Potassium is an indispensable element for the body. It is an essential mineral for the health of our body: its ions are essential for the correct nervous transmission and the effectiveness of muscle contractility. The balanced concentration of potassium in the blood also serves to ensure the correct supply of nutrients to the cells, as well as to encourage the elimination of toxic substances.
Furthermore, following a balanced diet, which requires the intake of a quantity of potassium higher than that of sodium, favors the process of eliminating the latter and keeping the pressure within the limits. This is also confirmed by the update, at the beginning of 2013, of the World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines: according to official indications, adults should take less than 2g of sodium and at least 3.5g of potassium everyday . The recommended values are the result of studies on the general population: these limits have proven to be effective in reducing the risk of developing hypertension and, again according to the Department of Nutrition and Health of the WHO, stroke and heart attack.
The limit in the intake of potassium and sodium will be different for those who practice a lot of sport, not necessarily at a competitive level: sweating makes you lose mineral salts, therefore it is important to think about a hydro-saline integration after physical activity.
FOOD RICH IN POTASSIUM:
The only source of potassium for our body is the diet and the major source of elimination of this microelement is the kidney: in other words, the mineral is continuously excreted in urine. Every day a healthy adult person loses about 2g of potassium.
Potassium is a mineral salt present in more or less high concentration in practically all foods and drinks, including natural water. In principle, the intake in the general diet is not usually considered so much, but rather the relationship with sodium. For this reason, it is essential not only to know which foods are rich in potassium, but also those that have a favorable relationship between the two microelements.
Fresh fruits and vegetables are foods rich in potassium and low in sodium and these are the best ones to choose:
-bananas, apricots, citrus fruits, figs, plums, grapes, kiwis;
-tomatoes, green leafy vegetables, asparagus, broccoli, artichokes, cabbage, spinach, endive, arugula, lettuce, potatoes;
-soybeans and legumes;
-nuts such as pistachios, almonds, peanuts, walnuts and hazelnuts.
Three servings of fruit and two of vegetables per day are sufficient to ensure the correct supply of this mineral. Regarding the cooking process, it should be noted that only boiling can reduce the amount of potassium in food.
Healthy eating is a bunch of many nuances: choosing foods rich in potassium and then consuming many prepackaged foods rich in sodium – such as sausages, olives, other pickled vegetables and chips – would be a useless paradox.