If you are thinking what the highest potassium foods are, you are probably thinking a banana right? Well you are on the right track. Bananas do have potassium, around 422mg of it for one medium sized banana. But did you know there other potassium food sources with a higher potassium amount than bananas?
Yes, there are, and in this article, I am going to touch on my top 10 favourite foods highest in potassium. So, let us dive right in.
A quick introduction to potassium
Like other essential things your body required, potassium is a vital mineral and electrolyte for our bodies. There are many benefits to potassium consumption in our diets, but some key ones to remember are;
- Transports nutrients into our cells
- Helps to maintain normal blood pressure
- Supports healthy nerve and muscle function
- Maintaining fluid balance
Potassium is found in many foods, like other essential vitamins and minerals, calcium and sodium. We get these vitamins and minerals through out diet. With the recommended daily potassium intake being around 4700mg in healthy individuals, many don’t reach this amount through their diet alone.
There are potassium supplements you can take to increase your intake amount, but you can achieve it or at least close to it with the right foods.
Remember, that consuming the rights amount of potassium daily, is not just good for feeling great, but also for the prevention of chronic conditions.
My top 10 foods high in potassium
Right, so let’s get down to the cool stuff about potassium and the foods that you can enjoy with it. Please remember, that this list is not exhaustive, but simply my chosen top 10.
1. Sweet Potatoes
Being a complex carbohydrate, sweet potatoes are becoming a more sought-after alternative than normal potatoes. Bodybuilders especially prefer these power houses as part of their bodybuilding diet. Not to mention sweet potato protein contents.
The potassium amount for a medium sized sweet potato is around 12% of your potassium AI (Adequate Intake) or 541mg. Above this, sweet potatoes also have a very low-fat content, good source of fiber and excellent for Vitamin A.
Now before you go thinking back to when you were a kid and how horrible spinach was, there are ways to enjoy this power food. Spinach is probably one of the most nutrient dense vegetables available in our diet, not to mention the benefits of protein in spinach.
A cup of frozen spinach contains around 540mg of potassium. This is around 12% of the AI. But wait there’s more! Spinach also contains a host of other vital nutrients, such as Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Folate and Magnesium.
3. White And Black Beans
Black beans are normally found in various soups or burritos. I find that black beans are a great addition to your food if you are looking to quickly increase your potassium intake.
White beans or white kidney beans are high in potassium. Higher in fact than bananas. One cup of cooked white beans gives you 829mg of potassium. This is significantly higher than the same amount of black beans, with one cup providing only 611mg of potassium.
Now while there is a significant difference between the potassium amount in these two types of beans, they are still much higher in potassium than bananas.
White beans also provide the body with various B Vitamins, iron and other plant-based-protein. With one cup (179 grams) containing nearly 19gms of fibre, they also make you feel fuller. A sought-after alternative for health-conscious people, when they are looking for a snack.
Both beans can be added to stews or stews, but it is important to note, that black beans contain phytates. Phytates are known to affect the absorption rate of various minerals, so your body might not benefit from all the potassium per serving.
While there is no definitive answer as to how much these phytates affect the potassium absorption, it is a good idea to soak black beans overnight if you plan to use them. Soaking helps with the reduction of the phytates in the beans.
So, it looks like avocados are not just good for covering your face with! Yes, avocados are packed with great sources of vitamins and healthy fats. One half an avocado contains around 490mg of potassium. They are also a great source of Folate and Vitamin K.
Avocados are also low in sodium. Half an avocado provides around 7mg of your daily sodium intake. They may also help people suffering from high blood pressure. People that suffer from this condition, are often told to increase the potassium intake and lower their sodium intake.
All of this can be done, simply by eating avocados.
5. Butternut Squash
I hated this vegetable as a kid but have most certainly learnt to love it. All the powerful minerals and vitamins housed inside a butternut squash, makes the momentous task of hacking your way through it worth the while.
A cup of butternut squash can give you around 584 mg of potassium. This is around 12% of your AI. However, butternut squash also provides as a great source of Vitamin A and Vitamin C. There are also smaller amounts of Vitamin B, Vitamin E and Magnesium.
I personally enjoy a butternut and sweet potato soup. But there are many ways to enjoy butternut squash. Roasting or steaming them can also be very enjoyable. Especially if you sprinkle them with some fine spices.
6. Tomato Paste
How many times do we add tomato paste to our cooking without thinking of the real benefits this may have on our body?
Around 50grams (3 tablespoons) of tomato paste, contains 487 mg of potassium. That’s a huge amount per serving. But that is not the only benefits you will find with tomato paste. Included in tomato paste are sources of Vitamin C and Lycopene.
Remember to check the contents of tomato paste before you buy it. Some have added sugars, additives or preservatives. Try to choose the one with the least amount of ingredients, so you can get the maximum benefits from it.
7. Coconut Water
Coconut water is a sought-after alternative to conventional hydration drinks by athletes, as it is a natural source of hydration after exercise. Coconut water contains the key electrolytes required to draw water back into your cells and promote hydration.
The natural sugar content provides energy during exercise and helps replenish lost glycogen levels after. Coconut water is not on the cheap side, so bear this in mind though.
A 240ml cup of coconut water, contains around 600mg of potassium. But that’s not all. Coconut water is also a great source of Calcium, Sodium, Manganese and Magnesium.
8. Dried Apricots
It doesn’t take much imagination to work out how dried apricots are made does it? The good thing about dried apricots is that they have a long shelf life. Dried apricots are a great source of potassium, with only 6 of them providing around 490mg of potassium.
They are also rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin E and Fiber. While they are a great snack, or mixed into your muesli, eating too much of them at once, can lead to an irritable stomach.
Yes, the vegetable that makes everything purple on the plate! But is this really enough of a reason to ignore it as part of our diet?
We normally know beetroot as a pickled addition to our meals. Something normally delivered in the form of slices. But beetroot is also incredible as a soup. I had the most amazing beetroot soup when working on an oil field in Poland
170 grams of boiled beetroot can give you around 519mg of potassium. Which is around 11% of your daily AI.
Over and above the benefits of the potassium amounts in beets, this vegetable also contains Nitrates. When nitrates are converted into NO (Nitric Oxide), they have been shown to support healthy blood vessel function and overall heart health.
But beets also provide a good source of folate. Studies have shown, that out of all the “superfoods”, beetroot has consistently delivered on its antioxidant properties than other leading “superfoods”.
Can’t beat a good watermelon on a hot summer’s day! But this shouldn’t be the only time you enjoy one. Watermelon are a very high source of potassium. Take two wedges (around 1/8 of the fruit) for example. This will give you around 645mg of potassium.
Potassium is not all you will benefit from this amount of watermelon. Housed within the same amount is carbohydrates (low amount), 0,8gms of healthy fats and 2.2 grams of fiber. They are also great sources of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Magnesium. As well as high in water.
Sum up my top 10 highest potassium foods
So, as you can see, there are many foods that have a higher source of potassium than bananas. This does not mean you should not eat bananas, but it does mean that you need to look at other sources in order to get the recommended AI for potassium.
Potassium is important in our diet as it helps to lower blood pressure.
The best way to get the recommended potassium intake is to
have a varied selection of potassium sources in your diet. There are many
different foods richest in potassium, but the ones I have mentioned in this
article are my favourite.