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. Your daily need of the nutrient is 4,700 milligrams (mg). We all know bananas as a potassium source, with 422 mg per medium fruit. But you may be surprised that many foods contain around the same amount, if not more. So add these potassium-containing foods to your plate, pronto!
This guacamole star 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.
All cow’s milk provides 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 that most cows have, which 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.
4. Sweet Potato
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.
5. Tomato Purée
Rich in cancer-fighting lycopene, tomatoes offer quite a bit of potassium with 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.
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 re-hydrate dried fruit.
7. White Beans
A 1/2 cup serving of these beans contains 502mg potassium, 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.
This summer treat offers 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.
This shellfish contains 534mg potassium per 3 ounces cooked, as well as 13 percent of a premenopausal woman’s daily need for iron. Mix with noodles, or use as a pizza topper.
10. Coconut Water
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.
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.