10 Foods High In Potassium That You Don’t Eat Enough - GOOD FOOD SteemitsteemCreated with Sketch.

in food •  last year

Patassium

 is a nutrient that plays an important role in many bodily functions. Unfortunately, many people aren’t getting enough. This article looks at its importance and lists 10 of the best foods high in potassium. 

Why Are High Potassium Foods Important?

Potassium is a mineral necessary for all living cells. It helps to maintain fluid and electrolyte balance, assist muscle function and keep our blood pressure in check. In fact, eating enough potassium is thought to be the most important diet tool to combat hypertension (high blood pressure), a risk factor for stroke and heart disease (1). One review found that a high potassium intake significantly decreased  blood pressure and was associated with a 24% lower risk of stroke . Health organizations recommend consuming 3510 to 4700mg of potassium daily. However, these targets are rarely reached in those with Western diets . Fortunately, potassium is abundant and can be found in fruits, vegetables, milk products and fish. Here are 10 super-healthy high potassium foods: 

1. Bananas

Bananas are a popular fruit and often top of mind when it comes to high potassium. One medium sized banana contains 422mg of potassium, which is 9% of the recommended dietary intake (RDI). Bananas are 90% carbohydrate and contain little protein and fat. They are also a good source of magnesium, iron, vitamin C, vitamin B6, copper, manganese and fiber . Additionally, the fiber in an unripe banana consists of resistant  starch. Resistant starch may help to maintain blood sugar levels,  promote growth of good gut bacteria and increase feelings of fullness . 

Summary: One medium banana is high in  potassium, providing 9% of the RDI. Bananas are also packed with many  other nutrients essential for good health.

2. Avocados Are High In Potassium

The avocado is an extremely healthy fruit. A 100 gram serve of avocado provides 485mg of potassium, which is actually more than bananas. The potassium is thought to improve blood pressure by reducing oxidative stress and inflammation . Avocados are a unique fruit as they are high in fat rather than  carbohydrate. They contain 71% monounsaturated fats which are known for  being heart healthy . Despite being high in fat, studies have shown that avocados can help with weight loss and weight maintenance . Avocados can also help us absorb more nutrients. Their distinct fat  and water content increases absorption of carotenoids from other foods  by 2 to 5 times. Carotenoids may reduce oxidative stress, which is a risk factor for cancer, cardiovascular disease and poor eye health. In addition, avocados are a good source of fiber, folate, magnesium and vitamins B5, B6, E and K. 

 

3. White Potato

The white potato is a staple vegetable and is consumed worldwide. One medium potato with skin contains 926mg of potassium and just 161 calories. They are also a significant source of essential vitamins and  minerals, rich in magnesium, vitamin C, vitamin B6, fiber and folate . However, many people still don’t consider potatoes to be nutritious,  with some claiming they are linked to obesity and diabetes. The problem is often the way they are cooked– with added fats and oils that make it high in calories. It’s best to stick to boiled or baked potato and avoid fried potatoes  and potato chips (crisps). Another trick is to keep the skin on, as  several nutrients are concentrated in the skin. 

Summary: The white potato is a good source of potassium, particularly when the skin is left on.

4. Sweet Potato

The sweet potato is a starchy root vegetable packed full of nutrients. They come in a variety of colors including white, orange, yellow and purple. Each 100 gram serving of sweet potato provides 475mg of potassium and just 90 calories. That’s a whopping 10% of the RDI. In addition, they are an excellent source of vitamin A with a 100  gram serve providing 100% of the RDI. Vitamin A is an antioxidant, helps  to maintain skin and mucus membranes and is important for eye health (7). 

Summary: A 100 gram serve of sweet potato is high in potassium, providing 475mg plus 100% of the RDI for Vitamin A.

5. Tomato Products

Tomatoes are extremely versatile and an important feature of the heart healthy Mediterranean diet. Although fresh tomatoes contain potassium, tomato products such as  tomato paste, puree and juice are a particularly good source. A 100 gram  serve of tomato puree provides 439mg and one cup of tomato juice provides 556mg. The deep red color of tomatoes comes from the carotenoid called  lycopene. A high dietary intake of carotenoids has been shown to  decrease the risk of some cancers, heart disease and macular  degeneration . In addition, tomatoes have an active ingredient called tomatine which is thought to reduce cholesterol levels . 

Summary: Tomato products such as tomato  paste, puree and juice are a particularly good source of potassium.  Tomato products may also help fight cancer and heart disease.

6. Beans

Beans are a nutrient-dense and inexpensive addition to any meal. There are many types of beans. The potassium content of several varieties are:  

  • White beans = 454mg /100 grams
  • Lima beans = 508mg /100 grams
  • Pinto beans = 436mg /100 grams
  • Kidney beans = 403mg /100 grams
  • Navy beans = 389mg /100 grams

One review of 5 studies, including 198,904 people found that four  weekly 100 gram serves of legumes, such as beans, was associated with a  14% lower risk of heart disease . Aside from potassium, beans are a significant source of protein. In  fact, they can be counted as both a protein source and a vegetable in  diet guidelines . In addition, they contain lysine, an essential amino acid that does  not exist in grains. This means that adding beans to a rice dish will  improve its protein and nutrient profile. However, note that beans can be problematic for those with a food intolerance – particularly FODMAPs - and may need to be avoided for a set period of time. 

Summary: Beans are a potassium rich  food. They are also a particularly good source of protein and contain  the essential amino acid lysine.

7. Dried Apricots

Dried apricots are a delicious and nutritious snack. They provide a massive 1162mg of potassium per 100 grams, or 378mg for a typical serving size (¼ cup). Dried apricots (and dried fruit generally) can be high in  antioxidants called phytochemicals, such as phenolics, flavonoids,  phytoestrogens and carotenoids. In fact, apricots have the highest amount of phytoestrogens among  dried fruits, which may benefit diabetes, bone health, cancer and heart  disease. The caveat here is that they are much higher in sugar than fresh  apricots as the water and fiber has been removed. So those who are  worried about their blood sugar levels or total calorie intake need to be aware of this. But overall dried fruit (including apricots) are linked with a higher  quality diet if your blood sugar is fine. This is likely because they  are a healthier snack than typical junk food alternatives. In one study of 13,292 participants, those that had a small serve of  dried fruit daily had a better nutrient intake and lower intake of fats,  sugars and alcohol. 

Summary: Dried apricots contain 378mg of  potassium in a typical serving. But they are not the best choice if you  have issues with blood sugar control.

8. Yogurt

Yogurt is made by fermentation of milk. It can be eaten as a snack or added to both sweet and savory dishes. A 100 gram serve of plain full fat yogurt contains 155mg of potassium and is also an excellent source of protein, calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, and B vitamins. In addition, yogurt can contain probiotics (live bacteria) that are beneficial to health. For example, probiotics may help with weight loss, protect against diarrhea, reduce cholesterol levels or help manage irritable bowel syndrome. Look for yogurt that contains live cultures to receive the benefit. Quark is also a great high potassium alternative, and is even higher in protein than yogurt. 

Summary: Yogurt is very high  in potassium, protein, calcium and phosphorous. Some yogurt contains  probiotics (live bacteria) that may have several health benefits.

9. Salmon

Salmon is a nutritious fatty fish. Cooked wild salmon contains 628mg of potassium per 100 grams, while farmed salmon has much less at 384mg per 100 gram serve. Salmon is also high in what’s called omega-3  fatty acids. These fats have an anti-inflammatory effect and can play a  beneficial role in many conditions including diabetes, cardiovascular  disease, asthma, arthritis and cancer. This is even true of tinned salmon varieties, which are much more affordable than fresh or frozen. 

Summary: Salmon is a good source of  potassium. It’s also an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids which  have an anti-inflammatory effect.

10. Spinach

Spinach is a leafy green vegetable that can be eaten both raw and cooked. It’s mostly water (91%) but contains small amounts of protein, carbohydrate and fat. Spinach contains 558mg of potassium per 100 grams, or 167mg for a 1 cup serve (30 grams). It also has high levels of vitamins A, C and K and provides  considerably more magnesium and iron than broccoli, cabbage and lettuce . Additionally, one component of spinach called thylakoids is thought  to slow digestion and absorption of fat. This may decrease hunger and  promotes fullness, although more studies are needed  

Authors get paid when people like you upvote their post.
If you enjoyed what you read here, create your account today and start earning FREE STEEM!
Sort Order:  

This post received a 4.8% upvote from @randowhale thanks to @sweetiebo! For more information, click here!

I should probably reduce my daily portion of baked beans on toast, and include more of these potassium rich foods to my diet.