When you think of all the nutrients your body needs, your mind may think of protein,fiber, calcium or including omega-3. Howeverpotassium? The essential electrolyte is likely to be left out.
Here's why you shouldn't: Potassium helps nerves and muscles communicate, transports other nutrients to cells, and keeps sodium levels in check. Not getting enough can cause high blood pressure (thanks to its close relationship with salt) and increase the risk of kidney stones, according to theNational Institute of Health.
Still, theDietary Guidelines for Americans 2020-2025declared potassium an underconsumed nutrient, saysMia Syn, MS, RDNTherefore, it is considered an important nutrient for public health.
The good news is that you can find more than enough potassium in all kinds of foods, not just bananas, which have become something of an example of this. While each medium banana has 422 milligrams (mg) of the mineral, according toUnited States Department of Agriculture (USDA)— or about 9% of your4,700 mg recommended daily value(DV) - you can easily find more in other fruits and vegetables.
To be considered high in potassium, a food must contain more than 200 mg per serving, saysAmy Lee MD, Medical Director of Lindora L.L.C. and head of nutrition at Nucific. This list features 36 foods that not only meet this requirement, but contain even more potassium than a banana.
One medium baked sweet potato has 542 mg (12% DV) of potassium. These tubers are also rich invitamin aby your eyes,vitamin Cfor your skin and the fibers that fill your intestines. They're also ridiculously tasty.
Surprise, surprise: A single medium baked potato has 867 mg of potassium, says Syn. You've probably been conditioned to fear these potatoes, but when prepared the right way (baked or boiled instead of fried), they're low in calories, fat, and sodium. Plus, white potatoes offer a healthy dose of vitamin C andmagnesium, also. Let the potato cool before eating it and you'll get a hit of resistant starch in your gut.
This simple pasta cap is a secret source of potassium, with 910 mg in each cup, according to theUSDA. The tomato is also rich inlycopene, a disease-fighting plant pigment that gives certain fruits and vegetables their characteristic red hue. Look for a low-sugar tomato sauce that is sold in BPA-free containers.
Eat two refreshing slices of watermelon and you'll get 641 mg (14% DV) of potassium. Watermelon is also a great source of lycopene, as well as vitamins A, C, and B6. Also, more than 90% of the fruit is water, so you will feel satisfied after eating it with few calories. And if you prefer to savor things? Cold-pressed watermelon juice is a great alternative.
Add 1 cup of frozen spinach to your next stir-fry or pasta dish and you'll get a respectable 574 mg (11% DV) of potassium, according toUSDA. Spinach is also rich in magnesium, vitamin A andsoccer. Bonus: It's really cheap, usually much cheaper than fresh vegetables.
One cup stew, slicedbeetprovides 518 mg (11% DV) of potassium perUSDA, while a 17-gram bag ofRhythm Superfoods Naked Beet Chipsboasts an impressive 310 mg. The sweet root vegetable is super versatile and can be used in everything from salads to juices to soups.
And there's a reason athletes only like beetroot juice these days: in a2017 review, the researchers concluded that drinking it 90 minutes before training can improve performance. (Just don't freak out if your urine turns pink or red afterward. It's totally normal, we promise.)
Chances are, you're already buying canned black beans to bulk up.fiberand protein - two nutrients that keep you full longer. However, they are also a great source of potassium. Eat 1 cup and you'll get 611 mg of the mineral, Syn says. Black beans also offer some calcium, magnesium, and folate.
Navy beans may be the best source of potassium at the grocery store—a single cup has a whopping 1,000 mg, Syn says. That's a quarter of what you need every day. That same 1-cup serving also packs an impressive 17 grams of protein and 11 grams of fiber.
Canned salmon is a lazy cook's dream. Open a 5-ounce can and you'll get 442 mg (10% DV) of potassium. Plus, salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential fats for eye, heart, and brain health that your body can't produce on its own. Salmon is also rich inB vitamins, which help in the production of red blood cells and convert the food you eat into energy. Plus, salmon is a great source of lean protein, perfect for anyone trying to lose weight or build muscle.
Whole soybeans are one of the world's largest sources ofvegetable protein, but that's not the only trick up its sleeve: 1 cup also provides 676 mg (14 percent DV) of potassium. Eat them as a snack, toss them into a salad, or serve them as a side dish.
One cup of this slightly sweet fall favorite contains 582 mg (12% DV) of potassium. You'll also get a big dose of vitamin A, along with a bit of vitamin C, magnesium, folate, and calcium.
One cup of cooked Swiss chard has 961 mg (20% DV) of potassium, according to theUSDA. These healthy vegetables also contain calcium, iron, and vitamins A, C, and K.
Regular low-fat yogurt (not Greek) has an impressive 573 mg (12% DV) of potassium per cup, whichUSDAsays. Plus, it contains almost half of your daily calcium needs. Look for one that contains live active cultures to get a good dose ofprobiotics, also.
An avocado provides 728 mg of potassium, says Syn. Plus, they're a great source of healthy fats and fiber. Avocados add a nice creaminess to recipes. You can enjoy them on toast, in a delicious pasta sauce, or as part of a tasty salad dressing.
Store-bought coconut water packs a powerful punch of potassium, providing around 507 mg per 8 fluid ounces, says Syn. It's a great alternative to sugary sports drinks and a delicious post-workout base.smoothies. Just be sure to buy a sugar-free version to avoid added sugar.
Dried apricots provide 755 mg of potassium per half cup, according to theUSDA, giving you a great nutritional bang for your buck. Remember to choose the sugar-free versions at the supermarket to avoid excess sugar. We like to chop up dried apricots and incorporate them into homemade granola bars and trail mixes.
Syn says that just three medjools add up to 510 mg of potassium. This is a super easy (and quick) source of the nutrient, and dates are super versatile. Blend them into a smoothie for sweetness, fill them with peanut butter as a snack, or slice and fold them into a baked crust.
An underrated source of plant protein, 1 cup of cooked lentils contains 731 mg of potassium, says Syn. They are also a great source of iron and can help protect against heart disease and diabetes.search programs.
Butternut squash is good, but squash also deserves a place in the fall menu rotation. The chunky vegetable roasts easily in the oven and has 486 mg of potassium per 1 cup, Syn says.
Whether used as a snack, tossed into a trail mix, or tossed into a salad like dates, raisins can provide a quick and easy dose of potassium. Half a cup of them (unpackaged) contains 600 mg, according toUSDA.
It should come as no surprise that broccoli has earned its place on a list of nutrient-dense foods. It's got all the good stuff, including potassium: 458mg per 1 cup, to be exact. That's why Syn recommends it. It can also help you meet your fiber needs.
You may not eat these legumes often, but you should, considering that 1 cup of them contains 746 mg of potassium, says Syn. They are delicious when mixed into a soup or served as a side to a hearty roast dinner.
Squashes, such as squash and butternut squash, are easily roasted and served for dinner, made into a flavorful puree or pasta sauce. In accordance withUSDA, 1 cup of cooked and crushed pumpkin with salt provides 564 mg of potassium. Don't forget: you can eat the seeds too!
Since tomato paste is super concentrated, so are your potassium levels. A 100 g serving contains 1010 mg of potassium, according to theUSDA. Obviously, that's a lot more than most recipes call for, but it's definitely worth adding an extra splash or tablespoon to the next dish you make.
One cup of chopped carrots has 410 mg of potassium, Syn says, which is slightly less than a medium banana, but more than a small one. So if your group is very mature and you need a midday snack,carrots will provide a similar nutritional boost. Everyone knows that this vegetable also helps the health of the eyes - that's because they arerich in protective antioxidants.
One cup of cooked adzuki beans, boiled with salt, contains 1,220 mg of potassium, according to theUSDA, and that's whyBrittany Modell, R. D., intuitive eating advisor and body image coach, says they're a great addition to your rotation of high-potassium foods. They're also great in chili and soups!
Maybe this is a bit of an unconventional option, but passion fruit juice could be just the thing to spice up your smoothie routine, and 1 cup has 687 mg of potassium, according to theUSDA. There's also the added benefit of feeling transported to a beach vacation when you drink.
A whole pomegranate has 666 mg of potassium, according to theUSDA, which almost makes it worth removing one. Sprinkle the bright red gems over a salad or eat them by the spoonful for a deliciously sweet crunch.
Dr. Lee recommends getting potassium from black-eyed peas: 1 cup has 475 mg, she says. And contrary to the name, they are actually in the bean and legume family, and should be treated as such when cooked.
Blanching and smelly doesn't have to be the only way to prepare Brussels sprouts. They're great roasted, grilled, and sautéed, and 1 cup has 494 mg of potassium, according to theUSDA. They are also rich in vitamin K and vitamin C, which support iron absorption and bone health.
Chinese cabbage makes a great simple dressing for salads and ramen, serving up a whopping 630 mg of potassium per cup, says Dr. Lee. The addition of fiber and antioxidants makes it a no-brainer to add to the grocery list.
One cup of mashed papaya contains 591 mg of potassium, says Dr. Lee, as well as a healthy dose of antioxidants in the form of vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin E. Use it to satisfy your sweet tooth, freshen up your summer salad or switch up your favorite smoothie.
They don't have much flavor, but water chestnuts provide a satisfying crunch to any dish, including pastas, salads, and stir-fries. Half a cup contains 362 mg of potassium, according to Dr. Lee.
If you prefer salty to sweet, your best bet is to eat a tomato instead of a banana to top up on potassium. A great mature red has 431 mg, says Syn. It's as easy as a slice or dice and a pinch of salt.
Not to be confused with adzuki beans, kidney beans are a great source of potassium at 1,400 mg per 100 grams, says Dr. Lee. They are also rich in magnesium, fiber and calcium.
One medium zucchini has 512 mg of potassium, according to theUSDA. It is also rich in antioxidants such as vitamin C, as well as fiber, which aids in good digestion. You can use it as a substitute for pasta (alias zoodles) or bake with your favorite spices.
Kayla Blanton is a freelance writer reporting on all things health and nutrition for Men's Health, Women's Health and Prevention. Her hobbies include drinking perpetual coffee and pretending to be a contestant on Chopped while she cooks.
Do potassium rich foods help lower blood pressure? ›
Consuming potassium-rich foods like sweet potatoes, avocados, spinach, beans, bananas — and even coffee — could be key to lowering blood pressure, according to a USC researcher.Does potassium lower blood pressure fast? ›
It will take weeks to months to lower blood pressure using potassium. That's why eating a balanced diet and changing your lifestyle to prioritize heart health over the long haul is important. If you eat properly, you'll likely get enough potassium just through your food.How does potassium lower blood pressure? ›
Potassium relaxes the walls of the blood vessels, lowering blood pressure and protecting against muscle cramping. A number of studies have shown an association between low potassium intake and increased blood pressure and higher risk of stroke.Which fruit is rich in potassium and help to control blood pressure? ›
Other potassium-rich foods include:
Cantaloupe and honeydew melon. Fat-free or low-fat (1 percent) milk. Fat-free yogurt. Grapefruit and grapefruit juice (talk to your health care professional if you're taking a cholesterol-lowering drug)
- Dried fruits (raisins, apricots)
- Beans, lentils.
- Winter squash (acorn, butternut)
- Spinach, broccoli.
- Beet greens.
Many randomized trials have shown that potassium chloride supplementation lowers blood pressure.What is the secret ingredient to lower blood pressure? ›
Potassium: The Secret Weapon for Lower Blood Pressure.How much potassium should you take a day to lower blood pressure? ›
People at risk of high blood pressure, kidney stones, osteoporosis or stroke may benefit from consuming at least 4,700 mg of potassium per day (10, 17 , 21 , 25 ).How to naturally lower blood pressure? ›
- Lose extra pounds and watch your waistline. Blood pressure often increases as weight increases. ...
- Exercise regularly. ...
- Eat a healthy diet. ...
- Reduce salt (sodium) in your diet. ...
- Limit alcohol. ...
- Quit smoking. ...
- Get a good night's sleep. ...
- Reduce stress.
Salt or sodium
Salt, or specifically the sodium in salt, is a major contributor to high blood pressure and heart disease. This is because of how it affects fluid balance in the blood. Table salt is around 40 percent sodium. Some amount of salt is important for health, but it's easy to eat too much.
What is the best form of potassium to take? ›
What is the best form of potassium to take? A person should prioritize getting potassium from their diet. Sources of potassium include dried apricots, lentils, squash, prunes, potato, kidney beans, and bananas. Apricots offer the most potassium.What reduces blood pressure quickly? ›
- Take a warm bath or shower. Stay in your shower or bath for at least 15 minutes and enjoy the warm water. ...
- Do a breathing exercise. Take a deep breath from your core, hold your breath for about two seconds, then slowly exhale. ...
- Increase activity and exercise more. ...
- Lose weight if you're overweight. ...
- Cut back on sugar and refined carbohydrates. ...
- Eat more potassium and less sodium. ...
- Eat less processed food. ...
- Stop smoking. ...
- Reduce excess stress. ...
- Try meditation or yoga.
People at risk of high blood pressure, kidney stones, osteoporosis or stroke may benefit from consuming at least 4,700 mg of potassium per day (10, 17 , 21 , 25 ).Does potassium in bananas lower blood pressure? ›
Bananas contain potassium, which can help manage hypertension. One medium-sized banana contains around 422 milligrams (mg) of potassium. According to the American Heart Association (AHA) , potassium reduces the effects of sodium and alleviates tension in the walls of the blood vessels.What are the 10 signs of low potassium? ›
- feeling tired.
- muscle cramps.
- an abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia) – skipped heartbeats or an irregular heartbeat.
- tingling or numbness.
- increased urination.