We are so obsessed with reducing salt that we sometimes forget to look at the other half of the equation: getting enough potassium. Potassium, as Go UnDiet author Gloria Tsang describes it, is “another mineral that can counteract the damaging effect of sodium.” Potassium has been shown to lower blood pressure. Fortunately, there is a wide range of potassium-rich foods, making it easy to get potassium from the foods you eat and not from a supplement.
The recommended level of intake for potassium for a healthy adult is 4,700 mg per day. Here is a list of top high-potassium foods to help you achieve that goal, and surprisingly banana is not the top contender.
Top 20 High-Potassium Foods
|Potato, Russet, 1 medium||952 mg|
|Tomato sauce, 1 cup, canned||811 mg|
|White beans, canned, 1/2 cup||595 mg|
|Sweet potato, 1 medium||542 mg|
|Avocado, 1/2 fruit||507 mg|
|Milk, goat’s, 1 cup||498 mg|
|Soybeans, green (“edamame”), 1/2 cup||485 mg|
|Beets, 1 cup raw||442 mg|
|Apricot, 1 cup sliced||427 mg|
|Tomato, 1 cup sliced or chopped||427 mg|
|Banana, 1 medium||422 mg|
|Milk, cow’s, chocolate, reduced fat, 1 cup||422 mg|
|Carrot, 1 cup sliced||390 mg|
|Corn, 1 cup whole kernels||389 mg|
|Navy beans, canned, 1/2 cup||378 mg|
|Pinto beans, cooked, 1/2 cup||373 mg|
|Lentils, cooked, 1/2 cup||366 mg|
|Milk, cow’s, 1%, 1 cup||366 mg|
|Mushroom, crimini, 1 cup sliced||323 mg|
|Red kidney beans, canned, 1/2 cup||304 mg|
Not included in the table above, but a high potassium-item nonetheless, is molasses, which contains 293 mg potassium per 1 tablespoon.
Cooking Note: To retain potassium content, it is best to bake, roast, or lightly steam instead of boiling, because potassium leaches out into the water during cooking.
The Bottom Line
It’s clear from the list above that many high-potassium foods are plant-based foods. The bonus about eating these plant-based foods is that most of them contain other nutrients that are known to have health-promoting benefits. Many of the fruits and vegetables listed above contain phytonutrients that are powerful antioxidants, while nuts and seafood are known to contain heart-healthy monounsaturated fats.