Phosphorous is one of the important elements for the body and is found in many foods and nutritional supplements. It is one of the basic components of bones, teeth, DNA, and RNA, and it is also included in the composition of the cell membranes of cells that produce energy (ATP) in the form of phospholipids, in addition to the fact that many proteins and sugars in the body are phosphorylated.
It is worth noting that phosphorous is the second most abundant element in the human body after calcium, as it constitutes 1% of the body weight, and it is available in each of its cells, so the body needs it to perform many functions such as getting rid of waste, repairing tissues and cells, and others.
Where is phosphorous found in food?
The body obtains phosphorous from several basic sources, such as food, drink, and others, and the food sources rich in it are the following:
- Chicken and turkey: One cup of roasted chicken or turkey, weighing 140 grams, provides the equivalent of approximately 300 milligrams of phosphorous, which is equivalent to more than 40% of the recommended daily amount of it. In addition to that, they are rich in protein, B vitamins, and selenium.
- Nuts: Most nuts are a rich source of phosphorous. Especially the Brazil nuts.
- Seafood: Many seafoods are a good source of phosphorous, such as squid and mollusks, as one serving of them covers 70% of the recommended daily amount.
- Milk products: Low-fat milk products such as cottage cheese and yoghurt are excellent sources of phosphorous, as one serving covers 30% of the daily recommended amount of it.
- Sunflower and pumpkin seeds: Both are high in phosphorous, as 28 grams of roasted sunflower and pumpkin seeds cover 45% of the recommended daily amount.
- Meats and foods rich in protein, such as beef, pollock, swordfish, cod, halibut, tofu, shrimp, tuna, salmon
- cereals such as bran and its products, wheat germ, oatmeal, and granola.
- Legumes such as lentils, chickpeas, white beans, red beans, pinto beans, lima beans, and soybeans
- Other foods such as chocolate, caramel, molasses, cocoa, baked potatoes with their skins, biscuits, and others
Phosphorous benefits the body
Phosphorous contributes to many important functions in the body, such as the formation of bones and teeth. In addition, it helps nerves and muscles perform their functions and contributes to the conversion of fats, carbohydrates, and protein into energy, in addition to its primary role in regulating gene transcription, activating enzymes, and maintaining the acidity of the extracellular fluid. This promotes the storage of energy inside the cell and also helps the cell in its functions, the body’s production of energy, and the transfer of oxygen to red blood cells.
There are many other functions, of which we mention the following:
- It relieves muscle pain after exercise.
- It helps filter substances that are excreted by the kidneys.
- contributes to the formation, preservation, and restoration of genetic material.
- contributes to maintaining the proportion of vitamins and minerals within their normal level and their use within the body, such as B vitamins, vitamin D, iodine, magnesium, and zinc.
- contributes to maintaining a regular heartbeat.
- It helps speed up nerve conduction.
A doctor may advise the consumption of phosphate supplements under medical supervision in the event of not obtaining an adequate amount of phosphorous as a result of a health problem. These supplements are in the form of phosphorous salts, such as sodium phosphate salts and potassium phosphate, which are used to relieve hypophosphatemia, which often results from a genetic disorder that leads to the excretion of phosphate without the body benefiting from it.