Potassium in FoodsFoods which are good sources of potassium
Potassium is what is known as a ‘macro mineral’ or sometimes a ‘quantity mineral’. This means that it is found in relatively large quantities in the human body and needed in relatively large amounts. All minerals featured on these pages are critical to the upkeep and well being of your body, but we need larger quantities of potassium than any other mineral. On average there is 140 g of potassium in an adult human body.
This page will explain which foods are high in potassium by providing a comprehensive potassium rich foods list. We also explain what potassium is, how much of this mineral you need each day and and why it is so important to eat potassium rich foods. We also include lists of both high and low potassium symptoms so you can determine whether you are at risk of potassium deficiency.
As you can see from the chart on the right, recommendations vary as to the ideal amount of potassium we need each day. However, the Food and Nutrition board of the Institute of medicine has not set an Upper Tolerable Limit for Potassium, though hyperkalemia (high potassium in blood) can occur if more than 18000 mg (18 g) of this mineral are consumed in a day. So potassium is one of the few minerals that you are unlikely to need to worry about having too much if you are in good health, just whether you are eating enough.
Fortunately there are plenty of foods containing potassium, easily obtainable from your local store or supermarket. A few examples of the many brilliant potassium rich foods out there are fruits such as bananas, vegetables such as potatoes and dairy products such as milk. So without further preamble, please read on for our potassium rich foods list!
- 3500-4700 mg Men
- 2800-4700 mg Women
- 3200-5100 mg Breastfeeding women
- 3500-4700 mg Boys 14-18 years
- 2600-4700 mg Girls 14-18 years
- 3000-4500 mg Boys 9-13 years
- 2500-4500 mg Girls 9-13 years
- 2300- 3800 mg Children 4-8 years
- 2000- 3000 mg Toddler 1-3 years
- 700 mg Infants 7-12 months
- 400 mg Infants 0-6 months
List of Potassium Rich FoodsFoods which contain high levels of Potassium
Now we get to the main focus of the page, our potassium rich foods list. This highlights a whole range of foods high in potassium, together with how much of this mineral is in them, in order to provide you with a good idea as to how much you should consume. Remember that as well as these lists, you can check the nutritional information on food labels. This will tell you exactly how much potassium is contained in what you are buying, as well as all of the other nutrients that they contain.
Top Ten Potassium Rich Foods
These are one of the best potassium rich foods of all, containing almost 3.5 g (3427 mg) of potassium per 100 g (3.5 oz). They’re also rich in Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Copper and Manganese.
Daikon (oriental) radish, dried
With a massive 3494 mg of potassium per 100 g (3.5 oz), even a small serving of oriental radishes will make a big contribution to your daily potassium intake, as well as being high in folate, calcium and copper.
With 2509 mg of potassium per 100 g (3.5 oz) , dark (baking) chocolate is also high in iron, magnesium, copper, zinc and manganese, so you now have proof that chocolate really is good for you!
Yeast extract (e.g, marmite)
Yeast extract has 2100 mg of potassium per 100 g (3.5 oz) as well as being very high in thiamin, riboflavin, niacin and folate. However, be careful as it is also very high in sodiu which must be eaten in moderation.
100 g (3.5 oz) of rice bran contains 1485 mg of potassium. It is also high in iron, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, thiamin, niacin and vitamin B6!
Molasses contain 1464 mg of potassium per 100 g (3.5 oz), as well as being rich in both magnesium and manganese.
Seaweed (spirulina), dried
This seaweed has a fantastic 1363 mg of potassium per 100 g (3.5 oz) so even a small helping will bring great benefits. It is also high in thiamin, riboflavin, iron, copper and manganese.
As well as having 1162 mg of potassium per 100 g (3.5 oz), dried apricots are also a brilliant source of vitamin A.
With just over 1 gram (1007 mg) of potassium per 100 g (3.5 oz), pistachio nuts are a great source of this mineral, as well as being high in thiamin, Vitamin B6, copper and manganese.
Squash and pumpkin seeds
Finally on our initial list of potassium rich foods we have these superseeds, with 919 mg of potassium per 100 g (3.5 oz). They are also rich in both zinc and magnesium.
Foods TypesLists of foods by type
Fruits and nuts High in Potassium
Five a day, seven a day… we are always being encouraged to eat plenty of natural foods such as fruits and vegetables. Not only are many of them potassium rich foods in their own right, but they also contain fibre and various other vitamins and minerals that are essential to your health. Here are some examples of high potassium fruits:
- Almonds – 705 mg
- Avocado – 485 mg
- Banana – 358 mg
- Cantaloupe melon – 267 mg
- Cashews – 565 mg
- Cherries – 222 mg
- Chestnuts – 592 mg
- Coconut (dried) – 543 mg
- Dates (medjool) – 696 mg
- Figs (dried) – 680 mg
- Grapes – 191 mg
- Kiwi fruit – 312 mg
- Nectarines – 201 mg
- Orange juice – 200 mg
- Papaya – 182 mg
- Prunes – 1058 mg
- Prune juice – 276 mg
- Raisins -892 mg
- Tomato – 237 mg
- Walnuts – 441 mg
There is surely something that you like in the above list of high potassium foods, so there is no excuse not to have at least one more item to add to your next shopping list.
Vegetables high in Potassium
You notice a theme here right? Foods with potassium in them are primarily fresh and natural foods. Here are some great examples of potassium rich vegetables:
- Acorn squash (baked) – 437 mg
- Amaranth leaves – 611 mg
- Artichoke – 370 mg
- Bamboo shoots – 533 mg
- Baked potato (with skin) – 535 mg
- Beetroot – 325 mg
- Black beans – 433 mg
- Bok Choi – 371 mg
- Brussel sprouts – 389 mg
- Butternut squash -352 mg
- Celeriac – 300 mg
- Celery, cooked – 284 mg
- Chickpeas – 875 mg
- Corn – 287 mg
- Daikon radish, dried – 3494 mg
- Fennel – 414 mg
- French beans – 211 mg
- Garden cress – 606 mg
- Kale – 491 mg
- Lima (butter) beans, cooked – 508 mg
- Mushrooms – 484 mg
- Parsnip, cooked – 367 mg
- Peas, green – 271 mg
- Pumpkin – 340 mg
- Soy beans – 515 mg
- Spinach – 558 mg
- Sweet potato, baked, with skin -475 mg
- Swiss chard, cooked -549 mg
- Taro leaves – 648 mg
- White beans – 561 mg
- Winter Squash, baked – 358 mg
Besides potassium foods that come under the umbrella of fruits and vegetables, there are various others to take into consideration, such as:
- Basil – 2620 mg
- Buttermilk, dried – 1592 mg
- Chervil dried – 4840 mg
- Coriander leaf, dried – 4466 mg
- Dill, dried – 1186 mg
- Parsley, fresh – 554 mg
- Parsley, dried – 2683 mg
- Peanuts – 705 mg
- Salmon – 628 mg
- Sardines – 397 mg
- Seaweed (spirulina, dried) – 1363 mg
- Sunflower seeds – 850 mg
As all values are per 100 g (3.5 oz) the dried herbs aren’t included in our top ten potassium rich foods list above, though even a small helping of these herbs will add to your daily intake.
As you can clearly see from the above list of foods high in potassium, the primary sources of this mineral are through natural, rather than processed, foods, most of which offer a wide range of other nutritional benefits.
What is Potassiumand why do we need it?
Potassium is a chemical element essential for good health and vital to the regulation of various bodily functions. It is an electrolyte, meaning it is a mineral that carries an electrical charge. Electrolytes affect the amount of water in your body, your blood acidity, and muscle function amongst other things. You lose electrolytes when you sweat so they need to be replaced. Potassium can be replaced by the consumption of potassium rich foods or by taking potassium supplements. As well as regulating your body’s water balance, potassium has many other important functions. These include:
- Help regulation of blood pressure
- Building proteins
- Breaking down and using carbohydrates
- Regulation of the nervous system
- Building muscle and helping muscle function
- Helping adrenal functions
- Control the electrical activity of the heart
Making the effort to get all of the vitamins and minerals in food that you need every day is something that is going to go a long way to ensuring your long term health and prevent your body from breaking down unnecessarily. This is why whether you have a potassium deficiency or not, you should take note of tour list of foods rich in potassium.
As you can see, it is important that you get a sufficient amount of potassium in your diet on a regular basis to avoid developing a potassium deficiency. Below we will detail the symptoms of this condition, and also a list of high potassium symptoms for those individuals who have the opposite problem. If you fall into this category, you would do well to avoid the foods in our potassium rich foods lists.
So why do we need potassium?
Low Potassium Symptoms
Whereas high potassium levels are due to illness, low potassium is usually down to your diet and the fact you may not eat enough potassium rich foods. Low potassium symptoms include:
- Muscular weakness and/or cramping
- Excessively dry skin
- Low blood sugar
- Problems with muscle coordination
- Irregular heartbeat
- High cholesterol levels
These symptoms can be diagnosed by a potassium test with your doctor who will then likely advise you to increase your potassium intake, either via supplements or by eating more potassium rich foods.
High Potassium Symptoms
High potassium in the blood is called hyperkalemia. Firstly, it is important to know that, in otherwise healthy people there have been no reports of hyperkalemia through eating potassium naturally occurring in foods. However, if you experience problems with your kidneys it is possible that they can no longer remove excess potassium from the body, so your potassium level builds up. This is more likely to happen in older people. The following are symptoms of high potassium levels, although they can be due to other conditions as well:
- Numbness or tingling
- Slow pulse
- Irregular heartbeat
- Otherwise abnormal heart rhythm
High potassium symptoms can be very serious and can eventually lead to heart failure, so if you are worried that you may suffer from high potassium levels then you should contact a medical practitioner to have your potassium levels checked as soon as possible.
Knowing your potassium levels
Not only is insufficient potassium going to lead to a potassium deficiency, but high levels of potassium can also be a problem as well. Therefore it is important to keep an eye on your potassium levels. People who participate in a lot of sporting activities such as athletes can require a high level of potassium. This is because they will lose potassium, as well as other minerals, both through sweat and muscular activity. You will see for example during tennis matches the players eat bananas between sets. This is because bananas are not only a good immediate source of energy, but also a potassium rich food.
If your doctor does recommend that you use a potassium supplement in addition to high potassium foods, these can easily be obtained online, or at your local store and pharmacy.