Top 10 Potassium-Rich Foods + Potassium Benefits
There are so many reasons you need to make sure you consume an adequate amount of potassium-rich foods daily. Potassium is an essential nutrient used to maintain fluid and electrolyte balance in the body. It’s also the third most abundant mineral in the body and a required mineral for the function of several organs, including the heart, kidneys, brain and muscular tissues. Potassium also plays an important role in keeping the body hydrated and works with sodium to support cellular function with your body’s sodium-potassium pump. (1)
Symptoms of low potassium are highly undesirable and can include severe headaches, dehydration, heart palpitations and swelling of glands and tissues. Potassium from natural food sources, like the list of potassium-rich foods below, is considered to very safe and very healthy. The current recommended dietary intake for male and female adults is 4,700 milligrams of potassium per day. (2)
If that sounds like a lot, it’s because it is, and many people have trouble getting as much potassium as they should on a daily basis. Using the potassium-rich foods chart I’m about to provide, you can learn what kinds of food you need to eat regularly to meet your requirements and avoid a deficiency. As both a mineral and an electrolyte, you really don’t want to miss the mark when it comes to your potassium intake.
Top 10 Potassium-Rich Foods List
What foods are rich in potassium? There are a lot of potassium-rich foods to choose from to meet your daily requirement. This list includes some of the highest potassium-rich foods around.
1) Avocado: 1 whole: 1,067 milligrams (30 percent DV)
Avocado is definitely one of my favorite potassium-rich foods. A 2013 study published in the Nutrition Journal revealed epidemiological data from 2001 to 2008 that describes the effects and benefits of avocado consumption on metabolic disease risk factors. Overall, researchers found that people who ate avocados tended to have healthier diets overall, as well as an increased nutrient intake and a decreased likelihood of developing metabolic syndrome. (3)
2) Acorn Squash: 1 cup: 896 milligrams (26 percent DV)
Acorn squash is a vegetable source of potassium that really should be more popular than it is because it also contains high levels of antioxidants. Most impressively are the carotenoids contained in just one serving of acorn squash. This type of antioxidant is well-known for helping prevent and fight various types of cancer, including skin, breast, lung and prostate cancer. (4)
3) Spinach: 1 cup cooked: 839 milligrams (24 percent DV)
There’s a reason why spinach was the cartoon character Popeye’s power food of choice. Not only is spinach a potassium-rich food, but scientific research has shown that spinach contains plant chloroplast glycoglycerolipids, which are believed to act as cancer-fighting agents. (5)
4) Sweet Potato: 1 large: 855 milligrams (24 percent DV)
Sweet potatoes are a potassium-rich food that contain a higher density of nutrients than white potatoes. Sweet potatoes are also high in beta-carotene, vitamin C and vitamin B6. Plus, sweet potatoes have been shown in scientific animal research to exhibit anti-ulcer activity and are likely helpful in the successful treatment of peptic ulcers. (6)
5) Wild-Caught Salmon: ½ filet: 772 milligrams (22 percent DV)
In addition to potassium as well as other vitamins, minerals and protein, wild-caught salmon is loaded with health-promoting omega-3 fatty acids. The benefits of these essential fatty acids include decreasing the risk of heart disease and stroke while also helping reduce symptoms of depression, high blood pressure, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, joint pain and chronic skin ailments like eczema. (7)
6) Dried Apricots: ½ cup: 756 milligrams (22 percent DV)
Dried apricots provide a quick and easy way to add potassium to your diet. Epidemiological studies have actually shown that people who consume dried apricot and other dried fruits tend to have healthier overall diets with more nutrients as well as a lower body weight. (8) In moderation, dried fruit can be a healthy, and in this case a potassium-rich snack choice.
7) Pomegranate: 1 whole: 667 milligrams (19 percent DV)
Pomegranate seeds and their juice are awesome fruit sources of potassium. They’re also loaded with fiber, vitamin C and vitamin K, among other nutrients. In addition this potassium-rich foods list, the pomegranate also lands on other lists like the top 10 aphrodisiac foods due to its ability to reduce cortisol levels in the body. Pomegranate juice has also been found to be the healthiest fruit juice in the world. (9)
8) Coconut Water: 1 cup: 600 milligrams (17 percent DV)
Looking for more potassium-rich foods that come in liquid form? I like including coconut water on this list because when you choose well (no added sugars), you have a beverage option that’s high in electrolytes like potassium but not too high in sugar or calories. Coconut water has even been used in emergency situations as an IV hydration fluid. (10)
9) White Beans: ½ cup: 502 mg (15 percent DV)
Not only do white beans contain a significant dose of potassium per serving, but they’re also high in fiber. According to the Mayo Clinic, consuming fiber-rich foods like white beans helps lower your risk of diabetes and heart disease. High-fiber diets also encourage a healthy waistline. (11)
10) Banana: 1 large: 487 milligrams (14 percent DV)
Bananas are well-known for being a potassium source and they’re a good one, but they’re also relatively high in sugar and carbs. That’s why I recommend bananas as a quick source of energy before a workout or a post-workout, nutrient-rich recovery food to help repair muscle and balance water retention. Exercising, especially an intense workout, is one of the major ways that your potassium levels can get drained so that’s why it’s crucial to consume potassium-rich foods like bananas. (12) Scientific research has also shown that bananas are rich in dopamine, a major mood-enhancing hormone.