The human body is a machine of wonder. When given the right fuel, it will perform at peak condition. One component of a healthy machine is potassium.
What Is Potassium?
Potassium is an electrolyte, denoted on the periodic table by a “K.” It works in the body in conjunction with sodium to keep muscle fibers functioning properly. Have you ever had leg cramps when running or performing another physical activity? It could be due to a lack of potassium in the system affecting muscle contraction.
Potassium is also important in other areas of the body. It affects bone mass, nervous system functioning, blood pressure and heart and kidney function. The muscles are just the tip of the iceberg.
More people suffer from potassium deficiency than was previously known. The effects can also be attributed to other conditions as well. Since most people don’t know about potassium, deficiency is often not even suspected.
Effects of Potassium Deficit
If you are lacking potassium in the body, it may take a bit of time for the body to show any signs. If you are dealing with other problems at the same time, it could get missed. This information will keep potassium deficiency at the forefront of your mind.
Lack of this important electrolyte can lead to:
- High blood pressure
- Muscle cramps when exercising
- Poor concentration
- Heart irregularities
- Problems with coordination and concentration
Eating to Win
But, there is hope for you if you are suffering from a potassium deficiency. Potassium, like other minerals, is best ingested from fresh sources instead of supplements. Lucky for us, there are several foods that contain potassium. All we have to do is identify them.
Before you reach for supplements, talk to your doctor. Have your potassium levels tested. He may suggest a variety of foods you can incorporate in your diet. Here are a few:
- Whole grains
- Dairy products
- Turmeric (a spice)
- Fresh fruits
- Meats, fish and chicken
When working out, your body loses a lot of potassium and sodium through the skin. Sweating cools you off but also can create an electrolyte imbalance in the body. That loss must be replenished to keep the body working properly.
Sports drinks can give you a quick boost to your system to help with recovery. Muscles need potassium to create new, stronger muscle fibers. Sports drinks can contain a lot of sugar so be careful which one you choose. They are best as after exercise repletion. Daily, use foods instead to increase your potassium stores.
This is just the beginning of the list. To give yourself variety in your foods, investigate everything that contains potassium.
Potassium is an important mineral in the body. Many people are deficient in it but there are ways to increase your stores through healthy food choices.
That’s it for now. Until next time Divas, wear your heels well and Be Blessed!
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