The purpose of potassium in our body!

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As per our previous Instagram post on whether Bananas are radioactive. It is true they are due to the potassium content in them. But don't worry this radioactive food can be consumed and our body actually does need potassium (electrolyte) to function! 
We learned from NRC that everything we come across in our daily lives has natural radioactivity. Annually, we are exposed to about 0.62 millirems of naturally occurring radiation via the ground we walk on, the water we drink, the air we breathe and the food we eat. Today we explain the importance of potassium in our body.

Bananas do contain a small amount of potassium and potassium decays. It is also necessary for the intake of potassium for healthy operation of your body. The use of this mineral has several functions in the body largely to regulate fluid levels, nerve and muscle functions. This includes regulating heart rhythm too!

It is possible to get all the potassium we need through a healthy diet as there are other fruits and vegetables that contains potassium.

  1. Bananas: As mentioned above, bananas contain about 3,520 picocuries of radiation per kilogram (pCi/kg).
  2. White Potatoes: Averaging about 3,400 pCi/kg is quite an average staple in our meals. They are not only rich in potassium, but vitamin C, folic acid, fibre, and immune-boosting flavonoids.
  3. Carrots:Carrots too contain about 3,400pCi/kg potassium and also 0.6-2pCi/kg of radium produce naturally occurring radiation in carrots.
  4. Red Meat: Like bananas, potatoes, and carrots, the red meat also contains radium and potassium at 0.5pCi/kg and 3,000pCi/kg respectively
  5. Beer: Yes, beer contains potassium, but is probably the least radioactive among the food selections as it doesn’t contain radium. For potassium, a minor amount at about 390pCi/KG

You can find more information on other food that contains potassium provided by Philrutherford.

THE IMPORTANCE OF POTASSIUM IN OUR BODY

Potassium is one of the most important electrolytes in our body, along with others that include calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, chloride, and sodium. As an electrolyte, potassium is vital as it allows the functioning of our body’s cell, tissues, and organs.

Having potassium in your body allows the balance of both potassium and sodium. Because of the sodium impacting on your blood pressure by working on your kidneys to make your body hold on to more water, these stored water raises your blood pressure and strain on the kidneys, arteries, heart, and brain according to Blood Pressure UK.

Adequate intake of potassium allows regular digestive and muscular functioning as well. Potassium allows your skeletal and smooth muscles to contract. Not only this, as mentioned on top, potassium assists in the normal heart rhythm that is attributed from optimal muscle functioning. If you have too little or too much potassium intake, the electrolytes imbalance will cause an irregular heartbeat. Heart arrhythmia could be life-threatening, it is always advised that you maintain a healthy and adequate intake of potassium and diet.