Potassium is contained in every cell of our body. It normalizes intracellular processes, without it, the mineral balance and the functioning of many processes of human activity are disturbed. What foods contain potassium? What are the symptoms of its deficiency or overabundance in the body? How best to use foods rich in potassium, for the best absorption?
What is potassium and why does the body need it?
Potassium is the main mineral element of plant origin. Along with chlorine and sodium, it forms the basis of nutrition and is necessary for the human body in sufficiently large quantities. Potassium is part of intracellular fluids. How is it important and what depends on it?
- Serves to maintain energy reserve, provides endurance, gives physical strength. Without potassium, glucose loses its ability to be processed into energy.
- Participates in the passage of nerve impulses.
- Normalizes high blood pressure and heart rate.
- Stimulates brain activity, providing blood flow with oxygen.
- Facilitates the course of depression and helps out of them.
- Removes excess water from the body.
- It helps in the prevention and control of multiple sclerosis.
- As an antagonist of sodium, potassium prevents the accumulation of its salts in the body.
- Regulates the water-salt metabolism.
Symptoms of potassium deficiency
Against the background of a lack in the body of this mineral, the following symptoms can be observed.
- Heart palpitations, arrhythmia, risk of heart attack due to the violation of intracellular metabolic processes in the myocardium.
- Shallow breathing, feeling short of breath.
- Blood pressure jumps, hypertension.
- In pregnant women - the threat of miscarriage.
- Muscle pain, neuralgia.
- Erosion, inflammation of the mucous membranes. The stomach, duodenum and cervix are most commonly affected.
- Dryness, flabbiness of the skin, poor ability to regenerate damaged skin.
- Weakness, fatigue.
- Confusion of consciousness.
- Nausea, vomiting, and loose stools (most often these symptoms are present in children).
- Muscular paralysis (paresis), especially in children.
Symptoms of potassium oversupply
Excess of the optimal content of potassium in the body is as unfavorable as its deficiency. It can occur on the background of unbalanced nutrition, as well as due to malfunctions of the adrenal cortex. How can this be manifested?
- Nervous overexcitement, gratuitous phobias and excitement.
- Numbness of the limbs. In severe cases - atrophy.
- Drastic decline of strength, inability to physical activity.
- Impaired renal function, increased, debilitating urination, the formation of stones.
- Pale skin, anemia.
What foods contain potassium?
Potassium is found in both animal food and plant products. Get the necessary daily rate can be from all that is potassium. However, there is a difference between the products of living origin and the plant food that is its source. Vegetable food at the same time contributes to the excretion of sodium salts. Animal products do not balance the content of this mineral, which can not provide the optimal ratio of potassium and sodium in the body.
In many cases, the excretion of excess sodium salts is necessary, therefore a vegetable diet is recommended. This becomes especially necessary with age.
So which foods have a lot of potassium? These are, first of all, cultivated cereals (whole-grain flour, bran and non-shredded sprouted grain), all kinds of nuts, mustard, including seeds, all legumes, sea kale, dried fruits, potatoes, pumpkin, cherry, apricots, grapes, gourds, bananas, avocados, other fresh vegetables and, especially, fruits.
Of food of animal origin, fish, beef, liver and dairy products (most of all - cottage cheese) are richest in potassium.
How to use foods rich in potassium, for their better absorption?
- Include the element-rich fruit throughout the day.
- Remember that alcohol and coffee contribute to the loss of potassium.
- Melon is better to eat in the form of mashed potatoes.
- From bean products it is better to cook the first dishes - so the potassium is absorbed easier and more.
- Eat grated carrots more often. It can be added to many salads, even if it is not in the list of ingredients.
- If you do not like avocados, try it again. Sometimes love for this product does not come the first time. Avocados are rich not only in potassium, but also in high-quality protein.
- Practice eating freshly squeezed juices from vegetables.
- Steamed dishes contain more potassium.
- The element is well absorbed when rubbed into the skin of apple cider vinegar mixed with bee honey.
- Fruits should be firm, but soft. Do not buy or eat lethargic fruits.
- Peel and / or cut fruits and vegetables before using them directly or cooking. Do not soak them! Potassium at the same time goes into the water.
- Cook the vegetables should be soft, but do not allow them to boil.
- When frying vegetables they need to constantly stir, but it is better - cook for a couple. When boiling in water, its amount should be minimal.
- All that you can eat raw, better raw and eat.
- Potatoes better baked: it contains more potassium.
- Try to buy fruit, and if possible, and vegetables, in the season of their ripening.
- Mineral is poorly digested with a large use of sweet.
Caution - medicine!
Potassium in the form of drugs and other chemical compounds is not recommended. If such a need arises, the doctor should prescribe the potassium drug. Daily diet can be obtained from properly selected food. Taking dosage forms can promote irritation of the stomach walls. In addition, the risk of overdose is high. You should be aware that, at critical values, potassium oversupply is fatal to humans.
Thus, potassium is a mineral that a person must receive naturally - through food. You can easily notice that good nutrition, eating fresh fruits and vegetables, elimination of alcohol and other recommendations outlined above, are very similar to tips on organizing a healthy diet. And this is not surprising. And if the balance of potassium in the body is disturbed, nature itself gives us everything necessary for its replenishment in a ready-to-eat form.