Foods rich in potassium

Potassium (K) is one of those minerals found in almost all foods. Vegetables, especially green leafy ones, and bananas are the best known sources of this macronutrient.

Potassium deficiency affects the work of the heart, causes chronic fatigue. But the most interesting thing is that this mineral, acting on brain cells, causes a feeling of satisfaction and well-being.

The main benefits of potassium

Every time research on this mineral confirms its vital role for humans. Again and again, scientists remind us that K deficiency leads to hypertension, stroke, diabetes, gout, osteoporosis, rheumatism, and pain in the heart and intestines. In medicine, cases are known when potassium deficiency provoked a significant deterioration in memory.

Activates the working capacity of the brain

K-deficiency, first of all, affects the working capacity of the brain. This is due to the fact that the mineral helps to supply the brain cells with oxygen, without which the functionality of the organ is sharply reduced. The first signs of a macronutrient deficiency are fatigue and an inability to concentrate on important things. This condition usually continues until the elimination of potassium deficiency.

Protects the heart from diseases

Adequate potassium intake will protect against the risk of heart disease and stroke. This nutrient is able to regulate blood pressure and heart rate, and therefore reduce the load on the arteries and heart muscle. It is important that many foods containing K are excellent sources of antioxidants that have a beneficial effect on the functioning of the heart and the whole body.

Strengthens muscles

Potassium plays an important role in the work of strengthening muscles. If you want to build muscle or just keep them healthy, look for foods rich in this mineral. Bananas, avocados, raisins and dried apricots at the cellular level affect the condition of the muscles. The potassium contained in them contributes to a faster recovery of muscles, maintaining it in good shape.

Regulates the level of fluid

The daily intake of potassium allows you to maintain the balance of fluid in the body, and this is necessary to ensure the performance of all systems, maintain a stable weight and body volume. With this ability, K resembles calcium and sodium, whose “duties” also include control of the water balance in the body.

Stabilizes blood pressure

Are you worried about high blood pressure? Maybe,you lack potassium. This macronutrient is able to relax blood vessels, thereby reducing the pressure of blood flow in the arteries. Foods rich in potassium can help fight hypertension in people with diabetes who are at risk of strokes or heart attacks.

Strengthens bones

Not only calcium and fluoride are elements important for bone health. The role of potassium should not be underestimated. The human body is a set of systems and subsystems working in a complex. To maintain the functionality of the body, a complete set of micro- and macronutrients is required. In particular, bone health depends on the balance of several minerals including potassium. Regular consumption of foods rich in this macronutrient will protect against the development of osteoporosis.

Anti-stress mineral

The functioning of the whole organism, the well-being of a person directly depend on the health of the nervous system. Not the last role for nerve cells is played by potassium. Increased tension and nervousness can also be a signal of K deficiency. A lack of a mineral reduces the body's ability to deal with stress, which over time can develop into hypertension and serious disorders in the functioning of the nervous system.

Speeds up metabolism

Are you on a strict low-calorie diet, but the extra weight is still not going away? It is possible that in this way the body signals an insufficient intake of potassium. Lack of a macronutrient slows down metabolic processes. It helps the body to break down and assimilate food, enhances the work of other minerals that are important for the adequate course of metabolic processes. Review your dietary intake, supplementing it with potassium-containing foods, and perhaps weight loss will not be long in coming.

Relieves muscle spasms

It is potassium that is the mineral, the lack of which is manifested by muscle spasms and convulsions. Even the slightest imbalance of the mineral composition is manifested by pain and discomfort in the muscles.

Role for the kidneys

But the relationship between potassium and the kidneys is not so simple. On the one hand, it is an important nutrient that reduces the risk of developing urolithiasis, since potassium salts can reduce acidity in the bloodstream. On the other hand, there is a category of people who are strictly forbidden to use potassium without medical supervision. These are people with kidney failure. They develop hyperkalemia against the background of the disease, the neglect of which can cause sudden cardiac arrest.

Potassium in food

Around the world, perhaps the most well-known source of potassium is the banana. Meanwhile, there are many other products in whichthe content of this mineral significantly exceeds its concentration in an exotic fruit.

To begin with, it is important to note that most potassium-rich foods are among fruits (especially dried fruits) and vegetables. But this does not mean that legumes, fish and dairy foods should be neglected - potassium reserves are also hidden in their composition. It is important to include chard, beans, chicken eggs, spinach and mushrooms on the menu. Such a diet will supply the body with a mineral in the amount of 150% of the daily requirement. Among other foods rich in potassium: potatoes, tomatoes, avocados, spinach, beans, peas, dried fruits (raisins, dried apricots, prunes), orange juice, fruits and berries (bananas, oranges, strawberries).

Given the concentration of potassium in products, they are usually grouped into:

  • with a low content (contain less than 100 mg of the mineral per 100 g of product);
  • with an average content of K (150-250 mg);
  • high (251-400 mg);
  • very rich in potassium (more than 400 mg).
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Table of potassium content in food
Product name (100 g) Potassium (mg)
Dried apricots 1717
Soy 1607
Seaweed 970
Green peas 873
Prunes 864
Raisins 860
Spinach 838
Almond 750
Hazelnut 717
Lentil 672
Peanuts 660
Potatoes 570
Baked potatoes 540
Pasternak 537
Brussels sprouts 494
Salmon 492
Avocado 480
Broccoli 450
Chard 379
Banana 348
Parsley (greens) 340
Cod 340
Mussels 310
Beans 307
Apricot 305
Tuna 298
Turkey 290
Celery (root) 262
Parsley (root) 262
Beet (root) 259
Eggplant 238
Beet tops 238
Blackberry 233
Lean beef 325
Oysters 220
Tomatoes 213
Nectarine 203
Orange ) 197
Carrots 195
Fig 190
Grapefruit 184
Cauliflower 176
Zucchini 172
Strawberry 161
Raspberry 158
Cucumber 153
Strawberry 153
Melon 118
Watermelon 117

How to save potassium in foods

Potassium is one of the minerals that are relatively stable when stored fresh. Minor changes in the concentration of the substance are possible after long-term storage of food. Meanwhile, it is not necessary to take any additional measures in order to "retain" potassium, for example, in fresh vegetables. But upon contact with water, the mineral almost completely passes into it. Keep the maximum content after heat treatment, will allow the traditional rules of cooking: a minimum of time for cooking and as little water as possible. For example, vegetables can be dipped in already boiling water, or instead of boiling, resort to baking.

How much potassium a person needs

It's hard to imagine, but almost a quarter of a kilogram of an adult's body is potassium. In total, the body contains from 220 to 250 g of this mineral.

It is predominantly concentrated in various cell types, and approximately 3 grams in the extracellular fluid.

The normal level of potassium in the blood of an adult is 3-5 mEq/L. The easiest way to make sure you get enough of this is to eat a few fruits or vegetables that are rich in this every day.mineral. However, this rule is not suitable for everyone: people with kidney failure or other kidney diseases should use potassium with extreme caution and under the supervision of a doctor.

It is also important to know that some medications can artificially increase the level of potassium in the body. First of all, these are spironolactone, triamterene, trimethoprim, sulfamethoxazole and some inhibitors. Substitutes for dietary salt containing potassium can also increase the concentration in the blood.

Conversely, diuretics and some drugs prescribed for heart failure can, on the contrary, provoke potassium deficiency. Table salt (used in large quantities), coffee and alcohol can reduce the concentration of the mineral. People with low potassium levels need to carefully monitor their daily diet and regularly consume foods rich in the mineral. Mostly fruits and vegetables.

In addition, it is important to know that in order to maintain the correct balance of nutrients, the amount of intake of potassium and sodium should be in the proportion of 2 (K): 1 (Na), since sodium contributes to the rapid elimination of K. By the way, stress are one of the factors that dramatically increase the concentration of sodium in the body. It is also important to monitor the level of magnesium - its deficiency prevents the normal absorption of potassium.

Nearly all potassium ingested is excreted in the urine. Therefore, there is a need for daily replenishment of potassium reserves. The fact that a person is experiencing a lack of potassium can be signaled by weakness in the muscles, swelling, convulsions, and disturbances in the regularity of urination. Arrhythmias, apathy, sleep disturbances, and loss of appetite are also signs of K deficiency, which can eventually lead to a fatal stroke. But irritability, anemia, frequent urination and arrhythmia may indicate that a person is abusing foods rich in minerals or potassium supplements.

Take care of the quality of your daily diet, and then you won't have to run to the doctors looking for the causes of your illness.