List of Healthy Foods High in Potassium Content

When I first got involved in this whole healthy eating thing, I analyzed the nutrients I was getting from food each day and compared those numbers to the U.S. Dietary Guidelines.

One of the biggest red flags was my lack of potassium. I came to the obvious conclusion that I needed to incorporate more foods high in potassium into my diet.

List Of Foods High in Potassium

You probably do too. In fact, less than 2 percent of American adults get more than the recommended 4,700 milligrams per day.

So I decided to do some research on why potassium is so important and what high potassium foods I should be eating more of. Here’s what I found …

What Is Potassium?

Potassium is a mineral found in certain foods that’s critical to the proper functioning of nerves and muscles cells.

Human body uses potassium to control its level of acidity, maintain cellular growth, create protein, break down carbs and take care of the electrical activity of the heart.

How Much Potassium Do You Need?

The Food and Nutrition Center of the Institute of Medicine and the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend the following amounts of potassium:

0 – 6 months: 400 mg/day1 – 3 years: 3000 mg/dayAge 19 and older: 4700 mg/day
7 – 12 months: 700 mg/day4 – 8 years: 3800 mg/day
9 – 13 years: 4500 mg/day
14 – 18 years: 4700 mg/day

In general, women who are breast feeding need slightly higher amounts (5100 mg/day) and should therefore seek out more foods high in potassium (after talking to their physicians, of course).

Effects Of Low Potassium

Now let’s look at some low potassium symptoms and effects. A 2011 study conducted by researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Emory University, and Harvard University found that Americans who eat a diet high in sodium and low in potassium have a 50 percent increased risk of death from any cause, and twice the risk of death from heart attacks!

A diet that includes plenty of foods high in potassium is important to help you control your blood pressure because potassium counteracts the effects of sodium.

When you have a low level of potassium in your blood, it’s referred to as “hypokalemia.” This condition can lead to weak muscles, abnormal heart rhythms, and increased blood pressure.

Effects Of High Potassium

There is such thing as too much potassium as well.

For example, those who suffer from chronic kidney disease or acute kidney failure can’t get rid of enough potassium in their urine because their kidneys may not work as well.

When this happens, it can lead to a condition called hyperkalemia, a serious and potentially life-threatening disorder.

High potassium symptoms may include muscle fatigue, weakness, paralysis, heart arrhythmia, and nausea.

Other causes of hyperkalemia may include Addison’s disease, alcoholism or heavy drug use, use of ACE inhibitors, excessive use of potassium supplements, and type 1 diabetes.

Eating a low potassium diet can lower the risk of developing hyperkalemia. If you have one of the aforementioned conditions, talk to your doctor about what you should and shouldn’t be eating.

See also: List of Foods High In Fiber

High Potassium Foods

Potassium is found in a lot of different foods. I included a detailed list of high potassium foods below but here’s a basic list broken down by food group:

Meat: Beef, chicken, and fish such as salmon, halibut, cod, and flounder are all good sources of potassium. Soy products and veggie burgers are also good sources.

Vegetables: Broccoli, corn, tomatoes, peas, beans, potatoes, green leafy vegetables, and sweet potatoes are your best bets for high potassium vegetables.

Fruits: Citrus fruits, bananas, melons, cantaloupe, kiwi, prunes, and apricots are your best options for fruits high in potassium.

Dairy: Milk and yogurt are excellent sources of potassium.

Grains: Barley, oat bran, and whole grain cereals are high potassium foods from the grains group.

List Of Foods High In Potassium

Here’s a foods high in potassium chart.

FoodAmountPotassium (mg)
Beet greens1 cup cooked1309
Canned white beans1 cup1189
Canned tomatoes (no salt)1 cup1098
Soybeans1 cup cooked970
Lima beans1 cup cooked955
Halibut6 oz.916
Chestnuts1 cup847
Spinach1 cup cooked847
Tomato sauce1 cup811
Rockfish6 oz.775
Pinto beans1 cup746
Kidney beans1 cup713
Sweet potato1 medium (skin on)694
Black beans1 cup611
Haddock6 oz.599
Sockeye salmon6 oz.581
Non-fat yogurt1/2 cup579
Bulger1 cup dry574
Parsnips1 cup cooked573
Pumpkin1 cup cooked564
Kohlrabi1 cup561
Barley1 cup560
Mushrooms1 cup555
Bananas1 cup537
Oat bran1 cup dry532
Beets1 cup cooked519
Potatoes1 medium w/ skin515
Orange juice1 cup496
Artichokes1 cup cooked480
Broccoli1 cup cooked457
Brussels sprouts1 cup cooked450
Cucumber1 large442
Okra1 cup cooked431
Cantaloupe1 cup427
Turkey1 cup cooked417
Chickpeas1 cup cooked413
Grapefruit juice1 cup405
Canned corn1 cup391
Peas1 cup cooked384
Milk1 cup382

(source: USDA National Nutrient Database)

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