Got Potassium?

Friday, December 10, 2010

 

Question: My mother-in-law is looking for a source of potassium other than bananas. Any suggestions?

Answer: When most folks think about adding extra potassium to their diet, the first thing they think about is eating more bananas. Yes, bananas are a good source of potassium, but there are plenty of other great sources of the mineral (some even higher than a banana!).

What is Potassium?
Potassium is a mineral electrolyte that’s very important for the body’s growth and maintenance. It’s crucial for water and pH balance within the body and plays a role in muscle contractions and heart and brain function.

Fortunately, most folks get enough potassium from a well-balanced diet with lots of fruits and veggies and fortified foods. Those on certain medications (like water pills) or who are following special diets (like the DASH diet for high blood pressure) may need an extra boost of potassium. If you’re looking to add potassium, it’s suggested to do so by increasing potassium-rich foods as opposed to popping a supplement (unless directed by a registered dietitian of doctor).

Potassium-Rich Foods
The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of potassium is a maximum of 3,500 milligrams per day. Fruits and veggies are one of the top sources of potassium. Below is a list of potassium-rich foods:

  • 1 cup of raisins = 1,089 milligrams potassium (31% of daily recommendation)
  • 1 avocado = 900 milligrams potassium (26% of daily recommendation)
  • 1 potato = 844 milligrams potassium (24% of daily recommendation)
  • 1 cup cooked pinto beans = 800 milligrams potassium (22% of daily recommendation)
  • 1 papaya = 781 milligrams potassium (22% of daily recommendation)
  • 1 cup prune juice = 707 milligrams (20% of daily recommendation)
  • 1 cup tomato juice = 535 milligrams (15% of daily recommendation)
  • 1 sweet potato = 508 milligrams (14% of daily recommendation)
  • 1 cup diced cantaloupe = 494 milligrams (14% of daily recommendation)
  • 1 cup orange juice = 472 milligrams (13% of daily recommendation)
  • 1 banana = 467 milligrams (13% of daily recommendation)

 
 Milk is another source of potassium with 1 cup of skim milk containing 407 milligrams (12% of the daily recommendation).

TELL TOBY: What’s your favorite source of potassium?

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2 Comments on “Got Potassium?



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