Potassium in our Food

Potassium is a vital mineral in our bodies. It is present in various foods that human beings consume. Potassium controls proper operations of the body cells, transmission of nerve impulses, muscle function, and averts excess fluid retention in the body. Kidneys control potassium levels in our bodies. Failure in the functioning of the kidneys requires consumption of foods with limited potassium levels. Potassium is a vital mineral in growing children especially the brain. It curbs high-blood pressure, kidney stones, and prevents loss of bone especially during aging.

Potassium should be consumed at controlled levels in order to realize the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA). Consumption of a well-balanced diet ensures access to the required level of potassium in the body. Minimal and maximum consumption of potassium leads to certain abnormalities in the body. Low level of potassium mostly causes low-blood pressure while high level of it would lead to high-blood pressure. According to United States Department of Health and Human Services, the recommended daily allowance of potassium should be 4700 milligrams each day (Iannelli, 2010). Children require less amount of potassium compared to the above-mentioned figure (Iannelli, 2010).

Various types of food are rich in potassium, and, therefore, recommended. Fruits contain the potassium ion such as bananas, oranges, papayas, tomatoes, and melons. Certain vegetables also contain plenty of potassium. These vegetables include spinach, broccoli, deep yellow vegetables such as carrots, and Brussels sprouts. Other products that hold potassium include milk and dairy products, nuts and seeds, legumes such as beans, plantains, potatoes, and squash. Fish and fish products such as drinking oil and fat are also rich in potassium. Fish is highly recommended for growing children due to its supplement of potassium (High Blood Pressure Information Organization, 2006).

Dulse is red seaweed that is rich in potassium. It is commonly traced among people in Northern Ireland and Japan. It is mostly got from the rocks, and it has minimal level of sodium. People clear off the sodium salt in the weed before consumption. In Japan, Dulse is used to prepare soups, salad, and chowders while the Irish include it in bread recipes. Dulse is also traded in the form of tablet in health shops for dietary supplements. Sunflower seeds hold a sufficient amount of potassium. Initially Native Americans used these seeds to curb certain diseases. Sunflower seeds are recommended for cardiovascular problems and high-blood pressure. They can be consumed as a snack. They are sparingly consumed because they contain fat. These seeds contain a high level of potassium compared to sodium (Fat Free Kitchen, 2005).

Wheat germ is rich in potassium, and it is highly recommended in health centers. The whole grain is consumed but germ contains most nutrients. It is also used for dietary supplements since it is rich in potassium. Wheat germ can be used to prepare thick stew and cakes. Bladder wrack food is rich in potassium, but scientists have not proved that it controls blood pressure. The present potassium in Bladder wrack aids to maintain the Recommended Daily Allowance in human bodies. It is sold as a supplement in the form of powder and tablet. Foods that contain above 500mg of potassium hold high level of potassium while those with a lower level than 500mg hold minimal level. Consumption of too much potassium is as dangerous as taking low level of potassium.

Well-balanced diet controls amount of potassium consumed. Proper working condition of kidney also ensures right amount of potassium in our bodies. Consumption of foods rich in potassium boosts body to avoid general weakness. It also boosts the immune of body system. Body functioning is vital because of our daily activities thus potassium is recommended. Well-established immune system prevents contraction of ailments (High Blood Pressure Information Organization, 2006).