Potassium is an essential mineral that is part of every cell in the body, and life would be impossible without this electrolyte.

Potassium counteracts the effects of sodium, helping to maintain a healthy blood pressure, plus, it assists recuperative powers and regulates water balance. In addition, it is essential for maintaining the acid-base balance.

Health benefits of potassium

Prevents hypokalemia

A shortage of potassium in the body can result in a fatal condition named – hypokalemia. Symptoms of low potassium levels are serious and include muscle weakness, cardiac arrhythmias, and glucose intolerance.

Brain function

A sign of low potassium levels is the inability to focus or “brain fog.” Because this mineral plays a role in the basic function of brain neurons, consuming foods rich in potassium may also be recommended to treat dementia.

Bone health

This mineral is a crucial part of a healthy bone function. Furthermore, your body needs a high potassium diet particularly during adolescence and pregnancy when muscles and bones are developing.

Cardiovascular health

Eating foods that contain adequate amounts of potassium can help decrease your risk for cardiovascular disease. More importantly, low levels of this mineral can contribute to chest pains, irregular heartbeats, and cardiac arrest.

Here is a list of 35 potassium rich foods:

Note – your body cannot store this mineral, so it is important to consume adequate amounts of this nutrient daily through your diet.

#1 Pistachios (dry roasted) – 1042mg/100g

Pistachios are one of the oldest nuts that were usually consumed in the world. The minerals, vitamins, healthy fats and protein found in pistachios are all very good for your wellness.

#2 Beet greens (cooked) – 909mg/100g

It is a nutritious root vegetable which has sweet bulbs and flavorful leaves.

#3 Flax seeds – 813 mg/100g

Flax seeds, also known as linseeds, are a good source of omega 3, lignans, and dietary fiber.

#4 Raisins (uncooked) – 749mg/100g

They are made from dehydrated grapes; therefore, the nutrients become more concentrated in raisins.

#5 Almonds (raw) – 733mg/100g

The health benefits of almonds are comprehensive, and they are commonly used as a healthy solution for relief from respiratory disorders, constipation, and coughs.

#6 Dates – 656 mg/100g

There are numerous health benefits of dates: they strengthen muscles and bones, build sexual stamina, cure anemia, and boost energy.

#7 Oat bran (dry) – 566mg/100g

Due to LDLcholesterol lowering functions, oat bran may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.

#8 White beans (boiled) – 561mg/100g

White beans, better known as white navy beans, offer remarkable health benefits. White beans are loaded with minerals and vitamins and provide a good supply of essential amino acids.

#9 Spinach (raw) – 558mg/100g

Spinach is an impressive source of vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin C and folate as well as being a good source of minerals.

#10 Soybeans (cooked) – 515mg/100g

Packed with carbohydrates, protein, minerals, vitamins, and healthy fats, this legume provides your body with an ample energy.

#11 Lima beans (cooked) – 508mg/100g

Lima beans are a delicious legume that has many health benefits, including its capacity to boost heart health and improve digestion.

#12 Avocado – 507mg/100g

The health benefits of avocado include protection from cardiovascular diseases, weight management, and type 2 diabetes Mellitus.

#13 Sweet potatoes (cooked) – 475mg/100

Sweet potato is a good source of minerals, vitamins (the most abundant source of beta-carotene), and dietary fiber that are vital for optimal health.

#14 Chia seeds – 407mg/100g

Chia seeds help you stay hydrated, reduce food cravings, lower blood pressure, are a good source of fiber, and are rich in omega-3 fatty acids.

#15 Potatoes (boiled) – 379mg/100g

Potato is a popular root vegetable and is one of the richest sources of vitamins, starch, minerals, and fiber.

#16 Lentils (cooked) – 369mg/100g

Lentils may be individually small, but they are a storehouse of essential vitamins, amino acids, and minerals.

#17 Banana (fresh) – 358mg/100g

Bananas provide protection from chronic disease and free radicals and relieve constipation.

Note – potassium overdose for a healthy person, from bananas, is around 400 (at once). IMPOSSIBLE.

#18 Broccoli (raw) – 316mg/100g

Broccoli is also a good source of pantothenic acid, fiber, vitamin E, vitamin B6, phosphorus, manganese, vitamin B1, choline, and copper.

#19 Kiwi (fresh) – 312mg/100g

Kiwi is a small fruit packed with plenty of nutrients.

#20 Prunes – 296mg/100g

Their reputation as a laxative may be regrettable because it eclipses the fact that they are a good source of important nutrients.

#21 Chickpeas (cooked) – 291mg/100g

Chickpeas, also known garbanzo beans, are a member of legume family full of vitamins, protein, and minerals.

#22 Winter squash (cooked) – 284mg/100g

Winter squash is a warm-season vegetable that can be grown in the majority of countries.

#23 Cantaloupe (fresh) – 267mg/100g

Cantaloupe is a fruit that has a variety of associated health benefits, like healthy eyes and skin, and improved strength of the immune system.

#24 Celery (raw) – 260mg/100g

Celery is an excellent source of vitamin K, folate, molybdenum, copper, manganese, vitamin B6, fiber, phosphorus, and pantothenic acid.

#25 Apricots (raw) – 259mg/100g

Consuming apricots is a wonderful method to protect your heart from heart attacks and strokes.

#26 Radish (raw) – 233mg/100g

As a member of the cruciferous vegetable family, it shares the cancer-protective characteristics of its cousins: cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and kale.

#27 Tomatoes (raw) – 212mg/100g

Tomatoes are also an excellent source of vitamin C, copper, folate, biotin, vitamin B6, manganese, molybdenum and vitamin K.

#28 Millet (dry) – 195mg/100g

Eating millet daily may improve your overall well-being by providing essential nutrients for your health.

#29 Orange (fresh) – 181mg/100g

High in vitamin C and folate, they improve your skin, boost your immune system, and reduce the risks of cancer.

#30 Mango (fresh) – 168mg/100g

Mango is also an excellent source of vitamin B6 and fiber, as well as a good source of beta-carotene and vitamin C.

#31 Strawberries (fresh) – 153mg/100g

The strawberry is also known as the ”the queen of fruits” in Asian countries because it’s packed with important nutrients and has many health benefits.

#32 Onion (raw) – 146mg/100g

Some of the nutrients in onions (especially red onions) help reduce inflammation and promote heart health.

#33 Pear (fresh) – 116mg/100g

Pears are packed with fiber, minerals, anti-oxidants, natural sugars, and vitamins, that are necessary for best health.

#34 Pineapple (fresh) – 109mg/100g

The benefits of pineapple are due to its high supply of vitamin B1, vitamin C, bromelain, and manganese.

#35 Apple (fresh) – 107mg/100g

The health benefits of apples include prevention of gallstones, stomach disorders, liver disorders, constipation, type 2 diabetes, or iron anemia.

Recommended daily intake of potassium

USDA recommends 4,700 milligrams daily for healthy people, as part of a balanced diet. In addition, athletes and pregnant women need even more potassium. However, according to an NHANES report, the average potassium intake for Americans is 2,640 milligrams daily.

Side effects of potassium supplementation

Hyperkalemia or too much potassium in the blood can have severe adverse effects.

Intaking too much potassium can be harmful to those who abuse alcohol or drug or their kidneys are not fully functional. Hyperkalemia may cause abnormal heart rhythms. To make sure that you don’t overdose with this mineral, it is best to get your potassium from natural sources, such as legumes, nuts, fruits, seeds or vegetables, and avoid taking supplements.

References
http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/
http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/minerals/
http://www.bmj.com/content/346/bmj.f1378
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10471422