15 POTASSIUM-RICH FOODS YOU NEED TO BE EATING
By Shereen Lehman, MS
Potassium is a major dietary mineral that helps balance your body’s pH and body fluids. It’s important for normal blood pressure regulation (it works in opposition to sodium). It’s also needed for normal muscle growth, and for nervous system and brain function. According to the Institute of Medicine, the average about should consume about 4,700 milligrams potassium every day.
Your body’s potassium levels may be affected by kidney disease, diabetes, vomiting, fluctuating hormone levels, or as a side effect of certain medications.
Fruits and vegetables are the richest sources of potassium so you may be getting plenty in your diet right now. But if you’re like most people who eat a Western diet and get fewer than five servings of fruits and vegetables per day, there’s a good chance you could use more potassium. So here’s a look at 15 delicious foods perfect for increasing your potassium intake.
It’s best to get your potassium from the foods you eat; please don’t take potassium supplements without speaking with your healthcare provider first.
Baked potatoes totally rock the potassium world. One medium baked potato has more than 900 milligrams potassium. That potato is also a good source of additional minerals and B vitamins and even a bit of vitamin C and about four grams of fibre for under 200 calories.
Beet greens are another heavy hitter. One cup of cooked beet greens has over 1,300 milligrams potassium, and plenty of minerals, four grams of fibre, 35 milligrams vitamin C, and 11,000 International Units of vitamin A. All for less than 40 calories. So are you tossing those beet greens into the compost instead of sautéing them? If so, you’re missing out on a ton of good nutrition.
Dry beans of any kind are rich in potassium, but the white beans have the most at about 400 milligrams per half-cup serving. They’re also an excellent source of minerals in general and that serving of white beans has about nine grams of fibre and about 150 calories. Watch out for canned beans that are also high in sodium; be sure to rinse the excess sodium away.
Plain non-fat yogurt is an excellent source of potassium with more than 500 milligrams in one cup of yogurt. Low-fat yogurt is also a good source, but yogurt made with whole milk isn’t quite as impressive potassium-wise. It’s also important to note Greek yogurt isn’t nearly as potassium-rich as plain old non-fat yogurt. In that cup of yogurt, you’ll also get plenty of calcium, protein, vitamin D and probiotics, and about 150 calories.
Baked Sweet Potatoes:
Sweet potatoes are delicious and packed with vitamins and minerals. One medium baked sweet potato has more than 500 milligrams potassium, along with B vitamins, minerals and about 20,000 International Units of vitamin A. That sweet potato also has about four grams’ fibre and only 100 calories.
Most fish, such as salmon and tuna, will supply you with some potassium, but halibut is the top dog, so to speak. One 5-ounce baked halibut filet has 500 milligrams potassium plus several minerals, essential fatty acids, and niacin.
Lima beans an excellent source of B vitamins and most minerals without being too high in calories. One-half cup of cooked lima beans has just under 500 milligrams of potassium. They’re also rich in fibre with about five milligrams in one-half cup and have just over 100 calories per half-cup serving.
Bananas are pretty well-known as a high-potassium food. And for good reason. One medium banana has more than 400 milligrams potassium. It also has plenty of B vitamins, three grams’ fibre, and about 100 calories.
Prunes and Prune Juice:
Prunes and prune juice are an excellent source of potassium. One-half cup of dried prunes or juice has 700 milligrams potassium, plus a bunch of minerals, B vitamins and about 1,100 International Units of vitamin A.
Clams are best known as a source of zinc, a mineral that’s important for so many chemical reactions to occur in the body. But, clams are also an excellent source of potassium. One-half cup of clam meat has about 500 milligrams potassium. Clams are also low in calories, high in protein and an excellent source of iron.
Tomatoes are a fair source of potassium, but when they’re cooked and concentrated into sauces, stews, and paste, the amount of potassium goes up quite a bit. One-half cup of these tomato products has about 450 milligrams potassium, plus lycopene, which is an antioxidant, plus plenty of additional vitamins and minerals.
Dried apricots are high in potassium, with more than 1,000 milligrams in a half-cup serving. They’re also high in vitamin A, iron and niacin. Fresh apricots aren’t a bad source of potassium, but dehydrating the fruit concentrates the nutrients.
Winter squash, which includes varieties such as butternut, Hubbard, and acorn squash, is an excellent source of potassium with almost 600 milligrams per one cup of cubed squash. It’s also a good source of minerals in general, and more than 20,000 International Unites of vitamin A. One cup of cubed cooked squash has six grams’ fibre and about 90 calories.
Bok choy is a type of cabbage used in Asian dishes. It’s delicious and loaded with good nutrition. One cup of cooked bok choy has more than 600 milligrams potassium, along with a good amount of vitamin C, lots of B vitamins, over 7,000 International Units Vitamin A and about 60 micrograms vitamin K. And only about 20 calories.
Portobello mushrooms are quite high in potassium. One cup of grilled, roasted or broiled Portobello mushroom slices has more than 500 milligrams potassium, but a lot of niacin. Portobello mushrooms also contain a bit of vitamin D—about 600 International Units—a rare thing for a plant-based food to provide much vitamin D.
A Word From Verywell:
Potassium is an essential mineral that you need for so many important biochemical processes. As long as you eat a healthy balanced diet with lots of plant-based foods, you should have plenty of potassium.
Colorado State University Extension. “Potassium and the Diet.”
United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service. “National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference.”