Foods high in potassium are white beans, dried apricots, beet greens, prunes, spinach, avocado, salmon, banana, acorn squash, carrot juice, coconut water, pomegranate, yogurt and swiss chard.
Potassium is one of the seven essential macrominerals. The human body requires at least 100 milligrams of potassium daily to support key processes. A high potassium intake reduces the risk of overall mortality by 20 percent. It also decreases the risk of stroke, lowers blood pressure, protects against loss of muscle mass, preserves bone mineral density, and reduces the formation of kidney stones.
The primary functions of potassium in the body include regulating fluid balance and controlling the electrical activity of the heart and other muscles. Adults should be consuming 4,700 milligrams (mg) of potassium a day. Potassium supports blood pressure, cardiovascular health, bone strength, and muscle strength. Potassium deficiency can lead to fatigue, weakness, and constipation. It can escalate to paralysis, respiratory failure, and painful gut obstructions. Hyperkalemia means that there is too much potassium in the blood, and this can also impact health. Potassium is available in supplements, but dietary sources are most healthful.
A lot of people don’t realize that they are suffering due to lack of potassium. It is important to diagnose it if you suffer from the following symptoms:
- Weakness, tiredness, or cramping in arm or leg muscles, sometimes severe enough to cause inability to move arms or legs due to weakness (much like a paralysis)
- Tingling or numbness
- Nausea or vomiting
- Abdominal cramping, bloating
- Palpitations (feeling your heart beat irregularly)
- Passing large amounts of urine or feeling thirsty most of the time
- Fainting due to low blood pressure
- Abnormal psychological behavior: depression, psychosis, delirium, confusion, or hallucinations.
15 Must Know Foods High in Potassium
A cup of white beans contains 3636 mg of potassium and 673 calories (meets 104% of your daily potassium requirement). White beans are also a great source of fiber and folate – while the former improves digestive health, the latter is good for brain health (it is crucial during pregnancy as well). You can add white beans to your evening soup.
A cup of dried apricots contains 1511 mg of potassium and 313 calories (meets 43% of your daily potassium requirement). Dried apricots are also quite rich in non-heme iron, the deficiency of which can cause anemia. You can add them to your breakfast smoothie or evening fruit salad.
A cup of beet greens contains 1309 mg of potassium and 39 calories (meets 43% of your daily potassium requirement). The zinc in beet greens helps boost immunity. It also strengthens your hair. Beet greens can be added to your evening vegetable salad.
A cup of prunes contains 1274 mg of potassium and 418 calories (meets 36% of your daily potassium requirement). Also being a great source of vitamin a, prunes help boost vision health and prevent eye ailments like dry eyes and macular degeneration and cataracts. You can add prunes to your fruit salad or morning smoothie. Or best, you can even eat them as they are.
A cup (30 g) of spinach contains 167 mg of potassium and 7 calories (meets 5% of your daily potassium requirement). Spinach is also an excellent source of iron (who doesn’t remember popeye, the sailor?). Iron boosts hair health and prevents fatigue and anemia. Simply add spinach to your vegetable salad. Or you can even add the leaves to your breakfast toast. Spinach smoothie can be another good addition to your diet.
An avocado contains 975 mg of potassium and 322 calories (meets 28% of your daily potassium requirement). Apart from being rich in potassium, avocado is the only fruit offering a good amount of the healthy monounsaturated fatty acids (which are known to reduce cholesterol levels and protect the heart). You can eat the fruit as it is or slice it and add to your breakfast toast.
Half a fillet of salmon (198 g) contains 970 mg of potassium and 281 calories (meets 28% of your daily potassium requirement). Probably the greatest benefit of salmon is its omega-3 content, which is known to fight inflammation and improve the health of your heart, brain, skin, and hair. You can include salmon fillets in your dinner.
One large banana (136 grams) contains 487 mg of potassium and 121 calories(meets 14% of your daily potassium requirement). Bananas also offer an excellent energy boost. And the fiber in them improves digestive health. You can simply have a banana with your morning breakfast or in the evening as a snack. Even a banana smoothie would work great.
A cup of sweet potatoes (133 g) contains 448 mg of potassium and 114 calories(meets 13% of your daily potassium requirement). Given that sweet potatoes are low in glycemic index and high in fiber, these veggies can work great for improving diabetes conditions too. You can prepare your favorite curry using potatoes. Or chop and add them to your evening salad.
An acorn squash (431 g) contains 1496 mg of potassium and 172 calories (meets 43% of your daily potassium requirement). Apart from also being rich in fiber (that boosts digestive health), acorn squash is a great source of antioxidants – which prevent dna and cellular damage and fight inflammation. You can simply cut the squash into cubes and add to yogurt for dinner.
One cup of carrot juice (236 g) contains 689 mg of potassium and 94 calories(meets 20% of your daily potassium requirement). Carrots are super rich in vitamin a and other powerful antioxidants like beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin – all of which considerably boost eye health. The antioxidants also help fight cancer. You can have carrot juice as a part of your everyday breakfast.
A cup of coconut water (240 g) contains 600 mg of potassium and 46 calories(meets 17% of your daily potassium requirement). Coconut water is also known to lower blood sugar levels, thereby benefiting diabetics. The water also lowers blood cholesterol levels, and this can promote heart health as well. Coconuts are found in abundance, have coconut water every day.
A pomegranate (282 g) contains 666 mg of potassium and 234 calories (meets 19% of your daily potassium requirement). Pomegranates are also a rich source of flavonols, antioxidants that help fight inflammation and related conditions like arthritis. These antioxidants in pomegranates can also improve memory. You can have pomegranate seeds along with yogurt, that would make for a great afternoon snack.
A container of plain whole milk yogurt (227 g) contains 352 mg of potassium and 138 calories (meets 10% of your daily potassium requirement). It contains probiotics that improve your gut health. It is high in calcium as well and can help prevent bone diseases like osteoporosis. And the protein in yogurt aids the proper development of the body. You can have yogurt by itself or add fruits to it, it would make for a tasty treat during dinner time.
A cup of swiss chard (36 g) contains 136 mg of potassium and 7 calories (meets 4% of your daily potassium requirement). Swiss chard is also replete with antioxidants that have anti-aging effects. It also contains high levels of betalain, an important compound that boosts brain health. You can simply include Swiss chard in your vegetable salad every evening.
Maintaining the potassium balance in your diet is essential for your well-being, so don’t consider this as a light thing.