25 foods besides bananas that rank as the best potassium sources to add to your diet
- 2 Minutes Read
How do you know if you need a boost with the best potassium sources? Experiencing frequent fatigue or muscle cramps? You could be a "pint-low" on potassium. Most people don't get enough. So let's peel back more ideas for potassium than bananas!
The best potassium sources may surprise you for supplying this do-it-all mineral. It is essential for cell and nerve function, muscle contraction, and fluid balance. Other potential health benefits of potassium include lower blood pressure, better glucose control, and stronger bones. Good sources include milk, yogurt, soy milk, legumes (dried beans and peas), potatoes, winter squash, dried fruit, fresh fruit, and dark green veggies.
Plant foods make the best potassium sources. The form of potassium in plants, such as potassium citrate, can help lower acid levels in the body, possibly benefitting bone health. Plant foods also come with other beneficial nutrients, such as magnesium and fiber.
If you have high blood pressure, consider the DASH Diet, which is rich in potassium and other nutrients such as calcium and magnesium. It can help control blood pressure, even without a strict sodium reduction. However,reducing blood pressure is more profound when reducing dietary sodium.
The Daily Reference Intake for potassium (updated in 2019) is 3400 mg for men 19 years and older and 2600 mg for women 19 years and older, although groups like the American Heart Association advise 4700 mg per day for maximum benefits.
For blood pressure control, aim for more potassium than sodium in your diet. Higher potassium intake can help offset the effects of sodium on blood pressure. Adding more high-potassium fruits and vegetables to your plate will boost your potassium while keeping sodium and calories in check.
|Food group||Food||Potassium (mg)|
|Fruit||Avocado, 1/2 medium||488|
|Canteloupe, 1 cup cubed||427|
|Raisins, 1/4 cup||270|
|Vegetables||Potato, baked with skin, medium||940|
|Acorn squash, baked, 1 cup||893|
|Low-sodium V8® juice, 6 oz||625|
|Spinach, cooked, 1/2 cup||423|
|Legumes||Lentils, cooked, 1/2 cup||365|
|Edamame, shelled, 1/2 cup||330|
|Black beans, cooked, 1/2 cup||305|
|Grains||All Bran® cereal, 1/2 cup||350|
|Quinoa, 1 cup cooked||318|
|Whole-wheat pasta, 1 cup cooked||134|
|Dairy products and milk substitutes||Yogurt, plain, low fat, 6 fl oz||398|
|Cow's milk, 2%, 8 fl oz||342|
|Soy milk, 8 fl oz||299|
|Meat, poultry, seafood||Salmon, wild, 3 oz cooked||534|
|Chicken breast, 3 oz cooked||357|
|Ground beef, broiled, 3 oz||259|
|Nuts and seeds||Pistachios, 1 oz||285|
|Pumpkin seeds, 1 oz||261|
|Almonds, 1 oz||202|
|Miscellaneous||Molasses, 1 tbsp||308|
|Dark chocolate, 1 oz||203|
If you are in good health, it's unlikely you will overload on potassium from foods. If you have kidney disease or take certain medicines, your doctor may recommend a low-potassium diet. ACE inhibitors and potassium-sparing diuretics make it hard for your body to get rid of excess potassium.
Salt substitutes made from potassium chloride, such as Nu Salt® or No Salt®, are very high in potassium. Check with your doctor to make sure it is okay for you to use these products.
Most over-the-counter supplements are limited to a mere 99 mg per tablet. Why take pills when plant foods are the best sources of potassium? One-half cup of cooked spinach will give you four times what a supplement does and a bounty of other vital nutrients.
Suppose you have a medical condition that causes low potassium levels, and you can't meet your needs from your diet? Your doctor may recommend a prescription potassium supplement.
You can choose to track potassium on your Plan with a MyNetDiary Premium membership. Does your potassium intake look low on your reports? Check your food items on your detailed food report-many brands don't include potassium. For unprocessed foods, choose Staple Foods to get complete nutrition information. You can also select generic items, as they typically have more comprehensive nutrient information than brand names. Fortunately, the new FDA food labeling law requires manufacturers to include potassium on the Nutrition Facts label. This change makes it easier to track potassium intake! Many major manufacturers already incorporate the new labels, and more products will feature them soon.
Looking to super-charge your potassium intake? Try one of our potassium-packed Premium Recipes:
Adapted from original content by Donna P Feldman, MS, RDN, and Kathy Isacks, MPS, RDN, CDCES.
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