Potassium is an important element that the body needs for a wide variety of functions, and it is contained in many different foods. There is no recommended daily value (RDA) established for potassium, which means that it is important to properly educate yourself about ensuring you are getting enough — and receiving no more than too much. If you are not consuming enough potassium, you could eventually experience fatigue, and even death. This article discusses some fruits that contain potassium.
Best Foods With Potassium That Are Even Healthier Than a Banana
This article was medically reviewed by Marjorie Cohn, MS, RDN, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and member of the Prevention Medical Review Board, on May 6, 2019.
When you think about all of the nutrients your body needs, your mind might jump to protein, fiber, calcium, vitamin D, or even omega-3s. But potassium? The essential electrolyte probably gets swept to the sidelines.
Here’s why it shouldn’t: Potassium helps your nerves and muscles communicate with one another, moves other nutrients into your cells, and keeps your sodium levels in check. Not getting enough of the stuff can cause high blood pressure (thanks to its close relationship with salt) and increase your risk of kidney stones, according to the National Institutes of Health.
The good news is, you can find more than enough potassium in all sorts of foods. But if you default to bananas, not so fast. While each medium banana has 422 milligrams (mg) of the mineral—or about 9 percent of your 4,700 mg recommended daily value (DV)—you can easily find more in other fruits and vegetables.
Case in point: Ahead you’ll find foods that pack more potassium than a banana.
A medium baked sweet potato has 542 mg (12% DV) of potassium. These tubers are also rich in vitamin A for your eyes, vitamin C for your skin, and gut-filling fiber. They also just happen to be ridiculously tasty.
Try it: Bacon-and-Egg Stuffed Sweet Potato recipe
Surprise, surprise: A single medium baked potato has 941 mg (20% DV) of potassium. You’ve probably been conditioned to fear these spuds, but when prepared the right way (baked or boiled instead of deep fried), they’re low in calories, fat, and sodium. Plus, white potatoes offer a healthy dose of vitamin C and magnesium, too. Let your spud cool before you eat it and you’ll get a dose of gut-friendly resistant starch.
Try it: Potato Salad recipe
This plain old pasta topper is a secret source of potassium, with 728 mg (15% DV) in each cup. Tomatoes are also rich in lycopene, a disease-fighting plant pigment that gives certain fruits and vegetables their signature red hue. Look for a low-sugar tomato sauce sold in BPA-free packaging.
Try it: Cucina Antica Tomato Basil Cooking Sauce
Nosh on two refreshing watermelon wedges, and you’ll get 641 mg (14% DV) of potassium. Watermelon is also a great source of lycopene, as well as vitamins A, C, and B6. Plus, more than 90 percent of the fruit is water, so you’ll feel full after snacking for very little calories. And if you rather sip the stuff? Cold-pressed watermelon juice is a great alternative.
Try it: 12-ounce bottle of WTRMLN WTR
Add 1 cup of frozen spinach to your next stir-fry or pasta dish and you’ll get a respectable 540 mg (11% DV) of potassium. Spinach is also rich in magnesium, vitamin A, and calcium. Bonus: It’s crazy inexpensive—usually much cheaper than fresh veggies.
Try it: Garlic Spinach, Edamame, and Tomato recipe
A cup of cooked, sliced beets delivers 518 mg (11% DV) of potassium, while a 1-ounce serving of beet chips has an impressive 90 mg. One snack to try: Rhythm Superfoods Naked Beet Chips. The sweet root vegetables are super versatile, though, and can be used in everything from salads to juices to soups.
And there’s a reason athletes are all about beetroot juice lately: In a 2017 review, researchers concluded that drinking the stuff 90 minutes before your workout could boost performance. (Just don’t freak out if they turn your pee pink or red afterward. It’s totally normal, we promise.)
Try it: Roasted Beets With Herbs and Garlic recipe
Chances are you’re already buying canned black beans for a boost in fiber and protein—two nutrients that keep you feeling full longer. However, they’re also a great source of potassium. Eat one cup and you’ll get 739 mg (16% DV) of the mineral. Black beans also offer some calcium, magnesium, and folate.
Try it: 15-Minute Black Bean Soup recipe
White beans might be the best source of potassium in the grocery store: A single cup has a whopping 1,189 mg. That’s a full quarter of what you need every day. That same 1-cup serving also packs an impressive 20 grams of protein and 13 grams of fiber.
Try it: Sautéed Cherry Tomatoes and White Beans recipe
Canned salmon is a lazy cook’s dream. Pop open one 5-ounce can and you’ll get 487 mg (10% DV) of potassium. What’s more, salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential fats for your eye, heart, and brain health that your body can’t make on its own. Salmon is also high in B vitamins, which aid in the production of red blood cells and convert the food you eat into energy. On top of that, salmon is a great source of lean protein—perfect for those trying to lose weight or build muscle.
Try it: Quick Salmon Burrito recipe
Whole soybeans are one of the world’s greatest sources of plant-based protein, but that’s not the only trick up their sleeve: 1 cup also supplies 676 mg (14% DV) of potassium. Eat them as a snack, toss ’em in a salad, or serve them up as a side dish.
Try it: Corn, Mango, and Edamame Salad recipe
One cup of this slightly sweet fall favorite packs 582 mg (12% DV) of potassium. You’ll also get a hefty dose of vitamin A, along with some vitamin C, magnesium, folate, and calcium.
Try it: Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese recipe
One cup of cooked chard has a whopping 961 mg (20% DV) of potassium. These hearty greens also pack calcium, iron, and vitamins A, C, and K.
Try it: Breakfast Skillet with Egg, Onion, and Tomato recipe
Regular plain yogurt (not the Greek stuff) has an impressive 573 mg (12% DV) of potassium per cup. Plus, it packs nearly half your daily calcium needs. Look for one that contains live active cultures, so you’ll get a nice dose of gut-friendly probiotics, too.
10 Foods That Are High in Potassium
Potassium is an essential mineral, necessary for your body to function. It is an electrolyte, which means it has a small electrical charge that helps activate your heart, kidneys, muscles and nerves.Here is an overview of what you need to know about potassium, and some high potassium food choices to make sure you get enough in your diet.
How potassium works and why your body needs it
Potassium is a workhorse when it comes to keeping you going. It helps regulate the electrical signals that control your heartbeat, trigger your muscles to contract, and activate your nerve cells.
Potassium helps deliver nutrients to your cells and remove waste products. It is also involved in maintaining the volume of blood and fluid in your body, which affects your blood pressure.
The daily recommended intake of potassium includes:
- 3,400 milligrams (mg) for adult males
- 2,600 mg for adult females
- 200–300 mg more potassium during pregnancy and breastfeeding
Potassium is found in many foods, but some of it can be lost during cooking. Many U.S. adults don’t get enough potassium in their diet, falling short by as much as 1000 mg a day.
Here is a list of some high potassium foods, according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. It includes foods with over 200 mg of potassium per serving. Consider adding some of these foods to your diet if your potassium intake is low or your blood potassium level is too low:
Potatoes are a great source of potassium. A baked potato contains 925 mg of potassium. French fried potatoes have 470 mg of potassium in a 3 oz serving, along with plenty of fat and calories. An ounce of potato chips provides 465 mg of potassium.
2. Yams and sweet potatoes
Yams are a potassium superfood, with about 911 mg per cup. Sweet potatoes are different from yams and not related to what we usually consider potatoes. They are also a good source, with about 572 mg of potassium per cup.
Both yams and sweet potatoes are root vegetables. Yams are browner, bigger, and part of the lily family. Sweet potatoes are redder and in the morning glory family. Sweet potatoes do indeed tend to be sweeter than yams.
Many people think of bananas when they think of potassium-rich food. A medium banana has about 422 mg of potassium. Bananas are a popular fruit for athletes. They are an easy and quick way to replenish the potassium the body loses during intense exertion.
4. Yogurt and dairy products
Yogurt is the best source of potassium in the dairy aisle, with about 625 mg in an 8 oz serving of plain, nonfat yogurt. An 8 oz glass of whole cow’s milk provides 366 mg of potassium, even if it’s low fat milk.
Some cheeses, including ricotta and cottage cheese, are high in potassium. Not all cheeses are created equal though — goat cheese is a low potassium food.
A 1/2 cup of vanilla ice cream has about 131 mg of potassium.
5. Oranges and orange juice
One orange contains 240 mg of potassium, so it counts as a high potassium food. However, orange juice is a more concentrated source of potassium, with 450 mg per 8 oz glass.
Not all fruits are high in potassium. Apples, for instance, don’t contain much potassium and berries are not a good source either. On the other hand, dried fruits like prunes and raisins are good sources of potassium. Fresh cantaloupe is also high in potassium.
6. Legumes and beans
Many vegans and vegetarians rely on legumes like lentils, lima, navy, and kidney beans to get the protein they need. Legumes also provide a good amount of potassium.
White beans are the highest in potassium, with 600 mg in a half cup. Other legumes like lima beans, pinto beans, navy beans and lentils contain about 300 to 350 mg in a half cup serving.
7. Winter squash
Winter squash with dark orange flesh, such as acorn squash, contains a good amount of potassium. They provide almost 900 mg of potassium per cup. Butternut squash has about 600 mg, which is still high. Yellow squash and zucchini, by contrast, are low potassium foods.
8. Spinach and other leafy greens
Just a half cup of cooked spinach contains about 420 mg of potassium. Whether baby or mature, raw spinach has about 167 mg per cup. Swiss chard, bok choy, beet greens, and fennel are also high in potassium.
Kale, while full of other nutrients, contains less potassium than these other dark leafy greens. Raw kale has about 73 mg per cup.
9. Salt substitutes
Many people with kidney or heart disease use salt substitutes to cut down on the amount of sodium in their diets. These substitutes contain potassium chloride. What they lack in sodium they make up for in potassium, with 800 mg per 1/4 teaspoon.
10. Tomato paste
If you are making pasta sauce or chili, tomato paste is a great way to increase the potassium in your diet. 1 cup contains 1220 mg. Even if your dish contains about a quarter cup of tomato paste, you are still getting more than 300 mg in a serving.
5 Foods Higher in Potassium
Here are 5 foods that have more potassium than bananas, plus a list of 20 potassium containing foods to easily add to your meals.
When you think of potassium-rich foods, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? My guess is that it’s bananas. It’s no lie that they pack in potassium, but did you know there are a lot of foods that are actually higher in potassium than a banana? Many people even think that they need to take an electrolyte supplement to stay hydrated and reach their potassium needs, but a balanced diet can easily do the trick! Here’s a list of potassium-rich foods to help you deliciously diversify your intake of this important mineral.
What is potassium?
First off, what exactly is potassium? It’s an essential mineral, meaning we need to take in sources of potassium through the diet to meet the body’s needs. Potassium is crucial for a number of functions within the body including:
- blood pressure regulation
- muscle contractions
- pH balance
- nerve transmission
- kidney function
The Daily Value (DV) for potassium for healthy adults is 4,700mg for adults, but this number can vary for individuals with certain conditions such as diabetes, kidney disease, or osteoporosis.
What food has more potassium than bananas?
While some people fall short of their potassium requirement, regularly incorporating foods from this list of potassium-rich foods will ensure you are meeting your goals. These 5 foods are great sources of potassium!
1. Potassium in Potatoes
The humble potato often doesn’t get as much nutrition attention as it deserves. One medium potato delivers 610 mg of potassium, or roughly 17% of the daily value (DV). That’s about 40% more potassium than you’ll find in a banana, which only contains 422 mg, or 9% DV.
In addition to potassium, 1 medium potato provides 5 grams of fiber, 4 grams of protein, vitamin C and magnesium. This Warm Potato, Leek, and Lentil Salad with Citrus & Herbs is a delicious way to get in more potassium, and give the potato the recognition it deserves.
2. Potassium in Watermelon
While bananas might be the first fruit to come to mind, watermelon actually reigns supreme when it comes to potassium. In just 2 wedges, or about 1/8th of a melon, you’ll get 640 mg of potassium, or about 14% DV.
Watermelon is also a great source of vitamin C, vitamin A, and the antioxidant lycopene. Upgrade your usual fruit salad with this Grilled Peach and Watermelon Salad to pack in more potassium with each bite.
3. Potassium in Spinach
Leafy greens are one of the most nutrient-dense vegetables you can eat, and potassium is not excluded. A 3-cup serving of fresh spinach, or 1 cup cooked, contains 558 mg, or 12% DV of potassium. That’s a little over 25% more than you’ll find in a banana.
Spinach is also a good source of fiber, antioxidants, vitamin A, and vitamin C. Reap the benefits of this powerhouse vegetable first thing in the morning with these Baked Eggs with Brussels Sprouts, Spinach, and Leeks.
4. Potassium in Beets
Another food that BEETS out the banana in potassium is this vibrant root veggie. One cup of beets contains 518 mg of potassium, or 11% DV. Each serving also provides a healthy dose of folate, fiber, and betalains, powerful antioxidants that give red beets their colorful hue.
Add an earthy and potassium-rich spin to your average yogurt with this Savory Beet and Cucumber Yogurt Parfait for a quick and easy breakfast or snack.
5. Potassium in Avocados
Known for their creamy texture and cult following, avocados can also add potassium to their list of benefits. One half of an avocado provides 487 mg or 12% DV of potassium, on top of fiber, healthy fats, and protein.
Add these Mini Tacos with Avocado, Hummus and Lime to your next Taco Night spread for a fun and utensil-free appetizer.