Milk is one of the best dietary sources of potassium, the dietary nutrient and electrolyte with the biggest health benefits for cardiovascular health. On average, 100 ml of milk or less than half a cup provides between 9 and 11% of the recommended daily intake of potassium for an average adult. Which is actually quite a good amount. And yet, milk is often left out of most lists of foods high in potassium, despite being both a good source of it and a food most people have access to easily in terms of availability and cost.
As of 2016, daily potassium requirements are set at 4700 mg for the average adult. Intake was increased from 3500 mg a day to 4700, a development that has sparked discussion. One the one hand, the daily requirements for the dietary nutrient are surprisingly high; on the other hand, there is significant concern as to whether or not the average person can meet this nutritional requirement in order to enjoy good health, especially healthy blood pressure numbers.
How much potassium in cow milk?
Whole cow milk (3.25% fat and 3.7% fat) has 132 to 150-151 mg of potassium per 100 ml and 322 to 366-368 mg of potassium per cup (244 g).
Low-fat, 2% milk has 162 mg of potassium per 100 ml and 395 mg per cup.
Low-fat 1% milk has up to 182 mg of potassium per 100 ml and 446 mg per cup.
Non-fat or skim milk has 166-182 mg of potassium per 100 ml and 410 to 444 mg per cup.
How much potassium in sheep milk?
Sheep milk has about the same potassium content as cow. For example, whole sheep milk has 137 mg of potassium per 100 ml, 334.28 mg per cup (244 g) or 336 mg per cup (245 g). Whole sheep’s milk has 6-7 g of fat per 100 ml of milk. Technically, low-fat options would mean an increased potassium content.
How much potassium in goat milk?
Goat milk tends to have even more of the blood pressure-regulating electrolyte than cow and sheep. 100 ml of regular goat milk (3.5% fat) has 204 mg of potassium, while 1 cup of goat milk (244 g) has 497.76 mg of potassium. The general rule is – the lower the fat content, the higher the potassium content. As such, goat milk options with reduced fat are supposed to have an even higher content of the essential nutrient.
How much potassium in water buffalo milk?
Indian water buffalo milk has 178 mg of potassium per 100 ml and 434.32 mg per cup (244 g). In general, potassium content is higher in the reduced-fat and non-fat/skim milk versions compared to whole milk. Unless the milk is diluted, a common practice with water buffalo milk as a result of its impressive fat content – 8 g of fat per 100 ml of milk. Technically, for the potassium content to increase, the weight of the fat that is removed must be replaced by the undiluted liquid portion of the milk, where the potassium is contained.
How much potassium in camel milk?
100 ml of camel milk has an estimated 193 mg of potassium, which means a 244 g cup of the milk has 470.92 mg of potassium. This a rather impressive amount and, should you have access to the milk and find it acceptable, then know it’s beneficial for nervous system and cardiovascular health in general and blood pressure in particular. Camel milk is also higher in vitamin C and lower in fat (with an average of 1.9 g of fat per 100 ml of milk).
There is potassium in other types of milk, including donkey, horse and yak, but research is poor so not exact values for the essential nutrient can be given at this time.
Daily potassium requirements
- Babies (0 months – 6 months): 400 mg a day, from maternal milk.
- Babies (6 -12 months): 700 mg, from maternal milk and/or food sources.
- Children (1 year – 13 years): starting at 3000 mg a day and working up to 4500 mg a day.
1-3 years: 3000 mg
4-8 years: 3800 mg
9-13 years: up to 4500 mg
- Men (14 and older): 4700 mg.
- Women (14 and older): 4700 mg.
- Pregnant women: 4700 mg.
- Nursing mothers: 5100 mg.
- Seniors (65 and older): 4700 mg.
Dietary recommendations set for US and Canada. Factors such as diet, level of physical activity, existing medical conditions and other may influence dietary requirements.
Why is it so important to get enough potassium in our diets every single day?
Here are some of the biggest benefits of the essential nutrient:
- Good for hypertension. Relieves pressure in blood vessels which contributes to better blood pressure numbers. Meeting daily requirements can successfully prevent and reverse hypertension. Works best in combination with magnesium. Dietary supplements can lower high blood pressure within minutes.
- Maintains electrolyte balance. In simpler words, it balances potassium, sodium, magnesium and other electrolytes within blood plasma. Electrolytes carry electrical impulses from the brain to the body and coordinate nervous system activity. Has direct effects on every muscle in the body, including the heart. One major benefit of its electrolyte-balancing properties is maintaining normal heart rhythm.
- Combats water retention. Sodium causes water retention. But because potassium regulates sodium presence in the bloodstream, it helps combat water retention and its effects (face puffiness, swollen legs, feet, arms etc.).
- Helps food travel through the intestines. How come? Well, the intestinal wall is essentially muscle and potassium coordinates muscle activity through its electrolytic properties. As a result, having enough of it means your intestinal muscles retain their ability to effectively move food through.
- Good for bones. Calcium is released from bones to counteract acidity in the body. By regulating specific acids in the body, potassium helps keep calcium in bones and contributes to good bone density and overall strong bones and teeth.
- Holds benefits for diabetes. Meeting your daily potassium requirements helps prevent drops in blood sugar which is a good thing for both diabetics and non-diabetics.
- Prevents muscle weakness, cramps, aches and pains. Helps muscle contract and relax via its electrolyte properties.
- It’s what keeps reflexes quick. Via its direct action on nervous system and muscle function.
- Reduces stress and anxiety. A benefit derived from its role in regulating nervous system activity.
- Contributes to lower risks of cardiovascular disease, including hypertension, arrhythmia, myocardial infarction/heart attack etc.
Of all the foods that are good sources of potassium, milk is definitely one to consider. It’s relatively cheap and you can find it just about everywhere. Just remember that the lower the fat content, the higher the potassium and the better it is for your health. And the next time you’re pondering which to choose – whole milk, 1%, 2% or skim/non-fat? – know that reduced fat options have some pretty wonderful benefits, especially for cardiovascular and nervous system health.
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