Health Benefits of Potassium for Bloating and Water Retention
Potassium is a very important mineral that the body uses for a wide range of physiological processes. Most people are not aware of all of the benefits of potassium, such as its role in cell function, organ function and the health of tissues. In fact, most people are not aware of how important proper potassium levels are until they become deficient, where symptoms such as muscle cramps can occur. Proper potassium levels are also important because they are responsible for maintaining a proper fluid balance within the body.
The benefits of potassium include the mineral’s ability to keep the fluid balance between interstitial fluids and cells in check, which is what is likely responsible for its role in water retention. Therefore low potassium levels can contribute to an increase in fluid buildup within the body. In cases where edema (swelling resulting from water retention) is present, potassium supplements are sometimes indicated. However, there are many natural food sources of potassium that can benefit those that are trying to beat the bloat and prevent or reduce fluid buildup within the body.
Topping the list of well known entries on potassium rich foods lists is bananas. Not only are they an excellent source of potassium, but they are also full of many other body beneficial nutrients as well. However, while bananas are well known potassium sources, they actually are not the best, and there are many other foods that provide the mineral aside from the popular yellow fruit. For instance, potatoes are better sources of potassium than bananas, and so are leafy greens, which also boast an abundance of other essential nutrients. The benefits of potassium can also be found in yogurt, which can also provide beneficial gut probiotics. The avocado, an excellent source of Omega-9s, also beats out the banana in terms of potassium content, making them excellent (and tasty) water retention remedies. Interestingly enough however, there are some foods that are high in potassium but poor choices for those encountering water retention. For instance, the benefits of potassium are abundant in canned tomato sauce, and tomatoes themselves are considered a natural diuretic, capable of helping to reduce fluid buildup. However, while various canned tomato sauces may be great potassium sources, they are all almost always high in sodium, which can actually contribute to water retention, and should be avoided.
Potassium can also play a role in a chronic constipation diet. Water retention and bloating can be common symptoms of constipation, and those that encounter it frequently may want to explore some foods that are high in both potassium and fiber, of which there is an abundance. While not all foods rich in fiber boast ample amounts of potassium, some common choices can help to supplement a diet targeted towards reducing the incidence of one of the most common causes of water retention and bloating, constipation. Foods such as beans are excellent choices for ramping up fiber intake and boosting potassium consumption. And, many fruits and vegetables contain decent amounts of both dietary fiber and the benefits of potassium, such as oranges, strawberries, figs, dates, squash and broccoli. Some nuts, soybeans and oat bran also provide both dietary fiber and potassium. If constipation is the source of occasional water retention, incorporating these foods rich in fiber into a diet can approach the problem from multiple directions nutritionally, and helping to correct internal imbalances that can be contributing to symptom development. Bear in mind however, that fiber packed foods are not commonly associated with being very good bloating remedies, and adding them in may contribute to temporary sensations of puffiness, fullness and generalized bloat. However, the benefits of potassium and fiber in the long term to correct fluid imbalances and promote healthy regularity are long term fixes for occasional symptoms.
Potassium is essential to a wide range of body processes, and it is important to keeping biologically appropriate levels of fluid in the body. It’s easily obtainable from dietary sources, and can work alongside fiber to help correct one of the most common causes of fluid retention symptoms. Overall, a well balanced diet that incorporates all of the essential vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that the body needs to stay healthy is the best way to prevent the onset of the symptoms of water retention, and preventing a deficiency of these nutrients in the first place is ideal. However, for occasional bloating or sensations of fluid buildup that are not related to a disease or medical condition, consider the benefits of potassium.