Benefits Of Potassium

Potassium is a mineral that helps keep a regular fluid balance between cells while stimulating muscle contraction and aiding kidney function. Typically, a potassium deficiency occurs when excess urine is lost from taking certain medications such as diuretics. Potassium can be replaced with foods like oranges, tomatoes, melons, and bananas.

A high potassium level is called hyperkalemia and a low potassium level is called hypokalemia, but regardless of whether it’s high or low, it can be controlled with simple diet changes. However, in some cases, potassium levels may need to be regulated with supplements.

Potassium levels depend on sodium. Excess sweating from sports events can quickly lower potassium levels, which is why sports drinks were developed. The first sports drink was developed for the Florida Gators, hence the name, “Gator Aid.”

Seniors are susceptible to hyperkalemia, due in part to many of the medications associated with the problems of aging, along with kidney function which typically decreases with age. Potassium supplements are often recommended for seniors to help regulate potassium levels, but supplements should only be taken under the supervision of a physician.

There are a number of medications that can raise potassium levels which include:

– Trimethoprim
– Thiazide diuretics
– Heparin
– Beta-blockers
– Cyclosporine

Medications that can lower potassium levels include:

– Antacids
– Theophylline
– Laxatives
– Corticosteroids
– Certain diuretics
– Theophylline
– Insulin

Potassium levels can be affected by any number of medications, which is why consulting a physician is recommended before taking a potassium supplement.

The symptoms of low potassium levels (hypokalemia) include muscle cramps, weakness, lethargy, stomach problems, high blood pressure, and an irregular heartbeat. High potassium levels (hyperkalemia) can cause symptoms such as muscle weakness, nausea, and diarrhea.

Fresh, unprocessed foods such as avocados, potatoes, bananas, apricots, fish, and whole grains are excellent sources of potassium, along with fortified cereals.

The early Christians believed that pomegranates, an excellent source of potassium, were from the tree of life. The fruit itself is difficult to eat as it is full of seeds surrounded by a red gel. This gel is sucked off and the seeds are spit out. Be that as it may, pomegranates are loaded with potassium and the juice is sold in most any grocery store.

Therefore, in order to maintain proper muscle response and help regulate vital bodily functions, incorporate foods rich in potassium into your daily diet. However, considering the high potassium content of the pomegranate, adding at least one glass of pomegranate juice per day should provide your daily potassium requirements.

Why Protein Is Important

Like all other macro nutrients the importance of protein is very significant to your diet. Without protein no life is possible. The main function of protein is to develop your body. Most of the body part’s main structural constituent is protein. Your muscles, body organs, skin, hairs, etc are nothing but one form of protein or another. In fact, all the body hormones, enzymes, blood cells and tissues are made up of proteins. This is why protein is so important in your diet.

Composition of Protein

Proteins are made up of amino acids and are a rich source of nitrogen. There are many kinds of proteins that are made up of different combinations of amino acids. There are 22 different amino acid chains. Around eight amino acids among these 22 are essential amino acids that body has to get them from outside food source as they cannot be formed inside the body.

Function of Protein

Protein is a high priority in your diet as it is necessary to sustain life. Here is why:

-Protein causes antibodies to fight against diseases.
-All the body skin, hair and nails are made up of proteins that we shed everyday.
-Protein is necessary for body functioning.
-Importance of protein in your diet is significant as it heals your injuries or improvesfitness after illness or surgery.
-Protein is necessary for body growth in children.

Sources of Protein

The obvious source of protein is your diet. There are two kinds of proteins – Complete and Incomplete Protein. Complete proteins are animal derived protein sources i.e. fish, egg, milk, chicken, etc. These contain the essential amino acids as well. Incomplete proteins are plant derived protein source like nuts, beans, peas, grains, vegetables, etc. These are needed to be taken in bulk for the vast protein requirement of the body.
Both these protein types should be taken in combination to balance different kind of amino acids for intake. For example, you can combine bread and milk or rice and meat to balance your protein intake. However, according to research these proteins are not necessary to be combined and eatenat the same timejust getting them in your diet is enough.

Some of the healthiest protein sources are 160c can tuna fish (40g of protein), 6oz salmon (46g), 8oz yogurt (10g), 8oz chicken breast (70g), 2 egg (12g), 8oz cheese (28g), etc.

Protein Requirement for the Body

Average daily protein requirement depends on a number of factors. Your weight, age, sex and type of activity determine the requirement. In simple terms, the below calculation can be done per pound of your body weight to determine the daily protein requirement.
Adult without much activity – 0.4g per pound
Adult with exercise – 0.5g per pound
Active athlete – 0.6g per pound
Body builder – 0.7g per pound
Teenage athlete – 0.9g per pound

Tips to Increase Protein Intake

Because of how important protein is in your diet, you should increase your daily protein intake. You should use the following tips:

– Increase meat intake
– Add cheese in your salads
– Mix milk or yogurt in fruit drinks or smoothies
– Increase protein into your snacks or diet like eggs in your cakes, milk in your chocolates or desserts.

Be creative, find ways to get more lean healthy protein in your diet and it will help your body become healthier and healthier.