What foods have potassium?

In this brief article we will answer the query,”What foods have potassium?” We will look at a couple of benefits of potassium in the body. We will talk about some foods that have more potassium than bananas.

What foods have potassium?

There are many foods that are high in potassium, particularly fresh fruits and veggies such as dried fruits (raisins, apricots), potatoes, lentils, beans, spinach, broccoli, avocados, cantaloupe, oranges, tomatoes among others.

We will look at these foods shortly, but first let’s find out the benefits of potassium.

What is the importance of potassium in the body?

It assists in the regulation of fluid balance

The human body is made up of about 60 percent water. Out of this, 40 percent of the water is found in the cells in a substance that is known as intracellular fluid (ICF)

The remaining 20 percent is found outside the cells in places such as the spinal fluid, blood and between the cells and this fluid is known as extracellular fluid (ECF)

The amounts of water present in the ICF and the ECF are usually influenced by the concentration of the electrolytes, particularly the sodium and potassium.

Potassium is the key electrolyte in the intracellular fluid and it usually influences the quantity of water in the cells. In the ECF the key electrolyte is sodium and it influences the quantity of water outside the cells.

The concentration of electrolytes relative to the amount of the fluid is known as the osmolality. In ideal situations the osmolality inside and outside the cells should be equal.

In circumstances where the osmolality is not equal, water will move from the side with the few electrolytes to the side with more concentration if the electrolytes equalize electrolyte concentrations.

This can result in the shrinking of the cells as the water moves out of them or swell up and burst as the water goes in them.

This is why it is recommended that you eat foods that have the correct amounts of electrolytes such as potassium.

Potassium is important for the nervous system

The nervous system is important as it helps to transmit messages from the brain to the rest of the body. The messages are usually delivered as nerve impulses and aid in the regulation of muscle contractions, heartbeat, reflexes and other bodily functions.

Nerve impulses are usually initiated by sodium ions going in the cells and potassium ions going out of the cells.

This movement of ions causes a change in the cell’s voltage and as a result generates a nerve impulse. A drop in the levels of potassium in the bloodstream can affect the ability of the body to generate nerve impulse.

Therefore it is important that you consume foods that have enough potassium so as to maintain a healthy nerve function.

It may help prevent osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a condition whereby bones are weaker and therefore tend to be more weak and fragile with the likelihood to break. It is often associated with low levels of calcium which is essential for bone health.

Studies have shown that consumption of a diet that is rich in potassium can assist in the prevention of osteoporosis by lowering the amount of calcium that the body loses through urine.

One study that was conducted on 62 healthy women it was found out that people that had a high intake of potassium had the highest levels of bone mass.

What foods have more potassium than bananas?

Avocados

Avocados are a good source of healthy fats and also vitamins such as Vitamin K and folate. A half slice of avocado contains 345 mg of potassium which is equivalent to 7 percent of the Recommended Dietary Intake (RDI)

Sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes are nutritious and a great way to boost your potassium intake. One cup which is equivalent to a 328 grams serving of mashed sweet potatoes can typically provide about 16 percent of the RDI.

Sweet potatoes are often used as an alternative to white potatoes.

Sweet potatoes are also low in fat and have decent amounts of protein while being a good source of complex carbohydrates and dietary fiber.

Sweet potatoes are also a great source of Vitamin A which is essential for maintenance of normal vision. An equivalent  serving size of sweet potatoes can provide more than 200 percent of the RDI of Vitamin A.

To read more foods that pack a high content of potassium click here.

Conclusion

In this brief article we have answered the query,”What foods have potassium?” We have looked at some benefits of potassium in the body. We have talked about some foods that have more potassium than bananas.

Citations

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/287212#benefits

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