Potassium is one of the essential trace minerals for humans. It is the third most abundant mineral in the body. (1)
Including foods rich in potassium in the diet is essential to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. In addition, foods rich in potassium are necessary for physical growth and improve an athlete’s performance.
Foods high in potassium aren’t just bananas. Although they are one of the fruits that can be considered examples, There are a wide variety of plant and animal foods with a high content of this mineral.
This article details which foods are richest in potassium and how much to consume per day.
7 Examples of foods rich in potassium
Foods rich in potassium can be found in natural stores and supermarket chains. Those products of natural origin also provide more vitamins and other minerals such as magnesium.
Advise eating foods rich in potassium raw whenever possible; this is to prevent degradation of some vitamins temperature-sensitive as vitamin E . Examples of foods rich in potassium are described below:
- Avocado – 485 mg of potassium per 100 grams.
The avocado is the leader in high-potassium foods. In addition, avocado stands out for being a food high in iron content, a fundamental mineral for the respiratory system, and magnesium, which is critical for muscle work.
One of the advantages of avocado is that eating this food increases the assimilation of other nutrients and antioxidants. In 2005, an investigation in Oxford affirmed that with the regular consumption of avocado, the level of absorption of carotenoids increases up to 3 to 5 times. (1)
- Spinach – 423 mg of potassium
Contrary to what many people may think, green foods like spinach are foods rich in potassium. In addition, spinach is a food rich in vegetable proteins and stands out for its high fiber content. Include foods with fiber: broccoli, whole wheat flour, and zucchini, a way to improve the digestion process and reduce the feeling of hunger.
In addition, spinach is a food rich in B-carotenes (3,254 µg / 100 g of raw spinach). These compounds are precursors for the body to produce vitamin A . (2)
- Pumpkin – 130 mg of potassium
While pumpkin is not the leader in foods with potassium per gram, we include it in the list of the richest. The reason: squash is often eaten in large quantities. Pumpkin is not only food rich in potassium but also carotenoids and antioxidants related to the prevention of cancer. (3)
Pumpkin is one of the foods rich in potassium low in calories and fat. Like vitamins, the most significant contribution is vitamin C . We recommend not cooking squash at temperatures above 200 degrees and for long periods to reap its full nutritional benefits.
- Wild salmon – 360 mg of potassium
Fresh salmon is one of the foods rich in potassium often overlooked. In addition, its high content of proteins, healthy fats, and Omega-3 fatty acids make it considered a food with high nutritional value. With 100 g of salmon, 10-15% of the daily potassium needs are covered.
Salmon is low in carbohydrates and is a food that is included in almost all diets, including the keto diet. Most nutritionists recommend consuming fresh salmon meat at least 2-3 times a week.
A new type of salmon has been introduced in the last decade: farmed salmon or farmed salmon. In NutritionUstad, we present the actual evidence between the differences between the two types of salmon in the market; the wild and the industrial production.
- Grapefruit – 255 mg of potassium
Besides being one of the foods rich in potassium, the carbohydrate content of grapefruit is low. Compared to other fruits (grape, apple, and banana), grapefruit provides a small amount of glucose. Including grapefruit in the diet is necessary not only to meet potassium needs but also to lose weight.
Grapefruit is one of the fruits allowed on the low-carbohydrate diet. In addition, grapefruit has diuretic properties, so it prevents fluid retention and helps clean the kidneys.
Lastly, grapefruit is unique in its limonene content, a molecule isolated as a treatment for anti-stress therapies. Limonene is found in a higher concentration in the peel, so it is recommended to add it to desserts.
- Banana or banana – 350 mg of potassium
When we think of potassium, the first thing that comes to mind is the banana or bananas. A banana covers 12% of the recommended daily intake of potassium.
In addition, the intake of a banana covers 25-30% of the recommended amount of В 6, which is essential for the proper functioning of the nervous system. A banana covers 16% of the daily intake of manganese and 8% of that of magnesium (4).
In the banana composition, antioxidants such as catechin and dopamine are also present. Catechins successfully fight free radicals. Therefore it is considered one of the foods rich in potassium with extra benefits.
- Dark chocolate – 559 mg of potassium
And the winner is… dark chocolate.
Dark chocolate (70% minimum cocoa) is considered one of the foods richest in potassium. Some even consider it a superfood. This is due to its full content of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. It is important to note that not all types of chocolate are the same, and chocolates with high sugar content should be avoided.
The chocolate of choice to cover potassium needs is undoubtedly pure dark chocolate: the more cocoa, the better. Dark chocolate is a leader in flavanols. The consumption of one or two chocolate cubes per day is associated with preventing cardiovascular diseases.
While dark chocolate is one of the quintessential potassium-rich foods, it should not be abused. It is a high-calorie food; eating chocolate in excess and combining it with a safe sedentary lifestyle will increase fat stores.
How do you know if you lack potassium in the body?
If you experience muscle cramps, headaches, rapid heart rate, and dehydration, there is likely a lack of potassium in the body.
In addition, together with sodium, potassium fulfills the function of intervening in the balance of cellular hydration. For this reason, including foods rich in potassium is essential to improve muscle recovery processes.
Recommended amount of potassium per day
The amount of potassium you should consume per day varies by age and gender. Below you can see the recommended amount of potassium per day.
- 0–6 months: 400 mg / day
- 7–12 months: 860 mg / day
- 1–3 years: 2,000 mg / day
- 4–8 years: 2,300 mg / day
- 9–13 years: 2,500 mg / day for boys and 2,300 mg / day for girls
- 14–18 years: 3,000 mg / day for men 2,300 mg / day for women
- Adults 19 years of age and older: 3,400 mg / day for men and 2,600 mg / day for women
- Pregnant or lactating women: 2,800-2,900 mg / day
- Note: in professional athletes or people who practice sports every day, the recommended amount increases up to 20%.
- Potassium is one of the most abundant minerals in the body; your daily need is about 2 – 3.5 g depending on gender and age.
- Bananas are not the leader in potassium-rich foods.
- Spinach, salmon, avocado, and dark chocolate are foods with the highest potassium content.
- Including all foods rich in potassium regularly in the diet is essential to maintain optimal health.
- Special care must be taken not to abuse some foods rich in potassium because they are high in calories.