milligrams of potassium you will get from these potassium-rich foods.
- Medium sweet potato baked with skin has 694 mg.
- 1 cup of cooked winter squash has 896 mg.
- Medium potato baked with skin has 610 mg.
- 1 cup of fat-free yogurt has 579 mg.
- 1 cup of cooked broccoli has 457 mg.
- 1 medium banana has 422 mg.
- Half cup cooked lentils has 366 mg.
- Dry roasted pistachios has 295 mg.
- Raisins has 250 mg.
- 3 ounces of cooked chicken breast has 218 mg.
Interesting Facts On Potassium
- Potassium deficiency can lead to weakness, fatigue and constipation. This can cause paralysis and respiratory failure.
- Potassium aids in supporting cardiovascular health, bone strength and muscle strength.
- Beet greens, soy beans, and white beans are the foods that are highest in potassium content.
- If there is too much of potassium in the blood, it's called hyperkalaemia.
- Potassium is available in supplements, but dietary sources are considered healthy.
Health Benefits Of Potassium
1. Stabilizes Blood Sugar
A decrease in potassium levels in the body causes a drop in blood sugar level. And this decrease in blood sugar can cause sweating, weakness, headache, nervousness and trembling. This is one of the reasons why diabetics are encouraged to keep their potassium levels normal, to reduce the chances of unpredictable spikes in their glucose. This will stabilize the blood sugar levels throughout the body.
2. Reduces Muscle Disorders
A sufficient amount of potassium is required for regular contraction and relaxation of muscles. Most of the potassium ions in the body are located in the muscle cells and this helps in maintaining optimal muscle and nerve function. Also, potassium can help prevent muscle cramps and leg cramps too.
3. Enhances Bone Health
There are certain qualities of potassium that neutralizes various acids in the body, which helps in retaining and preserving calcium, making it accessible to use for bone strength and durability. Experts suggest that consuming fruits and vegetables rich in potassium could result in higher mineral density in the bones.
4. Boosts Heart Health
The health benefits of potassium ensures boosting heart health as well as the kidney functioning. Not only it boosts the heart but also assists the kidneys in removing waste through the process of excretion. Have potassium-rich fruits and vegetables in order to keep your heart and kidneys healthy.
5. Maintains Fluid Balance
Another health benefit of potassium is that it plays a significant role in the maintenance of an optimal fluid balance in the body. In the body, there are different types of cells that require a proper water balance for efficient functioning. And potassium aids these cells in regulating the fluid balance.
How To Increase Potassium In The Body?
1. Drink An Electrolyte Beverage
If you are undergoing any kind of physical activity, such as strenuous workouts or a few hours of outdoor work, a quick way to raise your potassium levels is by drinking electrolyte drinks. Examples of electrolyte drinks are salt water, coconut water, orange juice, cranberry drink, ginger drink, watermelon juice, salt and sugar water, strawberry smoothie, chia seeds drink, and cucumber drink.
2. Eat A Banana
Muscle cramps are common and a symptom of low potassium levels in the body. One medium-sized banana contains 422 milligrams of potassium, so eat a banana daily to prevent muscle cramps. However, to keep the normal levels of potassium in the body stable, consider increasing your daily consumption of fruits by one to two servings.
3. Eat A Green Salad
How to increase potassium in the body? Have a green salad twice a day. A salad that contains lettuce, tomatoes, spinach, and cucumbers is the one rich in potassium. These vegetables contain 100 to 190 milligrams of potassium; tomatoes and carrots being the highest in potassium. So, start having salads daily to increase the potassium content in the body.
4. Taking A Potassium Supplement
Potassium supplements are also one of the best methods for increasing potassium intake in the body. However, don't substitute fruits and vegetables for supplements because your body won't absorb the potassium from the supplements as well as it does from your diet.
- 3 cups of milk per day will help you get about one-fourth of the potassium you need on a daily basis.
- Slice a banana over your breakfast cereal, or to your oatmeal.
- Add beans or lentils to soup and stew to increase the potassium content.
- Have a banana with your lunch, or a baked sweet as a potassium-rich side dish in your dinner.
- Have low-fat yogurt for a snack, as it's another easy way to add more potassium to your diet.
- Add fresh fruit and vegetables to every meal to boost your potassium intake.
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