10 Potassium rich foods to include in your diet
Potassium may not be mentioned as often as iron and calcium when people talk about nutrition and diet, but it is still an important mineral that is essential to the functioning of the body. Potassium helps to regulate blood pressure and it plays an important part in the proper functioning of the heart and the nervous system. Potassium also helps to negate the damaging effects of sodium and it can help you sleep better too. There are plenty of food sources that contain potassium, the recommended daily requirement of which is 4,700mg. Check out these ten potassium rich foods and make sure that you are reaching your recommended daily amount.
1. Dried fruits
Dried fruits, like dried apricots, peaches and figs, are super concentrated source of all kinds of nutrients, including potassium. Dried fruit makes a really healthy on-the-go snack and, just a single cup of dried fruit contains about one third of your daily recommended amount of potassium.
Avocado is one of the true super-foods and it will provide you with plenty of heart-healthy fats, minerals and vitamins. One avocado contains around 975mg of potassium and no sodium, so adding avocado to your diet will be good all round for your health. The great thing about avocados is that they are so versatile. They can be added to just about any meal of the day, or you can add them to smoothies.
Bananas are well known as being a good source of potassium and a single, medium sized banana will deliver around 400mg of the mineral. Bananas are also very good as a source of energy and are perfect for eating as a snack when you feel your energy levels falling. Bananas are also a good source of fibre and vitamins B6 and C.
Any kind of potatoes: red, white or sweet potatoes, will all provide you with a healthy amount of potassium. In fact, you will obtain around 900mg of potassium from a single Russet potato. If you avoid frying potatoes and bake them with their skins on instead, potatoes will provide you with complex carbohydrates, iron and fibre too. Just don’t top them off with a huge dollop of butter and a mountain of melted cheese!
Spinach is one of the best potassium rich foods that there is and, ounce for ounce, it has higher potassium content than bananas do. All leafy green vegetables contain potassium, but spinach is the best at approximately 800mg per cup. Spinach also contains lots of other important nutrients and fibre, but is very low in calories.
6. Kidney beans
Kidney beans can be added to all kinds of meals. They will go with salads, you can use them as a burrito filling, and you can add them to stews. Kidney beans are also a very rich source of potassium and they will give you 600mg per cup. Other beans that have high potassium content are lima beans, pinto beans and white beans.
Salmon is a great fish to have in your regular weekly menu. It provides you with omega-3 fatty acids, protein and about 13% of your daily recommended amount of potassium. When you buy salmon, it is always best to buy wild salmon, because it contains far higher levels of nutrients. Farmed salmon also often contains high levels of chemical contaminants, so it is best avoided if possible.
Yoghurt doesn’t contain as much potassium as the vegetables and fruit that we have mentioned. But it does contain enough to make it worth a mention in our list of potassium rich foods. Yoghurt can form part of a healthy diet and an average serving contains about 5% of your daily required amount of potassium. The other thing that yoghurt will provide you with, are the healthy enzymes that can help to keep your digestive system in good working order.
9. Sun dried tomatoes
Products that are made from concentrated tomatoes, like tomato paste and sauce, and sun dried tomatoes, are also a good source of potassium. A single cup of sun dried tomatoes will supply you with 1,800 mg of potassium, and that’s about 40% of your daily requirement. Tomatoes are a good source of vitamin C and fibre as well. Fresh tomatoes will contain potassium, but not in such a concentrated form.
Nuts are another great food to eat as a snack and they can be added to salads and to all kinds of cooking and baking. Most nuts contain potassium, but the best of all, are pistachio nuts, which contain about 1,000mg per 100 grams.