Potassium is a natural mineral that may help reduce high blood pressure, prevent muscle cramps and maintain overall heart health, reports the American Heart Association. The average person needs about 4,700 milligrams of potassium each day, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Dietary Guidelines. It may sound like a lot, but potassium is found in a variety of basic foods, making it easier to increase potassium intake.
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The best source of potassium comes from vegetables, according to the USDA, especially potatoes and greens. A large, whole baked regular or sweet potato contains about one-fourth of a person's daily recommended intake of potassium (about 1,300 milligrams). Other potassium-rich vegetables include cooked winter squash (with nearly 750 milligrams of potassium per one cup), cooked spinach (nearly 420 milligrams per 1/2 cup serving) and tomato sauce (405 milligrams per 1/2 cup serving).
Bananas are the best fresh fruit source of potassium with about 400 milligrams per medium banana, states the USDA. The other fruits that contain the highest amounts of potassium are dried fruits, rather than fresh, according to the American Heart Association. Dried peaches, apricots, raisins and prunes contain nearly the same amount of potassium as fresh bananas.
Several varieties of beans and legumes are rich in potassium. One cup of lima beans or edamame (Asian soybeans) has about one-fourth of daily potassium needs. Canned white beans have about 600 milligrams of potassium for every half-cup serving. Kidney beans and lentils each contain about 400 milligrams of potassium for a half-cup serving, making them a good potassium source, states the USDA.
Of all dairy products, plain yoghurt contains the most amount of potassium, according to the USDA. An 227gr container of plain, low-fat yoghurt has nearly the same amount of potassium as an entire sweet potato or serving of beans. Non-fat and low-fat milk and buttermilk are also rich in potassium, with nearly 400 milligrams per one cup serving.
Seafood is a richer source of potassium than meats and poultry. A 85.1gr serving of canned clams has as much potassium as an 227gr container of plain, low-fat yoghurt. Halibut is another seafood that is rich in potassium. It has nearly 500 milligrams per 85.1gr serving, states the USDA. Other seafood potassium sources include tuna, cod and trout, which all have between 350 and almost 500 milligrams of potassium.
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