Everyone knows that there are certain nutrients that are essential for the proper functioning of our organism. However, not everyone knows exactly what they give us and why it is worth supplementing them. In addition, there is also the question of how we can supplement them to be sure that we provide the right amount for our body. For this reason, it is certainly worth taking a closer look at potassium, which is really important for our body and metabolism.
Potassium - what is it?
Potassium is one of the essential nutrients that we find in food and dietary supplements. It is found in every tissue of our organism and is needed for the normal functioning of our body's cells and organs. Potassium is absorbed mainly in the small intestine where about 90% of the taken dose is absorbed.
Potassium's most important sources and benefits - infographic
Potassium can be found in various foods of animal and vegetable origins. Additionally, we can find some small amounts of those in some beverages. In the case of the United States, the most common sources of potassium are:
Below is an example list of foods that contain this nutrient in the highest concentration:
- orange juice
In the case of dietary supplements, we find mainly potassium in the form of potassium chloride. However, we will also find potassium citrate, phosphate, aspartate, bicarbonate and gluconate. Interestingly, some salt substitutes have potassium chloride as a substitute for sodium chloride.
In the case of potassium deficiency, we can suffer from ailments such as:
- too high blood pressure
- the risk of kidney stones
- excretion of calcium in the urine
- sensitivity to salt actions (sodium intake affects blood pressure significantly)
In the case of severe potassium deficiency, you may encounter hypokalemia, however, this is not something that occurs only because of the lack of this nutrient. It is worth noting that this deficiency does not affect mainly healthy people. Because we find potassium in many dishes, a deficiency resulting from the diet should not appear unless we have really bad eating habits.
Potassium is a very important nutrient that we need for the proper functioning of our body. Convenient is that we can find it in many types of food and drinks, which should not be a problem for people with a varied diet. However, if we are concerned about possible potassium deficencies, it is worth thinking about using supplements that can help us.