There’s a long list of reasons why you need to eat potassium-rich foods regularly. Potassium is an important nutrient that supports a range of key body functions including muscle contractions, heart rhythm, and blood pressure.
It’s also an electrolyte, and together with sodium, potassium works to assist cellular roles. A deficiency in this essential nutrient can lead to serious health consequences, so it’s essential to meet this nutritional requirement.
But the thing is, the body cannot produce this important mineral – you have to source it from potassium-rich foods and beverages. Read on to discover the top 10 potassium sources that you can start adding to your diet today!
(Potassium amount: 458 mg per 100 grams)
Dubbed as the “alligator pear”, avocado is an easy favorite of many health enthusiasts.
Not only is it packed with potassium but is also rich in healthy fats, dietary fiber, and other key nutrients such as vitamin E and magnesium.
Avocado is also prized for its vast benefits to health, including its abilities to promote heart health, prevent osteoporosis, enhance digestion, and reduce the risk of depression, cancer, and other chronic diseases.
(Potassium amount: 358 mg per 100 grams)
Other than being rich in potassium, bananas are also chock full of vitamins B6, C, dietary fiber, manganese, and antioxidants. What makes this fruit more special is the fact that it is also free from sodium, cholesterol, and unhealthy fats!
Bananas are also known to be good for heart health and digestion. They also help promote weight loss, enhance insulin sensitivity, improve kidney health, and protect the skin against free radical damage.
(Potassium amount: 325 mg per 100 grams)
Beets are considered a superfood due to their rich nutritional profile. Aside from potassium, beets are likewise dense in other important nutrients like calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, selenium, and zinc.
Aside from their powerful nutritional value, beets also have medicinal properties. In fact, they were used as a medicine during ancient times, particularly for treating fever and diarrhea.
They are also considered an aphrodisiac, helping to address sexual dysfunctions.
4. Coconut Water
(Potassium amount: 250 mg per 100 grams)
Looking for a beverage option that’s highly nutritious, too? Look no further than coconut water! This refreshing drink is loaded with electrolytes such as potassium.
It also contains protein, dietary fiber, manganese, magnesium, and vitamin C. Several studies also found proof that coconut water can reduce blood sugar levels, prevent kidney stones, regulate blood pressure, and promote heart health.
It is also considered an excellent after-workout drink due as it helps restore electrolytes lost during an intense sweat session.
5. Dried Apricots
(Potassium amount: 1,511 mg per cup)
Dried apricots are an outstanding source of potassium, calcium, iron, phosphorus, and vitamins A and C. The nutrients contained in them help arm the body against various illnesses and diseases.
In addition, dried apricots are found to be beneficial in treating constipation and fighting anemia, too.
These dried fruits are also believed to reduce fever, cleanse the digestive tract, regulate heartbeat, promote eye health, boost hemoglobin production, and relieve asthma.
(Potassium amount: 236 mg per 100 grams)
Pomegranate is one of the nutrient-dense fruits you can add to your diet. Besides potassium, it is also a good source of vitamins A, C, and E, and folic acid. Tagged as the divine fruit, pomegranate also has antioxidant, anti-viral, and anti-cancer properties.
Among the prized health benefits of pomegranate include its abilities to fight free radical damage, reduce cholesterol, combat erectile dysfunction, and prevent heart disease and prostate cancer.
Pomegranate was also discovered to aid in digestion and immunity, and reduce stress levels.
(Potassium amount: 363 mg per 100 grams)
One of the healthiest fats you can consume, salmon also boasts significant amounts of potassium, protein, B vitamins, selenium, and the antioxidant astaxanthin.
It also contains niacin, riboflavin, phosphorus, thiamine, copper, and folate. Its heart-protective effects are attributed to its rich omega-3 fatty acid content.
Salmon is also known to promote bone and skin health, boost cognitive function, promote weight loss, fight inflammation, and reduce the risk of cancer.
(Potassium amount: 800 mg per 1 cup of cooked spinach)
There’s a good reason why Popeye loves spinach so much. This green leafy veggie is not only high in potassium but iron, calcium, folic acid, and vitamins A, C, and K1 as well.
Spinach is also rich in plant compounds such as lutein, kaempferol, quercetin, nitrates, and zeaxanthin.
Spinach boasts impressive health benefits, too! It is found to strengthen muscles, promote a better vision, combat inflammation, boost brain powers, enhance bone health, and regulate blood pressure.
This superfood is also linked to improved metabolism and lowered the risk of cancer.
9. Sweet Potato
(Potassium amount: 337 mg per 100 grams)
Sweet potatoes are very filling and delicious. But these are not the only things to love about them because they are apparently rich in potassium and other nutrients as well.
They are also packed with beta-carotene, dietary fiber, vitamins B6 and C, and complex carbs. Sweet potatoes also provide an impressive array of health perks such as enhanced digestion, better eyesight, and reduced stress levels.
They also help fight inflammation, support weight loss and prevent blood sugar spikes.
10. White Beans
(Potassium amount: 1,0004 mg per 1 cup of cooked white beans)
Beans and lentils are excellent potassium sources. White beans, in particular, are super dense in this important nutrient, including folate, thiamine, manganese, magnesium, and iron.
These nutritious beans also contain dietary fiber and protein and are a low glycemic index (GI). White beans are found to help combat inflammation, enhance colon health, boost brain function, reduce signs of aging, and prevent the risk of diabetes and heart disease.
Benefits of Eating Potassium-Rich Foods
Adding potassium-rich foods and beverages to your diet can let you enjoy amazing health perks! Take a look at how they can boost your wellness.
Promote heart health
One thing a healthy heart definitely does is beat as it should. I’m talking about your heart rhythm, and potassium plays a direct role in making sure that rhythm is healthy and as it should be.
If you’re having trouble with your heart rhythm, a potassium deficiency could easily play a role.
One of the main benefits of consuming high-potassium foods is decreased muscle cramping and improved muscle strength. Muscle weakness, muscle aches, and muscle cramps are common side effects of low potassium levels.
This can happen if an athlete becomes dehydrated and doesn’t consume enough potassium-rich foods before and after exercise. Potassium is also helpful for cramps related to premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
Reduce the risk of stroke
Several observational studies have found that those with high potassium levels experience a lower risk of stroke. The risk of ischemic stroke, in particular, is lower in high potassium consumers.
The positive relationship between increased potassium intake and decreased stroke risk is believed to be from dietary sources rather than supplements, which do not appear to provide the same positive effect.
Alleviate high blood pressure (hypertension)
According to a recently updated Harvard Medical School publication, “the average American diet delivers too much sodium and too little potassium,” which is highly counterproductive when it comes to discouraging high blood pressure.
Studies show that a diet high in potassium, especially potassium from fruits and vegetables, lowers blood pressure.
This is especially true if the increase in potassium foods is not accompanied by an increase in high-sodium foods. One group that shouldn’t aim too high with potassium intake is people with kidney problems.
Lower cellulite appearance
One of the main causative factors of cellulite buildup is fluid retention. Most people consume far too much sodium and not near enough potassium.
Sodium brings nutrients into your cells where potassium helps flush excess waste out of your cells. For this reason, if you reduce sodium intake and start consuming potassium-rich foods, you may reduce the appearance of cellulite.
Research has found a direct relationship between increased bone density and increased intake of dietary potassium. Citrate and bicarbonate are two potassium salts that are naturally found in potassium-rich fruit and vegetables.
A recent study reveals that these potassium salts can actually improve the health of your bones and ward off osteoporosis.
This 2015 study out of the University of Surrey published in the journal Osteoporosis International found that high consumption of potassium salts significantly decreases the urinary excretion of both acid and calcium.
Why is this significant? Because the potassium salts actually help the bones not to reabsorb acid and also to maintain vital mineral content.
So, by consuming potassium-rich fruits and vegetables, you can actually help preserve your bones and prevent serious bone-related health issues like osteoporosis.
Proper food processing and growth
Your body actually requires potassium in order to process and utilize the carbohydrates you consume. As a child or an adult, you also require potassium to build protein and muscle.
If you’re younger in age and your body is still growing, then potassium helps ensure that your growth continues at a normal, healthy rate.
There’s no doubt that potassium is an absolutely essential part of a healthy diet. Not only is it an essential mineral, but it’s also an electrolyte.
With this double identity comes a plethora of potassium benefits when you consume enough on a regular basis.
The opposite is also true — if you don’t get enough potassium in your diet regularly, then you open yourself up to a lot of unwanted potassium deficiency symptoms, including renal issues and more.
Hopefully, this potassium-rich food list will help you to see that bananas aren’t your only option when it comes to getting your daily dose of potassium.
There are actually many fruits and vegetables, and even fish, that rank even higher than bananas when it comes to their content of this vital mineral.
There are so many delicious potassium-rich foods that can be eaten alone or in healthy recipes, which makes it easy not to fall short in the potassium department.