Benefits of Potassium

Potential Potassium Benefits

Potassium is one of the most abundant minerals in the human body. It is a naturally occurring mineral that our bodies require to function properly.

Most of our metabolic processes need electricity to occur. Since potassium is positively charged it is considered an electrolyte, therefore it can provide the electric charge needed for the body to perform the processes needed to survive.

Electrolyte imbalance can occur when levels are too high or too low. This can create a variety of symptoms, including diarrhea, vomiting, and fatigue. It is important to keep electrolytes in balance.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF POTASSIUM?

Potassium health benefits are thought to support the following

  • Muscle growth
  • Healthier bones
  • Improved cardiovascular health
  • Regulates fluids in the body
  • Regulates blood pressure
  • Improved kidney functions

Potassium is a key player in the central nervous system as it acts as a signal to regulate communication throughout the body. It communicates to the nerves to send impulses to the muscles, and the muscles will then contract or relax accordingly. Your heart is a major muscle in your body and potassium helps to regulate its rhythm, which drives the transportation of necessary nutrients to the cells and tissues throughout the body.

Our bodies use potassium to build proteins, build muscle, and maintain normal growth.

If you do not get enough potassium in your diet, you may experience muscle spasms, headache, and dehydration since the flow of communication throughout the body is slowed or blocked.

In addition, potassium is used in the breakdown of carbohydrates, control of electrical activity of the heart, and the maintenance of the acid-base balance.

POTASSIUM DEFICIENCY

When someone has a potassium deficiency, they may experience weakness or fatigue, muscle cramps or spasms, digestive issues, irregular heartbeat, circulatory problems and numbness, difficulty breathing, and changes in mood. Dehydration can exacerbate these symptoms.

When doctors discover low potassium levels in the blood, it is termed hypokalaemia. It is a common side effect for patients using diuretic drugs. Since potassium levels are regulated in the kidneys, diuretics may cause excessive excretion of potassium in the urine resulting in a deficiency.

On the other hand, if potassium levels are too high in an individual, it’s called hyperkalemia. Too much potassium can be deadly. This typically occurs due to poorly functioning kidneys like in those who may have Addison’s disease. Symptoms of hyperkalemia are quite like hypokalaemia, such as irregular heartbeat and weakness. A doctor should be able to diagnose you with a quick blood sample analysis.

Sugar Free Electrolytes

Looking for Keto friendly sugar free electrolytes, then check out Quick Lytes.

These are rich in Potassium, Magnesium, and Zinc, making them Ideal for those who are traveling to hot countries, who exercise regularly, or just in general sweat a lot. It is also useful for people on a low carb diet.

Maintaining good salt levels through taking electrolyte supplements can help aid recovery from excess salt loss.

WHAT FOODS CONTAIN POTASSIUM

Foods high in potassium are easily found at the local supermarket. Bananas are usually the most commonly known source. Since banana can range in size it can be difficult to determine how much potassium in a banana. However, it’s safe to estimate that a medium sized banana will contain around 422 milligrams of potassium.

Other sources of potassium include spinach, muskmelon, avocados, potatoes, prunes, wild caught salmon, and coconut water. You can even find high levels of potassium in orange juice.

FOODS LOW IN POTASSIUM

If you are monitoring your potassium intake, you may need to look for foods low in potassium from this list. Some vegetables that are known to contain only small amounts of potassium are alfalfa sprouts, asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery and corn.

Fruits low in potassium include apples, strawberries, raspberries, grapes and grape juice, blueberries, and pineapples and pineapple juice.

If you are cooking, and you need to steer clear of high potassium foods, you can lower the amount by a process called leaching.

Leaching is the process of soaking a food in water in order for the potassium to be “pulled” out of the food and transferred into the water. Please note that leaching will not remove all the potassium so if you need low to no potassium foods you still may risk ingesting more potassium than desired.

Bean sprouts nutrition

Many people not only love the taste of Mung Bean Sprouts but love the fact that they are relatively low in calories while being rich in nutrients. They make a great source of dietary fiber. They are often naturally found as part of an Asian dishes and have numerous culinary uses; whether they be stir-fried or used in a salad.

Mung Bean Sprouts
Mung Bean Sprouts photograph by Crispin Semmens; CC

Mung Beans Benefits

They have been linked with an assortment of health benefits such as reducing anxiety (as Mung Bean Sprouts are vitamin C rich; maintenance of good eye sight (great source of folate; supporting the immune system (an iron rich food; supporting cardiovascular health and bone health (rich in vitamin K and manganese).

Mung Bean Sprout Nutrition Facts and Information

When eaten raw bean sprouts have an estimated glycemic load of three. They consist 70% carbohydrates; 5% fat; and 25% protein. There is a lot more good than bad associated with consuming this food. Indeed the only real downside is that most of the calories in them come from sugars; but given their low calorific value this is hardly a major problem at all. The pluses far outweigh the minuses as they are low in fat, sodium and cholesterols, and are a great source of vitamins and minerals. As mentioned above as they are rich in magnesium; manganese; and vitamin K they are thought to be good for people with bone issues such as osteoporosis.

One hundred grams (100 g) of raw mung bean sprouts has jus 30 calories and contains 3 grams of protein.

Bean Sprouts Nutritional Facts

Vitamins

They are a source of the following vitamins (amounts per 100g)

Vitamin A:     21 IU

Vitamin C:      13.2 mg

Vitamin E:      0.1 mg

Vitamin K       33 micrograms

Vitamin B group

Thiamin:        0.1 mg

Riboflavin:    0.1 mg

Niacin;           0.7 mg

Folate:           61 micrograms

 

Pantothenic Acid:     0.4 mg

Choline:         14.4 mg

Minerals (per 100 g)

Calcium:         13 mg

Iron:                0.9 mg

Magnesium:  21 mg

Phosphorous: 54 mg

Potassium:    149 mg

Sodium:         6 mg

Zinc:                0.4 mg

Copper:          0.2 mg

Manganese: 0.2 mg

Selenium:      0.06 micrograms

 

Dietary Fiber: 1.8 g

How to Sprout Mung Beans

As well as being delicious, sprouting Beans is a pretty easy and fun process: Visit this page for a full guide on how to sprout mung beans and watch the following video.

Final Thoughts

Mung Bean sprouts are tasty, fun to grow, and rich in certain nutrients (e.g., Vitamin K that are often difficult to obtain from non-meat sources. This makes them a definite winner as far as the NutritionalHQ website is concerned.

How Much Dietary Fiber per Day?

If you want to stay healthy for the long-term then filling up on high-fiber foods is always a good idea. Important dietary fiber not only helps to keep you feeling fuller longer, but it also helps to keep your digestive system regular and your heart healthy. However, eating the recommended daily dose isn’t always that easy, especially as it seems so much easier just to grab a fast meal than to eat something healthy.

What is Dietary Fiber?

Dietary fiber, which is also classified as bulk or roughage, includes parts of certain plants that the body is unable to absorb or digest. Unlike other types of food nutrients such as proteins, fats, and carbohydrates (which the body can readily absorb) dietary fiber is not able to be digested. Instead, the fiber moves intact through the stomach, small intestine, and colon and then out of the body.

Dietary rich food
Dietary rich grain. Photograph by Marco Verch, CC.

What does dietary fiber do?

There are two main types of fiber: soluble, which can be dissolved in water; and insoluble, which cannot be dissolved.

Here’s how these types act:

  • Soluble Fiber – When soluble fiber comes into contact with water, it dissolves to form a gel-like substance. This type of fiber helps to lower a person’s glucose levels and blood cholesterol.
  • You can find soluble fiber in foods such as oats, beans, peas, citrus fruits, apples, carrot, Psyllium (Plantago ovate), and barley. On a side note, you can get also obtain fiber through eating mangoes, (mango dietary fiber = 1.6 g per 100 g, or about 5 grams per mango).
  • Insoluble Fiber – This type of fiber works differently than the soluble kind. Instead of turning into a gel-like substance, insoluble fiber pushes the movement of food through a person’s digestive system. It also increases the bulk of the stool, making it extremely beneficial for people who suffer from abnormal stools and constipation. You will find insoluble fibers in the form of wheat bran, nuts, whole wheat bread, beans, cauliflower, potatoes, and green beans.

It’s important to remember that the amount of these two fibers will vary depending on the type of plant it is derived from. In order to make sure that you benefit the most it is important to eat a wide array of foods that are high in fiber.

Sources of Fiber

The foods mentioned above are just a mere few of the gigantic selection fiber-rich foods. So, if you thought beans were the only magical foods, you’d be wrong.

Here is a list of foods that contain large amounts of fiber:

  • Artichokes – Did you know that this little vegetable is packing more fiber than any other vegetable? One artichoke contains about 10 grams of fiber.
  • Peas – On their own, peas contain next to no fiber. However, one cup of peas contains about 9 grams of fiber.
  • Raspberries – Not only are these one of the best berries to have during the summer, they also contain 8 grams of fiber. Put these on your parfait to give it an extra boost of fiber!
  • Coconut – Everyone’s favorite tropical fruit is actually considered a rival to other sources of fiber like oat bran and wheat bran. Why? A tiny sliver can provide you with 16 percent of your daily fiber intake.
  • Pears – Perhaps you’re not an apple person and prefer pear dietary fiber instead. A medium sized pear contains about 6 grams of fiber, which is actually more than is found in apples. It is the skin of the pear is what’s packing all of the fiber, so there’s no need to peel it!

Eating a fiber-based diet has many benefits such as maintaining the health of your bowels, helping with weight loss, lowering your cholesterol levels, and actually helps you to live a longer life.