11 Foods That Are Loaded with Potassium (Besides Bananas)
Why You Need Potassium
When you think of potassium, you probably picture a bunch of ripe bananas. The nutrient has come to be their defining quality, but what does it actually do? For starters, Potassium is an important mineral that helps control blood pressure. It also works to help the body function properly, transporting nutrients into cells and helping nerves and muscles speak to each other. (It's one of the best minerals for boosting your workout performance too)
You need 4,700 milligrams (mg) a day to stay strong and healthy, and since you can eat only so many bananas (which have 422mg per medium fruit), you'll want some other potassium sources to meet your goals. Here, you'll find the top foods with potassium that have just as much of the mineral, if not more, than the go-to fruit.
The staple topping for breakfast toast doesn't only provide heart-healthy mono- and polyunsaturated fats. One-third of a cup of pureed avocado also offers 372mg potassium, 8 percent of your daily need. Although all avocado provides potassium, the California version offers a bit more: 389mg potassium per 1/3 cup (pureed), versus 269mg from the same amount of the Florida variety. Eat avocado on toast, mix it into a salad, or use it as an omelet topper or as a base for a smoothie bowl.
With 338mg potassium per 1/2 cup (shelled), edamame is a nutrient-rich snack or meal addition—also providing 9g protein (about 17 percent of the daily need for a 150-pound person) and 4g fiber (up to 18 percent of a woman's daily need). Lightly salt and enjoy as a snack, add to a pasta salad, or bake with Parmesan. (Related: This Spicy Edamame and Jalapeño Salad Is the Opposite of a Sad Desk Salad)
Try it: Parmesan Baked Edamame from Angie Asche, M.S., R.D., owner of Eleat Sports Nutrition; Tortellini Lunchbox Salad from Liz Weiss, M.S., R.D.N., and Janice Newell Bissex, M.S., R.D.N., cofounders of MealMakeoverMoms.com
Cow's milk is one of the best foods with potassium, with a cup of milk offering between 322 and 446mg (depending on whether you drink whole, low-fat, or skim milk). One way to get a little more of the mineral: Choose milk produced in California, since the state's standards for the amount of calcium, potassium, vitamin D, and other vitamins and minerals milk must contain are higher than those in place federally. One brand that's available in several states is a2 Milk, with up to 510mg potassium per cup. It comes from cows lacking the A1 protein, which most cows have, and can cause gastrointestinal discomfort in some people—thus, people with milk sensitivities may be able to tolerate this type of milk. Drink milk as is, brew it with tea, or incorporate it into an egg or baked good recipe.
Try it: Masala Chai from Judy Barbe, R.D.N., author of Your 6-Week Guide to LiveBest
A nutrient powerhouse, this starchy veggie contains 377mg potassium per 1/2 cup (mashed), as well as plenty of eye-helping vitamin A. Bake and top with almond butter and cinnamon, or cook into a quiche recipe.
Try it: Sweet Potato Spinach Quiche from Kelli Shallal, M.P.H., R.D., author at HungryHobby.net
Along with being rich in cancer-fighting lycopene, tomatoes are one of the best foods with potassium, offering 427mg per cup (chopped). So it makes sense that when you further condense tomatoes by cooking them, you'll end up with even more potassium—549mg per 1/2 cup tomato purée. (Marinara sauce has a little less at 422mg per 1/2 cup.) Choose a low-sodium sauce when possible, like Victoria Premium Low Sodium Tomato Basil Premium Sauce, or make your own with this recipe from Shannon Garcia, M.D.S., R.D., blogger at KISS in the Kitchen. Then add to pasta or use in a mussels recipe.
Try it: Mussels Fra Diavolo from Lauren Harris-Pincus, M.S., R.D.N., owner of NutritionStarringYOU.com
Crunchy, fiber-rich pomegranate arils are delicious on their own or as a salad topper—and they provide 410mg potassium per cup. Although pomegranates are in season October through January, you can get the fruit's potassium year-round through juice, such as POM Wonderful (containing 600mg potassium per cup). Sip it, use it in a sauce or smoothie recipe, or use it to rehydrate dried fruit.
Try it: Pork Medallions with Pomegranate-Berry Sauce from Regan Jones, R.D., founding editor at HealthyAperture.com; Pomegranate, Grapefruit, Coconut Ginger Smoothie from Katie Cavuto, R.D., blogger at NourishBreatheThrive.com
One of the smallest foods with potassium, white beans contain 502mg of the nutrient in a 1/2 cup serving, as well as plenty of bone-helping calcium and iron. That's important for creation of hemoglobin, a protein that transports oxygen from the lung to the tissues. Add to a pasta recipe, or combine with butternut squash and broccoli.
Try it: Sun-Dried Tomato, White Bean Pasta with Pine Nuts and Garlic from Sarah Pflugradt, M.S., R.D.N., blogger at SalubriousRD.com; Butternut Squash with White Beans and Broccoli from Marie Dittmer, M.A., R.D., blogger at Healthy Ideas Place
This summer treat also doubles as one of the richest foods with potassium, offering 473mg potassium per cup (balled)—as well as more than 85 percent of your daily need for vitamin C. Incorporate into a fruit salad, or use as a topper for a green salad; the fruit's vitamin C will help you absorb iron from leafy greens.
Try it: Grilled Cantaloupe Salad with Blueberry Ginger Vinaigrette from Jenna Braddock, R.D.N., blogger at Make Health Easy
One of the most under-the-radar foods with potassium? Coconut. The liquid from the center of a young, green coconut provides 600mg potassium per cup, along with immunity-helping vitamin C and magnesium. Sip as is, or include in an ice pop recipe. (Related: The Science-Backed Health Benefits of Coconut Water)
Try it: Coconut Water and Fresh Berry Popsicles from Dena Norton, R.D., blogger at BacktotheBookNutrition.com
Providing up to 434mg potassium per 6 ounces plain (and 239mg for the same amount of plain Greek yogurt), this dairy also offers more than 20 percent of your daily need for calcium. Have it in a parfait, make a dip with it, or use as a replacement for butter or oil in a baked goods recipe.
Amy Gorin, M.S., R.D.N., is a registered dietitian nutritionist and owner of Amy Gorin Nutrition. She counsels private clients in Jersey City, NJ, and long distance. She's also a member of the Wonderful Health Consumer Advisory Board and a brand ambassador for The a2 Milk Company.