Everything You Need to Know About Cacao and Potassium
Wondering about cacao and potassium content? Look no further, everything you need to know is written below.
You might not put much thought into it, but potassium is one of the most important minerals in the body. You may also be unaware that your body is unable to produce potassium naturally, so receiving it through diet is vital. Its long-list of benefits include regulating fluid balance, muscle contractions and nerve signals. On top of that, a high-potassium diet may also assist in reducing blood pressure and water retention. It can also help protect against strokes, prevent osteoporosis and kidney stones. Turns out the mineral that you might not give much thought to has a lot to think about!
What is potassium?
Potassium is the third most abundant mineral in the body, functioning as an electrolyte carrying a positive charge when in water. Roughly 98% of potassium in the body is found in cells, 80% is found in muscle cells and the other 20% is within bones, liver and red blood cells. The body uses potassiums charge to manage a variety of processes, including fluid balance, nerve signals and muscle contractions. When fluctuating between high and low levels, the amount of electrolytes in the body can affect functions.
If you suspect high, or low levels it's always a good idea to seek medical advice.
Why is it important?
Potassium helps maintain fluid-balance.
The body is made of approximately 60% water, which is affected by the concentration of electrolytes in the body. Maintaining fluid balance is important for optimal health and for preventing dehydration, which has a knock on effect on the heart and kidneys. Potassium helps to maintain the balance, alongside staying hydrated.
It is important for the nervous system.
You often hear of the nervous system when it comes to regulating the body, due to the fact that it relays messages between your brain and body. Typically, the discussion revolves around entering into both the sympathetic (fight and flight) or the parasympathetic (rest and digest) responses. Potassium enters into the equation due to the part it plays in generating the nerve impulses that trigger the responses. Therefore, getting enough potassium from your diet can help you maintain healthy nerve function.
It regulates muscle contractions.
Altered blood potassium levels can impact the nerve signals and weaken muscle contractions. In contributing to a healthy heart, its movement in and out of cells helps maintain a regular heartbeat. This means that the heart is able to pump blood to the brain, organs and muscles.
What are the benefits?
Several studies have found that eating a potassium-rich diet may help prevent strokes. A stroke occurs when there is a lack of blood flow to the brain, and potassium is proven to help improve this flow. On top of that, it is also an essential mineral for bone health. Studies have shown that a potassium-rich diet may help prevent osteoporosis by reducing how much calcium the body loses. Another huge benefit is its ability to ease water retention - something many find daily discomfort in. Studies show potassium helps reduce water retention through increase of urine production and reduction of sodium levels.
Where can I find sources of potassium?
Eating lots of vegetables and fruit, with a limit on processed food naturally creates a balance between potassium in relation to sodium increasing its benefits. That being said, naturally we don't always live in this balance. Picking up convenience foods that are typically processed means that salt is often added to the foods and the high sodium levels can alter the balance of potassium. Eating a diet with a variety of fruits and vegetables provides a decent source of the mineral.
What about cacao and potassium?
If you’re looking for a delicious source of potassium, cacao is one of the highest. Due to its high levels of potassium and low levels of sodium, it ensures balance is restored. Processing is also avoided to ensure it's natural form, which allows its original high levels to be maintained. Including cacao in your diet can result in balanced levels of potassium and allows for all of its benefits to surface..
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