13 Incredible Potassium Benefits

The health benefits of potassium include relief from stroke, blood pressure, heart and kidney disorders, and anxiety and stress. It helps to enhance muscle strength, metabolism, water balance, electrolytic functions, and nervous system.

It is the third most abundant mineral in the human body and is a powerful element in improving health. It contains the components for maintaining a high level of well-being and an improved lifestyle. You should not underestimate the importance of potassium in your dietary plan.

Apart from acting as an electrolyte, this mineral is required for keeping the heart, brain, kidney, muscle tissue, and other important organ systems of the human body in a good condition. Potassium chloride is the main variety of this mineral, and it works in association with sodium to perform a number of critical body tasks.

Symptoms of Potassium Deficiency

Deficiency of any nutrient in the body is undesirable and potassium is not an exception. A diet deficient in it may lead to symptoms like fatigue and muscle weakness. Other indications for its deficiency include inactive reflexes, abnormal heartbeat, heart palpitations, anemia, and severe headaches. Potassium-deficient people may also experience high blood pressure, pain in their intestines, swelling in their glands, and diabetes as serious side effects of this deficiency.

Important Sources of Potassium

The most important dietary sources are citrus fruits, vegetables, and grains. Also, you can get an ample amount of this mineral 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-rich foods’ list. However, the important sources of this mineral also include avocados, bananas, and coconut water.

Health Benefits of Potassium

It is often considered an essential nutrient that cures blood pressure, reduces anxiety and stress, and improves many more health disorders. Let’s take a look at the common benefits in detail.

Stimulates Neural Activity

It 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. There is a good reason why people call bananas brain food; they contain impressively high levels of this mineral.

It is of great importance in preventing the occurrence of stroke in the human brain. It is no secret that people at high risk for this tragic condition are often found to be deficient in this essential nutrient. Since it acts as a vasodilator, the blood vessels relax throughout the body when a proper amount of this mineral is consumed. This means that blood flows more freely and is less likely to clot and break off to cause strokes.

Stabilizes Blood Sugar

A decrease in the potassium level causes a drop in blood sugar. A decrease in blood sugar can cause sweating, headache, weakness, trembling, and nervousness. Intake of potassium chloride and sodium provides immediate relief from such situations. This is also why diabetics are encouraged to keep their potassium levels normal, to reduce the chances of unpredictable spikes and plunges in their glucose and insulin levels by stabilizing the blood sugar levels throughout the body.

Reduces Muscle Disorders

A sufficient concentration of this mineral 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.

Prevents Cramps

Muscle cramps are a common result of low levels of potassium in the blood, a condition called hypokalemia. If you consume a banana every day, you can easily prevent muscle cramps because bananas have rich potassium content.

Enhances Bone Health

The benefits of potassium even extend to improving the health of your bones. There are certain qualities of this mineral that neutralize various acids in the body, which helps in retaining and preserving calcium, making it accessible to use for bone strength and durability. Furthermore, a study at the Linus Pauling Institute Micronutrient Information Center claims that eating fruits and vegetables having high levels of this mineral results in higher mineral density in bones, further strengthening and prolonging the life of your bones.

Regulates Neural Function

Potassium channels play a key role in maintaining the electrical conductivity of the brain and dramatically affecting the brain function. It is also involved in higher brain function like memory and learning. In addition to this, ailments like epilepsy are related to the dysfunction of potassium channels that can occur through potassium deficiency. There are actually potassium currents that play a major role in mammalian neurons. These channels are interconnected with a vast array of neural function and can help to moderate and regulate electrical currents throughout the body.

Stabilizes Blood Pressure

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. Regulation of blood pressure is one of the most important functions of this powerful mineral. As mentioned earlier, it has vasodilation properties that work to relieve the tension of blood vessels, which is one of the main causes of high blood pressure.

Strengthens Muscles

One of the useful benefits of potassium is its role in ensuring the proper growth of muscle tissues and the utilization of energy released during metabolism, which adds significantly to muscular strength. The muscles, including those all-important cardiac muscles, are prone to paralysis due to a deficiency of potassium in a person’s diet.

Stimulating cell growth and providing the metabolic energy to do so is a vital function of potassium and muscular health would be compromised without it. Also, without the contraction and relaxation that potassium allows muscles to perform, exercise and additional muscle training would be impossible.

Boosts Metabolism

Potassium assists in the metabolic processing of various nutrients like fats and carbohydrates. Thus, it is of a great value in extracting the energy from nutrients that are consumed. Studies have shown that this mineral is also an integral part in the synthesis of protein, which has an impact on tissue regeneration, cell growth, and an overall balanced metabolism.potassium

Reduces Anxiety & Stress

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 an efficient mental performance. Anxiety and stress are so detrimental to other parts of health. And any bonus from things like potassium is considered a good idea if you suffer from chronic stress. This mineral can help to regulate various hormones in your body, including stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline, excess amounts of which can be detrimental the body’s systems.

Boosts Heart Health

The health benefits of potassium ensure good health for the heart as well as the kidneys. It plays an irreplaceable role in regulating the functions of the metabolism and keeping the heart and kidneys running smoothly. Additionally, this mineral assists the 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 it can help to stimulate the body to absorb more calcium than necessary, which can actually calcify and cause kidney problems, rather than solve them.

Maintains Water Balance

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.

Regulates the Level of Fluids

Potassium is also a great electrolyte in the human body. It helps in regulating the level of fluids in the body and thus aids in a number of critical body functions. Furthermore, electrolytes help to transmit electrical charges throughout the body from the brain and nervous system, so extra electrolytes keep everything functioning faster.

Improves Nervous System

In connection to the previous point about electrolytes, potassium helps to boost the efficiency of nerve reflexes that transmit the message from one body part to another. This, in turn, helps in muscle contraction to perform various activities every day without getting tired quickly, which is further benefited by potassium and is required to induce muscle contraction and function.

Word of Caution: Excess of this mineral in the body, for example, patients with kidney issues who cannot properly process this mineral, may have dangerously high levels. This can lead to heart diseases, muscle paralysis, troubled breathing, tingling in the hands and feet, heart arrhythmia, and nausea. Potassium can be a miraculous addition to certain diets, but always be careful that you don’t overdo, and if you choose to include potassium supplements in your diet, consult your doctor first.

What do you think? |
28 comments in this article's discussion
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Thank-you, having the many aspects of potassium benefits and cautions in one article is helpful. Also the information about high potassium in blood due to kidney insufficiency was helpful.

Wow. Why do I read the comments?! Negative people. Sad. Well I'm thankful for this article because now I know I lack potassium. You would think the doctors I go to would have recognized my symptoms but I know their not educated well in nutrition so I have been researching on my own for years. I have fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue since 2004. I have changed my diet to organic, non gmo, gluten free and I eat mostly vegetarian. I do yoga,meditation, walk and some strength training. I do Not take the medication recommended for fibromyalgia because it's deadly. I do alternative treatments, supplements and research for anything I've not learned to help me heal. I am thankful for all the info and I am 80 % better from it.

I've learned to look for positive in everything I can and I'm thankful for everything I learn and for my Lord and My family. Hope, Believe and Love,

Sheila

Thank you ! I agree with you..truly I am thankful for this info...I needed to find help in regards to getting fatigue, heart, muscle cramps and other health issues under better control....Knowledge and Wisdom together are a Mighty Force when used properly.

No banana is not the most important source of potassium avocado is by far.

No banana is not the most important source of potassium avocado is by far.

Ifedayo Oluwadamilola Ibrahim

Potassium is real gud 4 d health

Why would it matter how it is written? Some people fish for the smallest thing in a pond over looking the benefits of the article in the process of trying to proof their own 'superiority' in the use of a language. So Lisa, try to see the positive in everything. You might just find that you are much happier in your own life.

Jules Marquez Orbiso

Potassium is essential for the brain and nerves. Bananas are an excellent source of potassium. Broccoli is also an excellent source of potassium. One spear of Broccoli contains 491 mg of Potassium. Moringa leaves are even better.. three times the Potassium of Bananas.

Glenda Weinberg

I bet many stroke victims are low in potassium! do not underestemate the power of natural vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.

La gran José macho

Popeye wasn't crazy. We all need to eat a can of spinach

Potassium

Mahomed Bhayat

wonderful site. Very informative and very educational:) job well done

I liked the article, and appreciate the fact someone worked on this for us. And typos are possible if you are in a hurry. I will buy potassium supplement asap. I had forgotten how important this mineral is to our health. I came across this article when I realized ONE A DAY VITAMINS for women do not include potassium or iodine.

Christopher Simpson

I think cream of tartar is pretty much potassium. Funny word...tartar

Yes...there is room for improvement in the way the article was written but I think we get the basic idea. 🙂

Amazing that you feel you don't understand what's been written. You must be a muppet not to understand. No ones perfect so maybe your should write some information on potassium & see how well you can do at it. Probably not so good. Bullets points with descriptions next to the sub headed bullets points should be easy to follow.

Habiba Ahmad AL Basha

REALLY ITS SO FANTASTIC MAKES ME DIIFICULT TO DESCRIBES!

John Scarpelli

Don't care for beans or bananas, take potassium supplements. Recommended daily dosage is 99mg.

Melanie Myers-Vital Qi Enthusiast

you have to be careful taking potassium supplements. have seen quite a few people wind up hyperkalemic(too much potassium) which can easily happen if taking supplements. eating foods rich in potassium, doesnt have to be bananas or bean, is much safer.

Riley Faltinowski

Natural coconut water is a great source of potassium.... most grocery stores carry it in the produce section by other fruit juices.

Quinton Wilson

Wow! I didn't know all these benefits. I just started buying them by the bushel after my last doctor's visit.... he asked if I wanted medicine as my blood pressure was terribly high 🙁

QuiQui Choklitkitty Inthecity

Bananas...I hate em tho,lol!! As much..working out as I do*ahem,dancing & dropping*..it helps tremendously the muscles & water loss.

Peggy Jeffries

I have just started taking potassium along with my magnesium.

Amazing! I have been eating bananas and beans 🙂 I feel the difference. Anxiety is still there but it is mild.

April, haha mom says that....but heck no! Not going to eat just anything.

Be blessed you may continue to educate for another issues

thanks

Charlie it really works! Right now I feel calm and untouched by negative. It has to be the potassium. I had a cup of beans and rice and had a banana in the morning.

Charlie Richards

That's great, Cynthia! First stop tonight - the supermarket for bannanas and beans!