Nutrition

7 Potassium-Containing Foods to Add to Your Grocery List

4 min read

Bananas may get all the credit—but these other foods are high in potassium, too.
Bananas may get all the credit—but these other foods are high in potassium, too.

Potassium: It doesn’t necessarily have the same kind of buzz as other minerals (here’s looking at you, magnesium), but it's just as important: We need potassium to support normal cell function, among other things. * (1, 2)

So yes—potassium plays a key role in our health, which is why it’s a good idea to aim to get enough through your daily diet. But while bananas get all the credit for their potassium content, the truth is that there are actually many other food sources out there—some even more so than bananas. In the end, it can be pretty easy for most of us to meet our recommended daily potassium goals—2,600 mg for women 19 and older, and 3,400 mg for men 19 and older—through diet alone. The trick, of course, is knowing where to find it. (1)

Below, find seven foods that contain potassium, rendering them worthy of a spot on your grocery list.

Bananas

Let's begin with what’s arguably the most familiar option for potassium-containing foods: bananas. One medium banana boasts 422 mg of potassium, which is about 9% of your daily value. And we probably don’t need to tell you that bananas make a great additions to smoothies and smoothie bowls, or that banana bread is a recipe always worth whipping up. And if you’re a banana purist, then by all means—eat them on their own as a satiating snack.* (1)

Sweet potato

One medium-sized, baked sweet potato has 541 mg of potassium, which is about 12% of your daily value. This root veggie also contains a good source of fiber. Slice them up and put them in the oven to make fries, serve them as a side dish, or make some hearty sweet potato "toast" and add your choice in toppings—savory or sweet.*

Dried apricots

Dried apricots are true MVPs where potassium-containing foods are concerned: Half a cup of this dried fruit provides a whopping 1,101 mg of potassium, or 23 percent of your daily value. That's more than two medium bananas combined, so keeping some on hand isn’t a bad idea—whether you enjoy them on their own, as a topping for oatmeal, or tossed into salads.* (1)

Spinach

Adding a handful of this leafy green to your morning smoothie is a no-brainer way to add extra potassium and nutrients to your diet. Two cups of raw spinach has 334 mg of potassium, or about 7 percent of your daily value. Spinach is also a good source of vitamin A and K, and folate. Needless to say—like other leafy greens, it delivers on nutrition. It doesn’t hurt that it’s incredibly versatile to boot. * (1)

Squash

One of our favorite, hearty vegetables for roasting, mashing, or adding to veggie chili, acorn squash clocks in at 644 mg of potassium per cup—14 percent of your daily value.* (1)

Prunes

Prunes have a reputation for helping out with digestion, but let’s give them some credit for their potassium content, okay? One cup of dried, pitted prunes has 1,274 mg of potassium, which is about 27 percent of your daily value. Prunes also contain other essential nutrients, including protein, fiber, vitamin A, and magnesium. Not sure how to eat them? Grabbing a few as a snack is one way to go, but you can also drink prune juice, add some to your morning oatmeal, or bake them into chocolate cake or muffins.*

Lentils

Lentils are nutritional superstars: In addition to providing a good amount of potassium (one cup of cooked lentils contains 661 mg, which is about 16 percent of your daily value), they’re also a good source for protein, fiber, magnesium and folate. Might we suggest using lentils to make some soup, as a starch in a macrobiotic bowl, or a veg-friendly addition to a curry At the grocery store, you'll also spot pastas made of lentil flour to use as a healthy and fulfilling alternative to regular pasta.*

References:

  1. “Office of Dietary Supplements - Potassium.” NIH Office of Dietary Supplements, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Retrieved from National Institutes of Health
  2. “The Role of Potassium and Sodium in Your Diet.” Retrieved from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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