Potassium is a naturally occurring mineral that also falls under the category of an electrolyte because of its highly reactive nature in water. This allows it to conduct electricity with high efficiency. But does this property makes it one of the most essential minerals for the proper working of our body? Well, the answer is yes! Potassium's importance in our body is highly underrated. Here's why Potassium is so much important for our system.
Potassium Regulates Fluid Balance
Potassium is one of those naturally occurring minerals which helps regulate the fluid balance in our system. According to medical science, and probably as we know, the body is made up of at least 70% water and about 40-45% of it is found inside a substance called intercellular fluid or ICF, which is generally a part of the cells which make up your body. The remaining amount of fluid is found outside the cellular structures, in form of blood and spinal fluid.
This is known as extracellular fluid or ECF. However, the concentration of water found in the forms of intercellular fluid and extracellular fluid is directly affected by the presence of higher levels of electrolytes in either of these fluids. So, for example, if ICF gets low on electrolytes, the water balance will be unequal and more of it will be flushed outside and stored in form of extracellular fluid.
Potassium is the main electrolyte in intercellular fluid or ICF, its deficiency can cause this unequal balance of water between ICF and ECF. A sufficient amount of Potassium in the body ensures balance in osmolality between the two so that your body never gets dehydrated, and also it prevents the cells from shrinking or swelling up.
Potassium Helps In The Proper Functioning Of Our Nervous System
According to research, Potassium is an extremely essential mineral for our central nervous system. Our nervous system basically delivers electrical signals or messages between the brain and the body in form of electric nerve impulses.
So basically what happens is that when our brain commands a certain area or part of the body to perform, that command travels all the way through our neural link from the brain to that particular area in the body in form of these nerve impulses. These nervous impulses for example help regulate muscular movements, contraction, reflexes, heartbeat, and a lot of other important bodily functions.
As a matter of fact, these nerve impulses are generated by, rely heavily on Potassium ions which are simple charged particles moving in and out of neurons or neural cells in form of these electric signals. The movement of these ions changes the voltage of the cell, hence generating an electric nerve impulse.
The amount of Potassium present in our body ensures the nervous system's ability to generate a nerve impulse to keep the communication activities between the body and the brain as well as keeping the necessary bodily functions healthy(signs of kidney failure) and active.
Maintains Blood Pressure Levels
A Potassium-rich diet has amazing medicinal effects for people with high blood pressure or the ones suffering from hypertension and irregular blood pressure(natural ways of controlling blood pressure). Why? Because a sufficient amount of Potassium removes excessive Sodium from our system, which is the primary mineral responsible for elevated blood pressure levels in the body.
High Sodium levels in the body can increase blood pressure significantly and sometimes also cause sudden blood pressure spikes after regular intervals of time. Potassium helps get rid of sodium and excess of it excreted out of our body in the form of waste. Regular consumption of a Potassium-rich diet can significantly reduce and maintain blood pressure in our system which in turn subsequently reduces the risk of heart-related conditions and promote overall cardiovascular health.
Reduces The Chances Of Strokes
Potassium is said to regulate blood flow throughout our body ensuring a sufficient amount of oxygenated blood to flow through each part of the system. According to scientific studies, it is revealed that one of the biggest reasons because of which a stroke occurs is due to the lack of blood flow to the brain. A Potassium-rich diet makes sure that your brain gets enough oxygenated blood supply throughout the day, thus reducing the chances of a stroke significantly.
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