Phosphorus is a natural mineral that is present in large quantities in the environment. It comes mainly from phosphorus-rich food, but also, in small quantities, from the water we drink.
About 85% of the phosphorus is stored in our bones, but it is also present in smaller amounts in muscle tissue and blood.
What are the products with high phosphorus content that can help us increase our consumption? This important mineral is mainly found in protein-rich products, including some seeds, beans, meat, fish, milk, and eggs (although cereals and some vegetables also provide this mineral).
According to the National Kidney Foundation, you are better able to absorb natural phosphorus from animal products than from plant-based foods.
What is phosphorus?
Phosphorus is the most important mineral involved in hundreds of cellular activities every day. The skeletal structure and vital organs – such as the brain, heart, kidneys, and liver – all depend on these organs to function normally.
After calcium, phosphorus is the most common element in the human body. It makes up about 0.5% of a baby’s body and about 1% of an adult’s body.
What is the main role of this mineral? In addition to the health of the skeleton and organs, the use of nutrients from the food we eat, and the support of detoxification plays an important role.
This mineral is a source of phosphate in the body, a type of salt that is present in the body and consists of phosphoric acid. It is also an important element for the synthesis of the most important macro-elements in our diet: Proteins, fats, and carbohydrates.
We need it to maintain our metabolism and increase our energy level by contributing to the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the body’s main source of energy.
Phosphorus is also essential for effective muscle movement and contraction. It acts as an electrolyte in the body, balancing cell activity, heart rhythm, and fluid balance.
The top 20 high phosphorus foods
High phosphorus content? What about the fruit – high phosphorus bananas?
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 20 foods have the highest phosphorus content:
- Sunflower seeds – ¼ Section: 388 milligrams
- Sheep’s milk – 1 glass: 387 milligram
- Canned salmon, 3 ounces: 322 milligrams
- Cheese – 1/4 cup: 189-306 milligram (depending on species)
- Corn – 1 cup: 302 milligrams
- Cottage cheese – 1 glass: 276 milligram
- Dark Meat Chicken – 1 glass: 262 milligram
- Yogurt – 1 cup: 245 milligram
- Potatoes – 1 large with leather: 220 milligrams
- pink/white beans – 1/4 cup: 202 to 216 milligrams
- White beans – 1 cup boiled: 200 milligrams
- Adzuki beans – 1/4 cup: 187 milligrams
- Jug of Tuna – 3 ounces: 184-242 milligrams
- Tofu – 1/2 cup: 239 milligrams
- Turkey – 3 ounces: 182-227 milligrams.
- Black beans – 1/4 cup: 170 milligrams
- Herbal meat – 3 ounces: 173 milligrams
- Portobello Mushrooms – 1 cup: 163 milligram
- Almonds – ¼ Cup: 162 milligrams.
- Brown rice 1 cup boiled rice: 150 milligram
In addition to its natural origin in certain foods with a high phosphorus content, it is also added to foods to improve its appearance, shelf life, and taste. Phosphates are found, for example, in baking powder, cocoa products, and processed foods such as meat components, ice cream, bread and rolls, processed cheese, soft drinks, and many others.
As an addition to food and drink, it can be found under the following names, among others
- Dicalcium phosphate
- Sodium phosphate
- Sodium phosphate
- Phosphoric acid
- Sodium hexametaphosphate
- Trisodium phosphate
- Sodium tripolyphosphate
- Sodium pyrophosphate
This type of phosphorus is considered safe as a food additive by the Food and Drug Administration, but not in the way you want to get the phosphorus your body needs. Instead, try to get phosphorus-rich products – also called complete food sources – that are complete and naturally contain other minerals that are important for balancing phosphorus levels.
Health care services
Higher absorption of phosphorus in the diet can contribute to bone maintenance, detoxification, metabolism, and much more. These are some of the main health benefits associated with the consumption of this vital mineral:
1. Helps to maintain a strong skeleton
Together with calcium, phosphorus is one of the most important minerals in the body for maintaining bone structure and strength. In fact, more than half of all bones are made of phosphate.
Phosphorus helps build up bone mineral density, preventing fractures, bone damage, and osteoporosis, which are more likely to occur with age.
Without a sufficient amount of calcium-phosphorus, it cannot effectively build up and maintain the bone structure. For example, the high calcium content in food additives can block the absorption of phosphorus.
Increasing the amount of calcium alone will not improve bone density because both minerals are needed for the formation of bone mass.
Although it is important to get enough phosphorus to protect bones, recent data show that an increase in the amount of phosphorus in the diet due to inorganic phosphate supplements can indeed have adverse effects on bone and mineral metabolism. In order to maintain the balance between the phosphorus and calcium content, it is necessary to keep the bones in a better condition.
2. Detoxification of the organism by micturation and excretion
The kidneys are organs of legumes that perform a number of fundamental regulatory functions. They remove excess body molecules from the blood, including unnecessary minerals that the body does not need.
Phosphorus is important for kidney function and helps to detoxify the body by excreting toxins and waste products through the urine. On the other hand, it is difficult for people with kidney disease to maintain a normal mineral level, because excess minerals are not easily released (more about this below).
To balance uric acid, sodium, water, and body fat, the kidneys and other digestive organs depend on electrolytes such as phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium. Phosphates are closely related to these other minerals and are generally found in the body as phosphate ions in combination with other electrolytes.
3. Important for metabolism and nutrient use
Phosphorus is essential for the proper synthesis, absorption, and use of vitamins and minerals in foods, including B vitamins such as riboflavin and niacin. It is also important for the synthesis of amino acids, the building blocks of proteins that help cells function, produce energy, reproduce, and grow.
It also helps balance other nutrients in the body, including vitamin D, iodine, magnesium, calcium, and zinc. All these functions promote a healthy metabolism.
This mineral is also essential for the proper absorption of carbohydrates and fats, as it contributes to the production of digestive enzymes that convert nutrients into useful energy.
In general, it can help to keep the mind awake and the muscles active by stimulating the glands to release the hormones necessary for concentration and energy use.
4. Balances the body’s pH and improves digestion
In the body, phosphorus is partially present in the form of phospholipids, which, like our nucleotides and nucleic acids, are the main component of most biological membranes. One of the functional tasks of phospholipids is to balance the pH value in the body by buffering excessive amounts of acidic or alkaline compounds.
This promotes digestion by allowing healthy bacteria to grow in the intestinal flora. It is also important for the phosphorylation process, the activation of the enzymes of the digestive catalysts.
Because phosphorus acts as an electrolyte, it is also thought to help improve digestion by reducing swelling and water retention, and diarrhea, providing natural relief from constipation and eliminating acid reflux.
5. Need to maintain the energy level
Phosphorus helps in the absorption and regulation of B vitamins in the form of ATP, which are essential for energy production in cells. B-group vitamins are also needed to maintain a positive mood because of their effect on the release of neurotransmitters in the brain.
It also promotes the transmission of nerve impulses that help control muscle movements. Phosphorus deficiency and food rich in phosphorus can lead to general weakness, muscle pain, numbness, and general or chronic fatigue syndrome.
6. Helps maintain dental health
Just as phosphorus is essential for bone health, it is also important for maintaining healthy teeth and gums. Calcium, vitamin D, and phosphorus play a role in the formation and maintenance of healthy teeth by maintaining the density of jaw enamel and minerals and keeping the teeth in place – so these minerals and vitamins can also help to heal cavities.
Children need foods with high levels of phosphorus and calcium, especially during the development of adult teeth, to form a strong tooth structure.
Vitamin D, in combination with phosphorus, is needed to regulate the body’s calcium balance and improve its absorption during tooth formation. Vitamin D can also help reduce gingivitis associated with periodontal disease.
7. Required for Cognitive function
Good neurotransmitters and brain functions depend on minerals such as phosphorus for daily cell activity. The key role of phosphorus is to maintain the correct neurological, emotional, and hormonal response.
Phosphorus deficiency has been associated with cognitive decline and the development of age-related neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
8. Relevance to growth and development
Because phosphorus is essential for nutrient uptake and bone formation, deficiencies during childhood and adolescence can slow growth and contribute to other developmental problems. During pregnancy, it plays a role in the production of the genetic basic elements, DNA, and RNA.
Indeed, products with a high phosphorus content are an important part of the diet of pregnant women, as minerals are essential for the growth, maintenance, and repair of all tissues and cells from childhood onwards. Phosphorus is also important for the proper functioning of the brain, including the ability to concentrate, learn, solve problems, and store information.
Symptoms of deficiency
Normal levels of phosphorus are between 2.5 and 4.5 mg/dL, which can be determined by a test carried out by your doctor.
In most cases, phosphorus deficiency is not very common because this mineral is abundant in many foods and is also added synthetically to many packaged foods.
It is one of the many food additives found in many processed products, such as bread, cheese, and salad dressing. It is therefore estimated that the added phosphorus represents up to 30% of an adult’s average intake.
Phosphorus in the form of phosphate is absorbed very efficiently in the small intestine, especially when compared to many other minerals such as calcium, iron, and magnesium. It is assumed that between 50 and 90% of the phosphorus we ingest is actually absorbed, thus preventing a deficiency.
What causes phosphorus deficiency?
The more protein-rich food a person eats, the better he is able to maintain normal phosphorus levels. As a result, people with a low protein content have a higher risk of deficiency than people with high protein content, especially if they consume large amounts of animal protein.
The group most likely to suffer from phosphorus deficiency is the older woman. It is estimated that 10-15% of older women consume less than 70% of the recommended daily dose.
One reason may be that older women are more likely to take high doses of calcium (to correct a calcium deficiency), which consists of carbonate or citrate salts that bind to phosphorus, making it inaccessible for absorption.
For example, some medicines can also lower phosphorus content:
- ACE inhibitors
- Acid burn
What are the signs of a phosphorus deficiency? Some of the most visible signs of phosphorus deficiency are
- Bone weakness, fractures, and fractures
- Change in appetite
- joint and muscle pain
- Practical issues
- Execution of a tooth
- Stupidity and tingling
- Weight loss or increase
- Slow growth and other development issues
- Concentration of problems
Supplements and dosage
Experts tell us that most people don’t need to take phosphate supplements because the average person benefits a lot from his or her diet.
According to the USDA, the recommended daily intake of phosphorus depends on age and gender:
- Infants 0 to 6 months: 100 milligrams per day
- Babies 7 to 12 months: 275 milligrams
- Children 1-3 years: 420 milligrams
- Children from 4 to 8 years: 500 milligrams
- Age 9-18 years: 1250 milligram
- Adults aged 19 to 50 years: 700 milligrams
- Pregnant or breastfeeding women: 700 milligrams
As you can see, teenagers in all groups need the most phosphorus if they grow fast and build up bone mass. For the same reason, teenagers also need more calcium and, in many cases, extra calories.
With the exception of people with kidney disease, the risk of overdose when eating foods containing phosphorus is low because the kidneys can usually easily control the amount of this mineral in the blood. Additional material is usually efficiently eliminated through urine.
However, the intake or consumption of very high doses in the form of food additives or products containing additives may modify the normal level of phosphorus. This can be dangerous because it can disrupt the synthesis of the active metabolite of vitamin D and interrupt calcium absorption.
Too much phosphorus in the diet has been shown to have harmful effects on bone and mineral metabolism.
There is also a risk that high levels of phosphorus may lead to complications in the heart and arteries due to an imbalance in the essential minerals that regulate blood pressure, circulation, and kidney function.
On your own, you probably won’t get too many minerals from phosphorus-rich foods, but if you take phosphorus-containing food additives and eat a lot of packaged foods that contain nutrients, you should consider making a few changes to control your diet.
Try to get as much phosphorus as possible into your daily diet, especially high-quality proteins that help in the absorption and balance of minerals and electrolytes.
You will remember that beans, meat, fish, and seeds are among the best sources of this mineral (mainly high-protein food). To increase the phosphorus content in your diet, try these healthy recipes:
Risks, side effects, and interactions
What happens if the phosphorus content is too high? Although rare, too much phosphate can be toxic and cause these symptoms:
- Hardening of organs and soft tissues
- Imbalance of iron, calcium, magnesium and zinc, which can have many negative consequences.
- Athletes and others taking phosphate supplements should only do so occasionally and under the guidance and guidance of a health professional.
Phosphorus also interacts with other minerals and with some medications. Therefore, do not use high-dose phosphorus supplements without first consulting your physician. This is especially important for people with chronic kidney disease.
If a person has chronic kidney disease (COPD), the kidneys are not very good at removing phosphorus, which means it builds up and can pull calcium out of the bones. For this reason, patients with CDC are generally advised to follow a low phosphate diet.
Depending on the patient and the situation, this may be due to a reduced intake of protein and dairy products or a plant-based diet.
The aim is to maintain the right balance between products rich in calcium and phosphorus. This imbalance can lead to bone problems, such as osteoporosis, and gum and tooth problems.
Unfortunately, it is assumed that the standard American diet contains two to four times more phosphorus than calcium. This is due to excessive consumption of products such as meat and poultry – which contain much more phosphorus than calcium – and soft drinks.
Studies show that other interactions with a high phosphorus content can be identified, in particular in relation to calcium:
- Restriction of vitamin D absorption
- pressure on the kidneys
- Promotion of arteriosclerosis and kidney disease
- Interaction with alcohol, which can leach phosphorus from the bones and cause low levels in the body.
- Interaction with antacids containing aluminum, calcium or magnesium, which can lead to poor absorption of minerals from the intestine.
- Interaction with ACE inhibitors (blood pressure products)
- The storage of fatty acids can also reduce the oral absorption of phosphate from food, as can some corticosteroids and high doses of insulin.
Which foods are phosphorus-rich to avoid? It is best to limit the main sources, including protein products such as milk, tuna, turkey, and beef.
If you have chronic kidney disease, talk to your doctor about the need to further reduce food sources and other nutritional measures you can take to maintain a healthy level of minerals/nutrients.
- Phosphorus is the most important mineral involved in hundreds of cellular activities every day.
- Which products contain phosphorus? It mainly occurs in protein products, including beans, seeds, nuts, meat, fish, and dairy products.
- People with a low-protein diet run a higher risk of deficiency than people with a high-protein diet, especially if it contains a lot of animal protein.
- Many people consume this mineral in sufficient quantities through food alone. In fact, kidney patients and people who don’t get enough calcium in their diet may have excess calcium.
- The benefits of getting enough of this mineral in the diet include supporting bone health, higher energy levels, nerve and muscle function, hormone production, fertility, and detoxification.