Most people get potassium via a healthy diet that is low in sodium and full of fruits and vegetables, however, if you exercise heavily or have high blood pressure, you may need additional potassium in your diet. Here are 10 high potassium foods that will help. Potassium is an electrolyte which aids in muscle, and high potassium foods facilitate heart and the kidney functions. It also helps to lower blood pressure, decreases the risk of a stroke, and increases the metabolism of carbohydrates and protein.
Potassium Deficiency: Hypokalemia
Hypokalemia is the term used for a potassium deficiency. Symptoms of hypokalemia include weakness, fatigue, heart irregularities, such as a slower or quickened heart beat, and even the loss of muscular coordination. The daily recommended intake for healthy adults from the United States Department of Health and Human Services (U.S. DHHS) is 4,700 milligrams (mg) or 4.7 grams per day.
One small banana packs 594 mg of potassium. Try including one in your cereal or low fat yogurt for a healthy, balanced breakfast.
One Cup of Carrot juice or raw carrots contains 689 mg of potassium. Have a glass as an afternoon snack or sprinkle some carrots on your lunchtime salad.
3. Baked Potato
Including skin, a baked potato has a whooping 1,081 mg of potassium. Bake one along with your roast chicken dinner.
Grab a handful for a mid-morning snack or mix them in with your salad or yogurt for some added flavor.
Cooked, not raw spinach, just one cup has 839 mg of potassium. Cook some up as side to any of your evening meals.
One small raw tomato or one cup of tomato sauce or tomato juice holds 909 mg of potassium. Pour some canned tomato sauce on your pasta, or switch out your morning orange juice for tomato.
7. Low Fat Plain Yogurt
8 ounces contains 579 mg of potassium. Mix in some bananas or raisins for a double dose of potassium.
8. Winter Squash
1 cup has 896 mg of potassium. Much like cooked spinach, cook this hearty vegetable up as a side to any dinner.
3 ounces of baked or broiled salmon contain 319 mg of potassium. Salmon is a heart healthy fish with a decent amount of potassium.
10. Cooked Lean Beef
3 ounces has 224 mg of potassium. Lean beef is the best red meat choice, and in addition to the potassium benefits, is a great source of protein.
Foods high in potassium are, in general, low in fat and calories, but it's always important to remember to stick with a healthy, balanced diet with everything in moderation. No matter what healthy eating plan you choose, it's always helpful to maintain a food journal to monitor all of the foods you eat to make sure you are staying on track and being honest with what you are really eating. Utilize the Fitday food journal to track not only your potassium intake, but to keep track of all other foods you are eating throughout the day.