25 foods besides bananas that rank as the best potassium sources to add to your diet

  • 2 Minutes Read
Sue Heikkinen
Sue Heikkinen, MS, RDN, CDCES, BC-ADM, ACE-PT - Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist

How do you know if you need a boost with the best potassium sources? Experiencing frequent fatigue or muscle cramps? You could be a "pint-low" on potassium. Most people don't get enough. So let's peel back more ideas for potassium than bananas!

Best potassium sources

The best potassium sources may surprise you for supplying this do-it-all mineral. It is essential for cell and nerve function, muscle contraction, and fluid balance. Other potential health benefits of potassium include lower blood pressure, better glucose control, and stronger bones. Good sources include milk, yogurt, soy milk, legumes (dried beans and peas), potatoes, winter squash, dried fruit, fresh fruit, and dark green veggies.

Plant foods make the best potassium sources. The form of potassium in plants, such as potassium citrate, can help lower acid levels in the body, possibly benefitting bone health. Plant foods also come with other beneficial nutrients, such as magnesium and fiber.

If you have high blood pressure, consider the DASH Diet, which is rich in potassium and other nutrients such as calcium and magnesium. It can help control blood pressure, even without a strict sodium reduction. However,reducing blood pressure is more profound when reducing dietary sodium.

How much potassium do I need?

The Daily Reference Intake for potassium (updated in 2019) is 3400 mg for men 19 years and older and 2600 mg for women 19 years and older, although groups like the American Heart Association advise 4700 mg per day for maximum benefits.

For blood pressure control, aim for more potassium than sodium in your diet. Higher potassium intake can help offset the effects of sodium on blood pressure. Adding more high-potassium fruits and vegetables to your plate will boost your potassium while keeping sodium and calories in check.

Check out these examples of the best potassium sources:

Food group Food Potassium (mg)
Fruit Avocado, 1/2 medium 488
Canteloupe, 1 cup cubed 427
Raisins, 1/4 cup 270
Banana, medium 422
Vegetables Potato, baked with skin, medium 940
Acorn squash, baked, 1 cup 893
Low-sodium V8® juice, 6 oz 625
Spinach, cooked, 1/2 cup 423
Legumes Lentils, cooked, 1/2 cup 365
Edamame, shelled, 1/2 cup 330
Black beans, cooked, 1/2 cup 305
Grains All Bran® cereal, 1/2 cup 350
Quinoa, 1 cup cooked 318
Whole-wheat pasta, 1 cup cooked 134
Dairy products and milk substitutes Yogurt, plain, low fat, 6 fl oz 398
Cow's milk, 2%, 8 fl oz 342
Soy milk, 8 fl oz 299
Meat, poultry, seafood Salmon, wild, 3 oz cooked 534
Chicken breast, 3 oz cooked 357
Ground beef, broiled, 3 oz 259
Nuts and seeds Pistachios, 1 oz 285
Pumpkin seeds, 1 oz 261
Almonds, 1 oz 202
Miscellaneous Molasses, 1 tbsp 308
Dark chocolate, 1 oz 203

Is it possible to get too much potassium?

If you are in good health, it's unlikely you will overload on potassium from foods. If you have kidney disease or take certain medicines, your doctor may recommend a low-potassium diet. ACE inhibitors and potassium-sparing diuretics make it hard for your body to get rid of excess potassium.

Salt substitutes made from potassium chloride, such as Nu Salt® or No Salt®, are very high in potassium. Check with your doctor to make sure it is okay for you to use these products.

What about supplements?

Most over-the-counter supplements are limited to a mere 99 mg per tablet. Why take pills when plant foods are the best sources of potassium? One-half cup of cooked spinach will give you four times what a supplement does and a bounty of other vital nutrients.

Suppose you have a medical condition that causes low potassium levels, and you can't meet your needs from your diet? Your doctor may recommend a prescription potassium supplement.

Tracking potassium with MyNetDiary

You can choose to track potassium on your Plan with a MyNetDiary Premium membership. Does your potassium intake look low on your reports? Check your food items on your detailed food report-many brands don't include potassium. For unprocessed foods, choose Staple Foods to get complete nutrition information. You can also select generic items, as they typically have more comprehensive nutrient information than brand names. Fortunately, the new FDA food labeling law requires manufacturers to include potassium on the Nutrition Facts label. This change makes it easier to track potassium intake! Many major manufacturers already incorporate the new labels, and more products will feature them soon.

Looking to super-charge your potassium intake? Try one of our potassium-packed Premium Recipes:

Acorn Squash with Quinoa and Ground Turkey (1117 mg per serving)
Arugula Avocado Salad (1177 mg per serving)
Black Beans and Veggies (626 mg per serving)
Orange Mango Smoothie (678 mg per serving)

Adapted from original content by Donna P Feldman, MS, RDN, and Kathy Isacks, MPS, RDN, CDCES.

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Foods & Recipes->Fruit & Vegetables Nutrients->Other Vitamins & Minerals Nutrients->Potassium
Aug 26, 2020

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