Free Essay: Importance of Potassium in the Human Body
Potassium is among the various essential minerals that are required by the human body. It is of great importance in electrical as well as cellular functions. Potassium has an electrical charge that makes it an ideal electrolyte component in the human body. The main areas where the mineral is found in our bodies include bones, red blood cells and muscles. The sources of food that one should eat in order to get potassium are apples, tomatoes, spinach, broccoli, parsley, bananas among others.
Potassium helps in the maintenance of blood pressure. This is of great importance considering that the body’s blood pressure is not required to drop low or increase above the normal level. According to many research findings, potassium causes reactions in the blood vessels, thereby enhancing the flow of blood. As a result of this, a person’s blood pressure can be kept at normal for as long as there are sufficient potassium reserves in the body. Besides, potassium supplements could also help in curbing health conditions like stroke.
Potassium also plays an important function in the contraction of muscles. The mineral works together with sodium in regulating the acid and water balance in body tissues and blood. This goes a long way in generating muscle contractions in order to support body movements. Besides, it also helps in the regulation of heartbeat. Since potassium has the ability to penetrate the cell membranes easily and fast, it creates an exchange that leads to the production of electrical energy for the activation of nerve muscles, thereby causing the contraction of muscles for various body movements.
Potassium is also required in the human body for the health of bones. The body often extracts calcium from the bones in order to maintain the balance of acids and bases. Potassium works by cutting down the amount of extracted calcium so as to ensure that there is a proper balance. This is a complex interaction that not only involves potassium but also minerals like calcium, phosphorus and sodium. All these minerals are found in the interstitial fluid and bones.
Even though there is no clear link between potassium and cholesterol, many studies have shown that several kinds of foods that are recommended for lowering cholesterol contain high levels of potassium. Foods like fruits that have low contents of cholesterol and saturated fat are usually recommended for the supply of potassium. By eating fruits, you will be able to cut down your cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of contracting heart diseases.
You may be bothered with a question on how much potassium is needed in the human body. According to the US Department of Agriculture, it is recommended that a healthy person should consume 4,700 milligrams of potassium each day. This can be easily achieved by including foods rich in potassium in your diet. Besides, you can also take potassium supplements to top up the body’s mineral requirement.
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