The richest food sources of potassium are fruits and vegetables. People who eat large amounts of fruits and vegetables have a high potassium intake (8-11 grams/day). (National Academies Press; 2004:173-246).
Listed below are some food sources high in potassium from the USDA National Nutrient Database.
Note the potassium content in bananas compared with tomato products. “Fresh” tomatoes from the supermarket are seldom picked ripe and can take weeks, even months, to reach the end consumer and are therefore unlikely to contain much potassium.
Tomato products, canned, paste, without salt added – 262g = 2657mg
Orange juice, frozen concentrate, unsweetened, undiluted – 213g = 1436mg
Beet greens, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt – 144g = 1309mg
Beans, white, mature seeds, canned 262g = 1189mg
Dates, deglet noor 178g = 1168mg
Potato, baked, flesh and skin, without salt – 202g (1 potato) = 1081mg
Spinach, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt – 180g = 839mg
Mushrooms, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt – 156g = 555mg
Bananas, raw – 150g = 537mg
Below are some references related to some of the health benefits of potassium.
These data support a protective relationship between consumption of fruit and vegetables-particularly cruciferous and green leafy vegetables and citrus fruit and juice-and ischemic stroke risk. (JAMA. 1999 Oct 6;282(13):1233-9).
These results support the hypothesis that alkaline-producing dietary components, specifically, potassium, magnesium, and fruit and vegetables, contribute to maintenance of bone mineral density. (Am J Clin Nutr. 1999 Apr;69(4):727-36).
These results support other evidence for an increase in potassium intake and indicate that potassium does not need to be given in the form of chloride to lower blood pressure. Increasing the consumption of foods high in potassium is likely to have the same effect on blood pressure as potassium chloride. (Hypertension. 2005 Apr;45(4):571-4. Epub 2005 Feb 21).
…high levels of dietary intake of potassium could provide the observed protection against the cardiovascular diseasesÂ that have plagued humankind since we began eating a modern high-sodium, low-potassium diet. (Am J Physiol. 1995 Apr;268(4 Pt 2):R825-37).
A lower blood serum potassium level in diuretic users, and low potassium intake in those not taking diuretics were associated with increased stroke incidence among older individuals. (Neurology. 2002 Aug 13;59(3):314-20).
In postmenopausal women, the oral administration of potassium bicarbonate at a dose sufficient to neutralize endogenous acid improves calcium and phosphorus balance, reduces bone resorption, and increases the rate of bone formation. (N Engl J Med. 1994 Jun 23;330(25):1776-81).
Potassium repletion in patients with diuretic-induced hypokalemia [low potassium levels] improves blood pressure control. An increase in potassium intake should be included in the nonpharmacologic management of patients with uncomplicated hypertension. (Am J Med Sci. 1997 Jul;314(1):37-40).
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