12 Healthy Foods That Are High in Potassium

Potassium is an important mineral that helps maintain normal blood pressure, supports muscle and nerve function, and keeps fluids balanced in the body. Most people don’t get a sufficient amount of potassium in their foods. While bananas are often considered the best food source of potassium, many other nutritious foods contain more potassium per serving. Here, we will explore 12 delicious foods high in potassium, how much you need daily, and the benefits of getting enough of this crucial mineral.

12 Foods That Contain Potassium

Potassium is a vital mineral that plays a key role in promoting cardiovascular health, enabling muscle activity, and regulating fluid levels in the body. There are numerous nutritious foods that can provide abundant amounts of this vital nutrient. Here are 12 of the top potassium-rich foods and their benefits.

1. Beans: Beans like white beans, kidney beans and black beans are all high-potassium foods, with white beans providing a whopping 1004 mg per cup cooked (21% Daily Value (DV)).

Beans also supply protein and fibre.
They can be used in soups, stews, tacos, bean salads and more.

2. Sweet Potatoes: Sweet potatoes are nutrient-dense root vegetables that provide 542 mg of potassium per medium baked potato (12% DV).

They are also excellent sources of vitamin A, vitamin C, fibre and complex carbohydrates.
Try mashing sweet potatoes or add them roasted or sauteed to meals.

3. Spinach: Spinach is one of the most potassium-rich vegetables, with 540 mg per cup cooked (12% DV).

It also supplies lots of vitamin A, vitamin K, folate, magnesium and more.
Fresh spinach can be added raw to salads and sandwiches.
Frozen spinach can be quickly steamed or added to soups or casseroles.

4. Watermelon: Refreshing, juicy watermelon has 592 mg potassium per 2-cup serving (13% DV).

Contains a high amount of Vitamins A and C.
Watermelon can be cut into wedges, cubes or balls for easy snacking anytime.

5. Coconut Water: The naturally hydrating water inside young coconuts contains 600 mg potassium per cup (13% DV).

It also provides electrolytes like magnesium and sodium.
Coconut water makes a great post-workout beverage.
Look for unsweetened varieties without added juices or flavours.

6. Avocados: Avocados are creamy, rich fruits that provide 345 mg of potassium per half fruit (7% daily value or DV). Other benefits include:

Contains healthy fats, vitamin K, and folate
Smooth texture makes them versatile to eat. You can mix avocados into salads, sandwiches, and even dips like guacamole.

7. Lentils: As members of the legume family, lentils share beans’ high potassium content. They have 731 mg potassium per cup cooked (16% DV).

Lentils also contain protein, fibre, folate, iron and more.
Red, brown, green and black lentils work well in Indian dals, soups, stews and salads.

8. Tomato Paste: Concentrated tomato paste provides 664 mg of potassium per 3 tablespoons (14% DV).

It also supplies vitamin C and lycopene.
Look for tomato paste in a tube or can without extra salt or sugar.
Use it to add rich tomato flavour to sauces, stews and more.

9. Butternut Squash: With 582 mg potassium per cup cooked (12% DV), winter squash-like butternut, is an excellent source of this mineral.

They also provide vitamins A and C.
Roast cubed butternut squash to bring out its natural sweetness.
Puree it into soups or add it to rice or pasta dishes.

10. Potatoes: Plain potatoes are high in potassium, with 620 mg per medium potato cooked with skin (13% DV).

Choose healthy cooking methods like baking, boiling or roasting.
Top baked potatoes with beans, vegetables or salsa for a well-rounded meal.

11. Dried Apricots: Dried apricots contain 1,101 mg of potassium per cup (24% DV), making them one of the most concentrated sources.

They also provide fibre, beta-carotene and antioxidants.
Dried apricots make a portable, easy snack anytime.

12. Swiss Chard: Swiss chard is a leafy green vegetable with 961 mg potassium per cooked cup (20% DV) – more than a banana!

It is also rich in vitamin K, vitamin A, magnesium and antioxidants.
Try sautéing Swiss chard with garlic and olive oil or adding it to soups.

How Much Potassium Do You Need?

Potassium is a mandatory and daily requirement of our bodies for good health. The recommended amount, or Daily Value (DV), for most adults, is 4700 mg of potassium per day.

While that may sound like a lot, it’s achievable by eating a diverse diet focused on whole, potassium-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, beans and lentils. The problem is that many people’s daily eating patterns fall short of potassium and provide too much sodium. All that excess salt and not enough mineral-supplying foods can lead to high blood pressure and heart problems down the road. It’s a common issue that affects public health.

Fortunately, making a few simple changes can help increase your food potassium levels:

Try swapping processed snacks for fresh produce.
Include sweet potatoes, spinach, tomatoes and coconut water more regularly in your meals.
Don’t forget about beans and lentils – they pack a potassium punch.

Focusing on natural foods instead of packaged items can ensure adequate potassium in your diet. Pair this with cutting back on added salt, and you’ll support good cardiovascular health in the long run.

While bananas provide a decent amount of potassium, many other fruits, vegetables, beans, and lentils contain even more per serving. Aim to get your daily potassium from whole food sources like sweet potatoes, spinach, coconut water, white beans, tomato paste, potatoes, and more. Including a variety of potassium-rich foods as part of a balanced diet helps ensure you get enough of this essential mineral to support heart health, muscle function, nerve signalling and fluid balance.

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