Diet and Nutrition

Potassium Rich Foods

Written by
Dr. Divya Banu M
and medically reviewed by Sumiya Sulthana

19 Aug 2019  -  3 min read

Abstract

Abstract

Potassium helps in maintaining blood pressure and is obtained through outside sources. Apart from bananas, many other foods are rich in potassium.

Potassium Rich Foods

Potassium is a mineral like calcium, sodium, which has to be taken from outside sources and it is the third most abundant mineral present in the body. Almost 90 % of potassium is present in the cells of the body and out of this, 80 % can be seen in the cells of the muscles and the rest 20 % can be seen in bones, red blood cells, and liver.

Some foods specifically provide this mineral and this article will cover this. Before knowing about the food sources, it is important to know the following basic questions about potassium:

How much do I need?

The recommended quantity of potassium per day is 4,700 mg. It can differ for various people with different conditions. For people with kidney disease, it is advisable to get less than the recommended quantity as the improper functioning of the kidney can lead to retention of potassium in the body and thus can cause nerve and muscle problems in the body. Hence, consult your physician regarding the recommended quantity of potassium.

Why is potassium needed?

Mainly, it is associated with maintaining blood pressure via the following two ways:

1.Kidney functioning: It helps in the removal of extra sodium from the body via urine. This is beneficial as too much sodium in the body can lead to an increase in high blood pressure.

2.Potassium helps in the relaxation of the walls of blood vessels. When the walls of blood vessels are tight, it can lead to an increase in blood pressure, which in turn can cause heart problems in you. Hence, potassium is good for your heart.

It also helps in maintaining muscle tone as it makes the muscles contract and relaxes the way they are supposed to.

Even, nerves need potassium for proper functioning as to give away the signals, there has to be a migration of sodium and potassium in and out of the nerve membrane.

Its other main action is as an electrolyte and therefore, it helps to regulate fluid balance in the body.

It can prevent strokes as studies show that those who ate potassium the most were at a lower risk of stroke.

It can also be useful in preventing osteoporosis as studies show that a potassium-rich diet can reduce the amount of calcium the body loses via urine.

It may also help in preventing kidney stones and can reduce the retention of water.

Food rich in potassium:

Since we have had an idea about potassium now, let’s go ahead with which food can provide you with it. Many of your daily foods contain potassium but you may not be taken adequately. Hence, to boost your potassium levels, some specific foods can be taken.

•The following fresh fruits and vegetables are a good source of potassium:

1.Oranges, bananas, dry fruits like dates, raisins.

2.Spinach and broccoli that are cooked.

3.Sweet potatoes.

4.Peas.

5.Mushrooms.

6.Cucumbers.

7.Pumpkins.

8.Green leafy vegetables.

•Some juices like the following are also a good source:

1.Orange juice.

2.Grapefruit juice.

3.Tomato juice.

4.Apricot juice.

•The following dairy products are also an amazing source of potassium:

1.Milk and curd or yogurt (low-fat or fat-free are advisable).

•The following fishes can also be taken:

1.Tuna.

2.Cod.

3.Rockfish.

4.Halibut.

5.Cod.

•The following beans and legumes can also be taken:

1.Kidney beans.

2.Soybeans.

3.Lentils.

4.Lima beans.

5.Pinto beans.

•Apart from all the above, the following are also known to be a good source of potassium:

1.Some substitutes of salt.

2.Nuts.

3.Molasses.

4.Poultry.

5.Meat.

6.Brown rice.

7.Wild rice.

8.Bran cereal.

9.Pasta.

10.Whole-wheat bread.

When can you notice more or less potassium in the body?

A decrease in potassium content of the body can occur in situations like chronic vomiting or diarrhea or in situations where you have lost a lot of water from the body.

Excess of potassium can occur when the body is unable to excrete potassium like in cases of kidney diseases. Hence, patients suffering from kidney diseases should be cautious with potassium intake.

Since potassium is one of the important minerals in the body, it is mandatory to take this mineral in adequate quantity. To get more details regarding this you can consult a physician and this is easier with the help of online medical platforms.

Last reviewed at:
19 Aug 2019  -  3 min read

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