Did you know that foods high in potassium are an essential part of any balanced diet?
Potassium helps to regulate your body’s fluid levels, aids in muscular function and waste removal, and helps keep your nervous system functioning properly. This mineral also helps reduce blood pressure in people with hypertension and lowers your risk for stroke. You should know that a deficiency in potassium can cause fatigue, depression, insomnia, muscular weakness, and many cardiovascular issues. Though people with kidney problems should avoid eating too many foods high in potassium, most adults should intake about 4,700 milligrams a day.
We share with you 10 foods high in potassium that will help you reach the number of 4,700 milligrams a day:
Bananas are maybe the most popular foods rich in potassium containing more than 400 mg of potassium each. Bananas make a healthy high-energy snack – more beneficial to athletes than sports drinks, according to at least one study. Aside from energy and potassium, bananas are also a good source of fiber and vitamins B6 and C. For other high-potassium fresh fruits, enjoy cantaloupe, kiwi, oranges, and strawberries.
If you don’t have a habit of eating avocados, maybe you should start now. This fruit is rich in potassium and contains 975 mg in one avocado. Avocado also contains vitamins and heart-healthy fats, plus is naturally free of sodium and cholesterol. Luckily, avocado is so versatile that you can incorporate it into any meal of the day, even a smoothie.
Whether they’re red, white, or sweet, potatoes can be a great source of potassium. In just one medium Russet potato, you can find about 900 mg of the nutrient. These popular complex carbs are also high in vitamin C, vitamin B6, iron, and fiber (especially in the skin). But please note that you should avoid frying your potatoes. Baking them is arguably one of the healthiest ways to prepare them, but make sure to avoid adding fats such as sour cream and melted cheese.
You can get potassium from fresh tomatoes, but you’ll get even more from tomatoes in other forms such as: tomato paste, tomato sauce, and even sun-dried tomatoes, which contain more than 1,800 mg of potassium per cup (or around 40 percent of your daily recommended amount). Sun-dried tomatoes are low in fat (when not packed in oil, or drained). They are also high in fiber, protein, and vitamin C and help to promote both digestive and immune system health. They make a delicious addition to salads and sandwiches, and can be a great topping for pizza night with the kids.
Though fruits and vegetables are among best food sources of potassium, dairy products can also help add the mineral to your diet. A cup of whole milk has more than 300 mg of potassium, while the same amount of nonfat milk contains almost 400 mg. You should know that in general, the higher the fat in the milk, the lower the potassium levels. Yogurt contains between 350 and 500 mg per cup, depending on the variety.
If you search a source of potassium, kidney beans are the one you’re searching for. They have 600 mg of potassium per cup. Additionally, they’re high in fiber. You can eat them in salads or burritos. Other beans high in potassium include white beans, lima beans, pinto beans, and soybeans (edamame).
Dark leafy greens
Some of the best sources of potassium are dark leafy greens such as spinach, which when cooked has more than 800 mg of potassium per cup. Bok choy contains around 600 mg per cup when it’s boiled. Swiss chard has almost 1,000 mg per cooked cup. Leafy greens are a nutritional powerhouse, they’re low in calories and high in a plethora of vitamins and minerals.
Did you know that most fish will give you at least 10 percent of the recommended daily amount of potassium? Certain fish such as: wild salmon, tuna, halibut, flounder, and Pacific cod are better sources than others. For example, a 3-ounce piece of wild Atlantic salmon contains around 500 mg of potassium. Most fish are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D. Make sure to purchase varieties that contain low or no mercury, and avoid breading or frying. In addition to seafood, red meat (including lean beef), chicken, and turkey are also high in potassium.
Acorn squash is a food rich in fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, especially potassium. One cup of cooked squash contains almost 900 mg. Steaming or roasting it keeps you from adding any unnecessary fat. You can cut it in half, scoop out the seeds, slice it into rings, and roast it with a little salt, pepper, and brown sugar. It will get so tender and sweet and your kids will love it, plus they can eat it like a slice of watermelon.
Dried fruits: apricots, peaches, and figs
Great foods high in potassium are dried fruits, especially apricot. One cup of this dried fruit will satisfy your sugar craving and at the same time you’ll get about 1,500 mg of potassium, which is about one-third of the recommended daily intake. If dried apricots aren’t your thing, try dried peaches, raisins, or dried figs, which are also high in potassium and available all year round.
So wait no more and start eating these foods high in potassium!