Are you getting enough potassium in your diet? If not, here are some potassium rich food sources to add to the dinner table.
Potassium is one of the most important minerals for regulating bodily functions. Not only does it play a critical role in cell regulation, but it also helps to regulate heart rhythm, muscle contractions, and normalize blood pressure. Studies have shown that getting enough dietary potassium may be one key to preventing high blood pressure. Even more importantly, when potassium levels drop too low from vomiting, diarrhea, or taking diuretics – serious consequences – even death – can result. Obviously, it’s important to make potassium a priority in your diet. What are some good food sources of potassium?
Best Fruit Sources
You may have heard that bananas are high in potassium – which it true – but bananas aren’t the only source of this important mineral. Apricots, cantaloupe, and dried prunes are also rich in potassium. Other good sources are grapes, cherries, oranges, nectarines, and figs. Don’t forget about the raisin! It may be high in sugar, but it’s one of the best sources of potassium around. To boost potassium levels naturally, enjoy a fruit salad for breakfast in the morning and wash it down with a cup of orange juice – another good source of this critical mineral.
Best Vegetable Sources
If fruit isn’t your thing, you can still boost potassium intake by eating vegetables. Artichokes, beets, Brussels sprouts, and spinach top the list of potassium rich veggies, but they’re no match for the baked potato which has 1081 milligrams. Don’t forget to eat the skin – that’s where the vitamins and minerals are most concentrated.
Nuts and Seeds
Nuts are another good source of potassium with hazelnuts, almonds, Brazil nuts, and pecans topping the list. Don’t forget about beans. A serving of lima beans has 855 mg. of easily absorbed potassium. Other good sources are kidney beans, pinto beans, and chickpeas. To boost your potassium levels and get a hefty dose of fiber at the same time, make a quick bean soup or bean salad for lunch.
Other Good Food Sources of Potassium
Wheat bran, wheat germ, and whole wheat pasta are all excellent sources of potassium. Try topping a serving of whole wheat pasta with artichokes in a warm yogurt sauce for a potassium-rich meal. Yogurt is another great source of this blood pressure friendly mineral.
One Word of Caution
If you have kidney disease or are taking a blood pressure medication, check with your doctor before eating large amounts of potassium. People with kidney disease have a difficult time eliminating potassium and some blood pressure medications cause the body to retain it. So, get your doctor’s okay before adding too many potassium-rich foods to your diet.