Potassium (K) – a micronutrient for the body
Micronutrients are essential for the proper functioning of the body. One such micronutrient is potassium, which plays a vital role in various bodily functions. In this article, we will discuss the importance of potassium, its functions in the body, recommended daily intake, sources, and potential risks associated with its deficiency or excess.
Functions of Potassium in the Body
Potassium is involved in several important functions in the body, including:
- Regulating fluid balance
- Maintaining the health of the cardiovascular system
- Regulating acid-base balance
- Supporting muscle and nerve function
- Influencing metabolism
Recommended Daily Intake of Potassium
The recommended daily intake of potassium for adults is 2,500-3,000 mg per day. However, the actual requirement may vary depending on age, sex, and other factors such as physical activity level and medical conditions.
Sources of Potassium
Potassium is found in a variety of foods, including:
- Fruits such as bananas, oranges, and kiwi
- Vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, and potatoes
- Dairy products such as milk and yogurt
- Meat, poultry, and fish
- Nuts and seeds
|Food||Potassium content per 100g||% of Daily Requirement||Serving Size (g)||Potassium per Serving (mg)|
|Dried apricots||1,162 mg||25%||40||465|
|Beet greens||762 mg||16%||100||762|
|Acorn squash||437 mg||9%||205||895|
|Sweet potato||337 mg||7%||100||337|
|Black beans||358 mg||8%||172||616|
|Tomato sauce||237 mg||5%||100||237|
|White rice||35 mg||1%||100||35|
Note: Serving size and potassium per serving are included to provide a better understanding of how much potassium is obtained from a typical serving of each food. The table is sorted in descending order based on the % of Daily Requirement column.
Risks Associated with Potassium Deficiency
A deficiency in potassium can lead to several health problems, including:
- Muscle weakness and cramps
- High blood pressure
- Irregular heartbeat
- Increased risk of stroke
Risks Associated with Potassium Excess
Excessive intake of potassium can also be harmful to health, especially for people with kidney problems. Symptoms of potassium excess include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Muscle weakness
- Irregular heartbeat
- Tingling or numbness in the extremities
- Potassium is the fourth most abundant element in the Earth’s crust.
- Potassium was discovered in 1807 by Sir Humphry Davy.
- Potassium is used in the production of glass, soap, and fertilizers.
Potassium is an essential micronutrient that plays a vital role in various bodily functions. It is important to consume an adequate amount of potassium through a balanced diet to maintain good health. However, excessive intake or deficiency of potassium can lead to health problems, so it is important to consult a healthcare professional before making any significant changes to your diet.