Potassium is an important mineral that plays a vital role in the body. It works as an electrolyte. When dissolved in water, it releases positively charged ions. This property of electrical conduction is vital to many processes in the body such as nerve conduction and maintenance of normal heart rhythm.
An adequate potassium intake for adults is 4,700 mg daily, but the value is different for children and people with kidney problems. Most people in the US do not meet this goal. Lower potassium levels can cause muscle weakness, cramps and cognitive problems like confusion. Your doctor will most probably advise you to eat a potassium-rich diet provided your kidney function is normal. A potassium-rich diet is linked to several health benefits. It may help reduce blood pressure and fluid buildup in the body. It also acts as a preventive measure against brittle bones (osteoporosis) and kidney stones.
Sometimes, the doctor may also advise you to avoid a lot of potassium-rich foods. Your body may retain potassium when you have kidney disease. If your kidneys are not working well, a high potassium level might cause life-threatening heart and nerve problems.
Whether the doctor has advised you to go on a potassium-rich diet or avoid it, it is good to know which foods are high in potassium. Let us have a look at them.
The following food sources are high in potassium and contain more than 200 mg of potassium per 0.5 cup serving.
- Fresh fruits: Bananas, avocados, oranges, grapefruit, cantaloupe, apricots, honeydew, guava and kiwi.
- Dry fruits: Prunes, raisins and dates.
- Vegetables: Leafy greens, artichokes, cooked spinach, cooked broccoli, potatoes, sweet potatoes, peas, zucchini, pumpkins, parsnips, Swiss chard, beets and beet greens and Brussels sprouts.
- Dairy products (low-fat or fat-free): Milk and yogurt.
- Fish: Tuna, halibut, cod, rockfish and trout.
- Beans or legumes: Kidney beans, lima beans, pinto beans, soybeans and lentils.
- Other foods: Bran cereal, nuts, molasses, meat, poultry, brown rice, whole-wheat bread, whole-wheat pasta and salt substitutes (read labels).
Which fruits contain a low amount of potassium?
The following foods contain less than 150 mg of potassium per 0.5 cup serving.
- Cabbage (raw)
- Onion (sliced)
Your doctor will usually tell you if you need to improve or reduce your potassium intake. For additional concerns, see a certified nutritionist to get a personalized diet plan.
What causes potassium deficiency?
- Several episodes of vomiting and/or diarrhea
- Diarrhea that results from laxative overuse (abuse)
- Excessive sweating
- Excess alcohol consumption
- Certain medications
- Diuretics (causes loss of potassium through frequent urination)
- Diabetic ketoacidosis (a serious complication of diabetes that is caused by severely high blood sugar levels)
- Hyperthyroidism (an overactive thyroid gland)
- Poor diet (a diet low in potassium) as in cases of anorexia nervosa
- Overactive adrenal gland
- Cushing’s syndrome
- Primary aldosteronism
- Kidney disease
- Colon villous polyps (noncancerous extra growths in the colon)
- Liddle syndrome (a rare hereditary disorder that often begins in childhood and causes an increase in blood pressure)
- Bartter syndrome (a rare genetic disorder in which a defective kidney causes salt and potassium imbalance)
- Gitelman syndrome (a rare genetic kidney disorder that causes an imbalance of ions in the body)
- Post-surgical electrolyte disturbance
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Top Which Fruits Are High in Potassium Related Articles
Why You Need Potassium and How to Get ItPotassium-rich foods like bananas, potatoes, prunes, oranges, tomatoes, lima beans, and sunflower seeds help your nerves, muscles, and bones. Potassium reduces the risk of high blood pressure and stroke. Low potassium (hypokalemia) and high potassium (hyperkalemia) can cause issues.
Potassium FoodsIt turns out lots of things have more potassium than a banana! Here's a guide to the tastiest choices.
High Potassium (Hyperkalemia)Hyperkalemia is an abnormally high level of potassium in the blood. Hyperkalemia symptoms include nausea, fatigue, tingling sensations, or muscle weakness. Hyperkalemia may also cause no symptoms. Hyperkalemia treatment may include a low-potassium diet, medications, and intravenous glucose and insulin. Causes of hyperkalemia include kidney dysfunction, certain medications, adrenal gland diseases, and potassium shifts.
Is Acai Good for Losing Weight?While it's true that acai berries are rich in antioxidants, the research around their effectiveness in weight loss is still a bit insufficient. However, you can still use the weight loss wonder fruit to get closer to your body goals.
Is Coffee High in Potassium?Potassium is an essential micronutrient required for cellular function. It is highly reactive in water and produces positively charged potassium ions.
Low Potassium (Hypokalemia)
Potassium is an essential electrolyte necessary for cell function. Low potassium (hypokalemia) may be caused by diarrhea, vomiting, ileostomy, colon polyps, laxative use, diuretics, elevated corticosteroid levels, renal artery stenosis, and renal tubular acidosis, or other medications. Symptoms of low potassium include weakness, aches, and cramps of the muscles. Treatment is dependent upon the cause of the low potassium (hypokalemia).
What Are the Nutritional Benefits of Eating Strawberries?Strawberries are chock full of vitamins. They contain Vitamin C, folate, potassium, antioxidants, manganese, and fiber, among other beneficial nutrients.
What Can Happen if Your Potassium Level Is Too Low?A low blood potassium level is medically known as hypokalemia. A blood test is sufficient to confirm its diagnosis.
What Does Potassium Do for Your Body?Your body needs potassium to help your nerves, heart, and muscles function correctly. But high potassium levels can lead to health problems.
What Drinks Are High in Potassium?Potassium is one of the essential minerals required by your body for its smooth functioning. Like sodium and chloride, potassium is an electrolyte serving several roles including: Aids proper nerve functioning Helps muscle contraction and relaxation
What Foods Are the Highest in Potassium?Potassium is a mineral that controls the amount of fluid inside the cells. Foods highest in potassium include dried fruits, lentils and other legumes, potatoes, spinach, and bananas.
Which Fruits Have the Highest Protein?The recommended daily allowance of protein for adults is 0.36 grams per pound of bodyweight. The fruits that have the highest protein content include avocados and guava.