Written By Liz Oakes
Eating potassium rich food may help you if you have health problems that may have been caused by the effects of low potassium food choices in your daily diet in the past.
This article concentrates on foods that contain potassium in medium to high amounts. There are some health problems caused by too much potassium and other problems by not enough potassium in your diet.
So it is important to know the state of your health regarding this mineral, before you deliberately increase or decrease food sources of potassium.
If you have or have had high blood pressure, by making dietary changes you may be able to ensure that in the future you lower your chances of having this health issue.
It is important to be aware that if you have any type of health issue it is always of value to check with your health professional. This ensures that you know for certain if eating extra of a particular nutrient will cause you problems or benefit you.
Note: If you have health issues with getting too much of this mineral, you will also be able to use the information below to know what to avoid.
The effect of low dietary potassium is becoming more common, and more people are suffering from high blood pressure and hypertension, and other health problems related to a low potassium diet.
The amount of potassium in the foods in the following tables are all shown for the same weight for each food group, yet if you look at some of them you become aware that you could eat much less of some due to the richness of particular foods compared to others.
It also does not take into consideration your usual habits, so it is necessary for you to see if you can weigh some of the foods to get an idea of how much your portion sizes may weigh.
Where possible the chart also shows how many cups of the foods makes up that amount of the food.
This may make it easier to calculate the value of the food. The usual RDA for potassium from all sources is up to 1.9g for children and up to 6grams for adults.
The charts below measure the amounts in food in mg, and as there are 1000mg to one gram, that means that the RDA is 1900mg for children and 6000mg for adults.
This does depend on if you have specific health problems that could mean you should be having a higher amount. You may be deficient if you are eating less than 1 gram daily for adults and less than .5g for children.
You can see that if you suffer from any of the potassium deficiency symptoms, why it is particularly valuable to add some of these foods into your diet.
If you have been feeling excessively fatigued and are under stress, you may have a greater need for more of this mineral.
Some specific health problems can increase the need for this mineral, including stress, salt induced hypertension, the symptoms of adrenal exhaustion, liver disease and athletic burnout.
If you are taking diuretics or other kidney or heart medications, it can be dangerous to increase your potassium, So check with your doctor if you are on medications of any sort.
You may notice when you look at the protein foods in the table below of potassium rich food, that fish are the highest food source of this mineral.
If you are not a fish eater, one way to increase the amount of this mineral in your diet could be to combine some of the potassium rich food from the vegetable section with the meat proteins to boost the amount in your meal.
As tomato paste is quite high, using a tablespoon of tomato paste or even tomato sauce on your meal will boost your potassium levels.
If you like Mexican food, you could use white beans or kidney beans along with ground beef, and some avocado in a side dish of guacamole.
This allows you to create an interesting and tasty meal that is quite high in this important nutrient.
Milk is a food high in potassium, but it is common for many people to avoid milk due to allergies.
If you are able to add in natural yoghurt, this is another potassium rich food that is highly beneficial and it may even help your allergies.
If you checkout the table below you can see that by eating one 225g tub of yoghurt you can boost your potassium intake very easily.
It also has an added advantage that it contains natural probiotics which are very helpful for your digestion.
If you suffer from health problems related to digestion such as leaky gut syndrome, ulcerative colitis or Crohn's Disease having probiotics every day will benefit you.
I have not included corn cereals in the table of cereals below as they are low potassium foods, but if you are on a diet where you need foods that are low in this mineral, they may be beneficial to add in.
Corn itself does contain some potassium but cornflour and corn cereals contain very low levels of this mineral.
When you are looking at how to increase potassium rich food, ensure you check the labels, as some companies enrich cereal with potassium.
As you can see in the table below, enriched rice is much higher as it has added vitamins and minerals.
You may notice that there are not many foods rich in this mineral amongst the cereals, and if you are on a gluten free diet such as a the diet for leaky gut or have Celiac disease, most gluten free cereals are low in potassium.
If you are gluten sensitive, this probably means it will be necessary for you to eat high potassium foods from some of the other food groups.
There are quite a few vegetables that are good sources, and if you check out the list below you will see that tomato paste leads the way. It is excellent used with beans in vegetarian and Mexican meals.
Tomato paste is such a useful item to have in the pantry as it has a strong flavor that can be used to add flavor to meat dishes.
Foods which contain tomato paste that have become popular include Italian foods, such as spaghetti bolognese sauce and pizza.
These are two of many popular meal ideas that have been exported from Italy, and which many of you probably enjoy along with many other tomato based meals.
Tomato paste can also be added to casseroles as even a tablespoon is going to help to boost your overall daily intake of potassium.
There are also many vegetarian protein sources on the list of foods with potassium, including many varieties of beans, such as soy and kidney beans.
Many of these foods are also high in vitamins, and you may notice that there are quite few orange colored foods on both the vegetable and fruit list, which contain Vitamin A, so will boost your intake of this vitamin.
If you have a deficiency of vitamin C, you may choose to use some of the foods high in Vitamin C as well, as it is beneficial to add foods that naturally good sources of specific nutrients to your diet.
These days it is possible to obtain many of these vegetables all year round as they are brought in from all over the country, as well as some being available frozen.
So there is no reason why you shouldn't be able to add many of these foods to your diet.
The fruits that are on the top of the potassium rich foods list are mostly dried fruits. One way to utilize the dried fruits is to have some on your breakfast each day.
Whether you're having a bowl of hot cereal in the winter, or a bowl of muesli in the summer it is a nice sweet addition that adds some of this mineral to your overall daily intake.
When fresh fruit is available it is both enjoyable to eat and is also full of vitamins, and enzymes as well as minerals.
Even though some of the fruits high in potassium on the list are seasonal, and may only be available for short periods, we can enjoy them when they are available and in between eat dried fruits instead.
When they are available think about using fresh bananas. Children generally like them and its good to know there is a good amount of this mineral in bananas.
Many people drink juice for its vitamin content and may be unaware that it also contains some.
Although you do have to take care with choosing what brand of frozen juice you use, it is much higher in it than freshly squeezed juice. This makes it an easy way to boost your potassium intake each day.
Many of the nuts contain good amounts of minerals and are high both in this mineral and other important ones as well.
You will also find many of the same nuts here are also on the list of foods containing zinc as well as being on the list of the foods rich in magnesium.
A good way to use nuts is to keep a container of them on your desk when you are working.
If you have some of the dried fruits from the potassium rich food list above combined with the nuts from the list below readily available, eating them may give you a quick energy boost when you need it.
Alternatively eat them on your morning or afternoon break, and give some to your children when they come home from school and can't wait for dinner. Its good to know they taste good and are high in many of the essential minerals.
There are quite a few books about potassium available and you may find it helpful to read more on this subject.
It is surprising that with the amount of potassium rich food available that there are deficiencies. If you have potassium deficiency symptoms it is valuable to ensure you eat some of these foods every day.
An alternative is to take potassium tissue salts, so check with your naturopath to see if they think this is beneficial for your specific health issues.
While doctors can give you supplements of this mineral, this must be handled with care as it is easy to take too much quite easily.
Supplements of both vitamins and minerals can contain this mineral, so check this when working out how much you are getting each day overall.
There are so many benefits of potassium that it is important to make sure that you manage your diet so that you get sufficient of this essential nutrient
Naturally increasing your potassium intake from your food is the most beneficial way to obtain this mineral where possible.