Potassium is an essential nutrient used to maintain fluid and electrolyte balance in the body. It is the third most abundant mineral in the body and is required for the healthy functioning of several organs including the heart, kidneys, brain and muscular tissues.
Potassium also plays an important role in keeping the body hydrated and works with sodium to support cellular function. Potassium deficiency can lead to severe headaches, fatigue, dehydration, muscle cramps, increased blood pressure, heart palpitations and swelling of the glands and tissues.
When most people think of a food rich in potassium, they think of bananas. But here are ten foods with more potassium than a banana:
- White Beans – if you’re looking for potassium in the grocery store, white beans are your best bet. Just one cup will give you a whopping 1189 mg of potassium. Not to mention 20 grams of protein and 13 grams of fiber!
- White Potato – a medium sized baked white potato has 941 mg of potassium. If you wait and eat the potato after it’s cooled, you’ll also get a dose of gut-friendly starch.
- Black Beans - you know they’re loaded with protein and fiber, but you probably didn’t know that one cup of black beans will give you 739 mg of potassium, too!
- Tomato Sauce – your favorite pasta sauce is also a secret source of potassium with 728 mg in each cup.
- Watermelon – just two watermelon wedges can give you 641 mg of potassium. Watermelon is also an excellent source of lycopene, a naturally occurring plant pigment that has been linked to reduced risk of some cancers.
- Edamame – soybeans are one of the best plant sources of protein there is. But they are also loaded with potassium. One cup gives you 676 mg of this vital mineral.
- Sweet Potato – a medium sized baked sweet potato has 542 mg of potassium. Sweet potatoes are also rich in vitamin A.
- Frozen Spinach – one cup of frozen spinach will give you 540 mg of potassium. It’s a really inexpensive way to boost your potassium levels and can be tossed in anything from smoothies to quiche.
- Beets – one cup of cooked, sliced beets delivers 518 mg of potassium.
- Canned Salmon – looking for an easy lunch that’s rich in potassium? Canned salmon is the answer. Not only will you get a healthy dose of omega-3 fatty acids, but each 5oz can contains 487 mg of potassium, as well.