Potassium is a very important mineral for the human body and is essential for cellular and electrical functions. Along with sodium and chloride, it is a vital electrolyte, which means it carries an electric charge. This might explain why potassium is critical for brain health as well as for nervous system functions.
Other functions of this important electrolyte are as follows:
- Build proteins
- Break down and use carbohydrates
- Build muscle
- Maintain normal body development
- Control the electrical activity of the heart
- Control the acid-base balance
Electrolyte balance is important for proper functioning of the body; however, in today’s world, most people eat far too much sodium and not enough potassium, which can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, and other ailments. With that said, we want to go over foods with the highest levels of potassium to ensure your health and well-being. We are positive that you can use this information to better your lifestyle or even start your health journey.
Here are 15 foods that are high in potassium:
Note: The following foods are ranked by milligrams of potassium per standard amount, courtesy of health.gov.
1. Sweet potato
One baked sweet potato, or 146g, contains a whopping 694mg of potassium. Since the recommendation is 4,700mg per day for the standard adult, sweet potatoes are an excellent choice as they are high in nutrients.
2. Tomato paste
1/4 cup of tomato paste contains 664mg of potassium and only 54 calories. If you have leftover canned tomato paste that you don’t know what to do with, try using it in chili, stew, or on a homemade pizza.
3. Beet greens
Beet greens are the leaves that top beets, and they taste similar to kale. You could boil it and have it alongside meats, or saute it with olive oil, salt, and garlic to have with an Italian meal. 1/2 cup of cooked beet greens has 655mg of potassium.
One baked potato with the flesh on weighing 156g contains 610mg of potassium. As you can see, if you don’t have any sweet potatoes handy, a regular potato will do just fine.
5. White beans
1/2 cup of canned white beans has 595mg of potassium.
An 8oz container of plain, non-fat yogurt has 579mg of potassium, while an 8 oz container of plain, low-fat yogurt comes in at 531mg.
7. Tomato puree
This is made by cooking and straining tomatoes and is different from tomato sauce because it has a thicker consistency and richer flavor. 1/2 cup contains 549mg of potassium.
A 3oz can contains 534mg of potassium.
9. Prune juice
3/4 cup has 530mg. Make sure to look for juices without added sugar or other unhealthy ingredients, or just make your own juice at home!
10. Carrot juice
3/4 cup has 517mg of potassium.
11. Blackstrap molasses
1 tbsp = 498mg of potassium. You’re probably thinking: “what am I supposed to do with plain molasses?” Never fear, friends; we would never ask you to eat molasses by itself! Try using it in a sauce for glazed ham, or incorporate it into your favorite pancake recipe for added sweetness. While it does have a fair amount of sugar, molasses also has important vitamins and minerals such as iron, calcium, magnesium, vitamin B6, and selenium.
3oz of cooked halibut contains 490 mg of potassium.
1/2 cup of green, cooked soybeans contains 485mg. Healthy vegetarian soybean recipes include soybean and cabbage casserole, barbecued soybeans, and spaghetti and beanballs using soybeans instead of meat.
3oz of cooked yellowfin tuna has 484mg, just shy of the mighty soybeans’ potassium value.
15. Lima beans
Finally, 1/2 cup of cooked lima beans has the same amount of potassium as a serving of tuna. Also known as butter beans, you can use lima beans in a plethora of recipes such as in stews, soups, and even in vegetarian burger recipes.
You now have plenty of foods that are high in potassium to choose from in order to reach your health goals and keep your heart and nervous system working properly. It is such an important mineral for the human body, but it often gets overlooked due to the prevalence of packaged foods in the marketplace today. As long as you eat a primarily whole foods diet, you should have no problem getting enough of it in your daily food intake. Along with positive thinking, diet and exercise will keep you happy, healthy, and full of life.
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