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Potassium: Eat more bananas, make your bones and muscles strong

Potassium: Eat more bananas, make your bones and muscles strong
This mineral helps your body retain and preserve calcium. This increases bone strength and durability. @Shutterstock

Potassium is an essential mineral that plays an important role in maintaining your overall health. Read on to know more.

Written by Jahnavi Sarma |Published : February 13, 2020 2:36 PM IST

Potassium is an important nutrient that can reduce your risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke and kidney stones. This is easily available in many easily available foods and can be added to daily diet without any difficulty or added expense. The importance of dietary potassium is further proven by many studies on the subject.

According to a study in the American Journal of Physiology -- Endocrinology and Metabolism, increasing dietary potassium is important for improving the risk factors for cardiovascular and kidney disease. Another study by Albert Einstein College of Medicine researchers say that post-menopausal women who eat foods higher in potassium are less likely to have strokes and die than women who eat less potassium-rich foods. The American Heart Association's journal Stroke published this study.

Any deficiency in this mineral can cause fatigue and muscle weakness. Other symptoms of potassium deficiency are reflex problems, abnormal heartbeat and, anaemia and headaches. Here, let us look at a few health benefits of potassium.

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It makes your bones strong

This mineral helps your body retain and preserve calcium. This increases bone strength and durability. Potassium also increases the mineral density in bones, and this makes your bones stronger. It also reduces your risk of osteoarthritis.

It regulates blood pressure levels

This mineral reverses the role of sodium and helps regulate blood pressure levels. This, in turn, reduces your risk of heart diseases and stroke. It comes with amazing vasodilation properties that relieve the tension of blood vessels. This is what regulates your blood pressure levels.

It revs up your metabolism

Potassium is useful when it comes to the metabolic processing of nutrients like fats and carbohydrates. It also helps to break down protein. Hence, it stimulates tissue regeneration, cell growth and improves overall metabolism.

It is good for mental health

This mineral reduces anxiety and stress. It regulates the stress hormones, cortisol and adrenaline. Therefore, adding potassium-rich foods to your diet will help you be in a better frame of mind.

Sources of potassium

It is very easy to source this mineral from common foods. Citrus fruits, vegetables and grains are common sources. You can also add nuts, bananas, coconut water and poultry to your diet for an added dose of potassium.