What are high potassium foods

What are high potassium foods

Many foods contain potassium, especially fruits and vegetables. Leafy greens vegetables, beans, nuts, dairy products, and starchy vegetables such as winter squash are all among high potassium foods.

high potassium foods

What is potassium?

In the body, potassium is the third most abundant mineral. Potassium is a mineral your body needs for healthy functioning. It is an essential mineral that is required by every single tissue in the body. It is also sometimes referred to as an electrolyte because it carries a small electrical charge that stimulates nerve and cell activity. Potassium can be found naturally in many foods as well as a supplement. Its primary duty in the body is to help maintain normal fluid levels inside of our cells. Moreover, potassium supports normal blood pressure as well as muscle contractions.

PersonRecommended daily amount
Women 14-18 years of age2,300 mg
Women 19 and older2,600 mg
Pregnant or lactating women2,500 to 2,900 mg
Men 14-18 years of age3,000 mg
Men 19+3,400 mg

The National Academy of Medicine has established an Adequate Intake (AI) for potassium.

  • The AI is 2,300 mg daily for women 14-18 years of age; 2,600 mg daily for women 19 and older.
  • A woman’s AI varies from 2,500 to 2,900 depending on her age while pregnant or lactating.
  • Men 14-18 years of age should take 3,400 mg of AI; and men 19+ should take 3,400 mg.

The average intake of potassium for adults is about 2,320 mg for women and 3,016 mg for men.

Role of potassium on our body health:

Potassium plays a crucial role on your body health. It is involved in the following processes:

Helps Lower Blood Pressure:

 By removing excess sodium from the body, a potassium-rich diet helps lower blood pressure which is the major cause of heart attack. High sodium levels can raise blood pressure, especially in people with high blood pressure already.

Protects Against Strokes:

Strokes occur when the brain doesn’t receive enough blood flow. Every year, more than 130,000 Americans die from it. Several studies suggest potassium-rich diets helps prevent strokes. Furthermore, a diet high in potassium is associated with a reduced risk of heart disease.

Prevents osteoporosis:

Osteoporosis is characterized by hollow and porous bones. This is often caused by low calcium levels. Studies suggest that a potassium-rich diet could help prevent osteoporosis by reducing the loss of calcium to urine.

Prevents Kidney Stones:

The kidney stone is a hard clump of material that forms in concentrated urine. Numerous studies have shown that potassium citrate lowers calcium levels in urine, which is common in kidney stones. Therefore, potassium may help prevent kidney stones. Many fruits and vegetables contain potassium citrate, so you can easily add it to your diet.

Possibly reduces water retention:

Retention of water is caused by excessive fluids in the body. The traditional treatment for water retention is potassium. According to studies, potassium consumption can reduce water retention by increasing urine production and lowering sodium levels.

Potassium Deficiency:

By excreting excess potassium through urine, the kidneys work to maintain normal blood potassium levels. Potassium is also lost through sweat and stools. A daily requirement of 400-800 mg is needed from food due to normal daily losses. Hypokalemia occurs when the body loses too much fluid, such as through vomiting, diarrhea, and certain medications like diuretics. Most cases of hypokalemia occur in hospitalized patients who are taking medications that cause excessive potassium excretion.

There is also a chance it may be due to inflammatory bowel diseases that cause diarrhea and malnutrition. Because potassium is found in so many foods, it is unusual for a deficiency to be caused by insufficient intake alone; however, hypokalemia can quickly occur when insufficient intake is combined with excessive sweating, diuretics, laxative abuse, or severe nausea and vomiting. It can also be caused by a deficiency of magnesium, since the kidneys need magnesium to reabsorb potassium and maintain normal levels.

Signs of Potassium deficiency:

Signs of Potassium deficiency
  • Fatigue and tiredness
  • Muscle cramps and weakness
  • Constipation and abdominal cramps
  • Paralysis of the muscles and irregular heart beat
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Depression and hallucinations

High Potassium Foods:

High Potassium Foods

Half-cup servings of following potassium rich foods contain more than 250 milligrams of potassium.

  • Artichokes
  • Avocados
  • Bananas
  • Beets and beet greens
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cantaloupe
  • Dates
  • Nectarines
  • Oranges and orange juice
  • Parsnips
  • Potatoes
  • Prunes and prune juice
  • Pumpkin
  • Spinach (cooked)
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Swiss chard
  • Tomatoes and tomato juice
  • Vegetable juice
  • Watermelon

Foods That Are Not Potassium Rich:

Each half-cup serving of these foods contains less than 150 milligrams of potassium.

  • Applesauce
  • Blueberries
  • Cabbage (raw)
  • Cranberries
  • Cucumber
  • Eggplant
  • Endive
  • Onion (sliced)
  • Pineapple
  • Raspberries

What are potassium supplements?

Patients who do not get enough potassium from their regular diet may need potassium supplements. The ODS however, says that in many dietary supplements, manufacturers limit the amount of potassium to 99 mg only about 3% of a person’s DV due to safety concerns about drugs that contain potassium. Hyperkalemia, or a high level of potassium in the blood, can occur in people with kidney problems if they consume too much potassium. In a healthy kidney, any excess potassium from food dissolves in water and passes through the urine but if kidneys are not functioning properly, then too much potassium from food or supplements can cause problems. Excess of everything is bad.

You can also check your potassium levels at home.


Consuming a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, and legumes will ensure that one gets enough potassium in their diet. By limiting your intake of high sodium foods, such as processed foods and fast foods, you can maintain a healthy balance.

I lead a team of professional nutritionists and dietitians. We provide our consulting services in different areas of nutrition.

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