Potassium is one of the vital nutrients which is essential for maintaining proper fluid and electrolyte balance in the body. When derived from natural food sources, these nutrients are considered to be quite safe and healthy. The average daily consumption of potassium in an adult must be around 4,700 mg. Doing so not only ascertains proper functioning of the skeletal and muscular systems, but it also regulates blood pressure thereby ensuring the overall well being.
It is a well-known fact that bananas are the most common source of potassium. Apart from this fruit, a wide range of consumable products are hosts to this wonderful nutrient.
Potassium Rich Foods
Here are the top ten high potassium foods:
Salmon is one of the richest sources of potassium in seafood. This fish is also considered to be vital for maintaining a healthy heart. Some of the other seafood that contains potassium is cod, sardines and flounder
All meats, apart from being a powerhouse of protein contain varying amounts of potassium. Regular consumption of meats like chicken, turkey, beef, pork, bacon etc. can help in getting rid of potassium deficiency, if any.
Eggs contain a small amount of potassium too. One large egg contains around 70 mg of potassium. Those looking to eliminate fat from their diet and still gain the benefits of this mineral can do so by consuming the whites of the egg only.
4. Dairy products:
Dairy products such as low fat yogurt are a good source of potassium. A cup of yogurt provides the same amount of potassium as banana.
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4. Acorn Squash:
Acorn squash is a winter squash with a sweet yellowish-orange flesh. This vegetable is most commonly baked but can also be sautéed or steamed. This delicious vegetable is a good source of potassium apart from some other essential vitamins and minerals.
Tomatoes, carrots and green leafy vegetables like spinach are a few of the vegetables which have valuable amounts of potassium in them. For availing the maximum health benefits from these vegetables it is prudent to consume them raw in the form of juices or salads, than cooked.
It is a widely accepted fact that among fruits, bananas are the most potassium-rich. This fruit which is favoured by all age groups is a good source of dietary fiber as well and aids in proper muscular contraction. Kiwis have more vitamin than oranges and identical amount of potassium as bananas.
The usage of nuts like almonds, peanuts, cashew nuts, pistachios, peanuts, hazelnuts, walnuts and dried apricots in food everyday is one way of enriching the body with potassium. These nuts also contain good amounts of omega-3 fatty acids which help to maintain healthy skin, hair and nails. You can avail the benefits of these nuts by either sprinkling a few in your morning bowl of cereal or by grabbing a handful for a mid-morning snack.
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Potatoes though best known for their carbohydrate content also contain significant amounts of potassium in them which fuels the proper functioning of cells in the body. When baked and consumed with their skin, they are also a good source of fiber. Bake them directly on a gas or over a tawa, add a pinch of salt and savour this starchy vegetable with for all its goodness!
Beans are considered to be an excellent source of potassium. White beans with 561mg of potassium per 100g contain the highest amount of this mineral among all the other beans. Some of the other beans which contain potassium are lima beans, kidney beans, and pinto beans.
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Soy chunks are excellent alternatives for meat. They are not only a good source of potassium but extremely fibrous as well. It is prudent to include plenty of soy-based products like soy sauce, soy milk, tofu etc. in your daily diet.
These are of course that the only foods rich is potassium but they contain the highest amounts among all the sources.
Risks involved in the injudicious intake of potassium:
Too much or too little of this mineral in the body may lead to untoward health consequences.
- ‘Hyperkalemia’ is a condition caused by excessive intake of potassium. This can lead to a breakdown in the functioning of the red blood cells, cause injury to the muscular tissues or spiral diabetes out of control.
- ‘Hypokalemia’ is a condition caused by insufficient intake of potassium. This is characterized by a mild tingling sensation in the arms or legs, nausea, excessive bloating, abdominal cramping or constipation.
- Potassium supplements need to be consumed only when prescribed by a doctor.