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Potassium Rich Foods Avocados, Bananas

February 21, 2012 by staff 

Potassium Rich Foods Avocados, Bananas, Potassium is an essential nutrient used to maintain fluid and electrolyte balance in the body. A deficiency in potassium causes fatigue, irritability, and hypertension (increased blood pressure). Overdose of potassium from natural sources is nearly impossible, however, it is possible to consume too much potassium via potassium salts which can lead to nausea, vomiting, and even heart attack. Potassium from natural food sources, like the ones listed below, are considered safe and healthy. The current recommended daily allowance for potassium is a whopping 3.5 grams, below is a list of high potassium foods.
#1: Dried Herbs
Long used for medicinal purposes, herbs are packed with nutrients and potassium is no exception. Dried Chervil contains the most potassium with 4.7g (135% RDA) per 100g serving, or 95mg (3% RDA) per tablespoon. It is followed by Dried Coriander (3% RDA) per Tblsp, Dried Parsley (2% RDA), Dried Basil, Dried Dill, Dried Tarragon, Ground Turmeric, Saffron, and finally Dried Oregano with 50mg (1% RDA).
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#2: Avocados
Avocados are great when made into guacamole or in a salad. 100 grams will provide 485mg of potassium or 14% of the RDA. That is 1.1g (32% RDA) in one cup pureed, and 975mg (28% RDA) in a single avocado (201 grams).

#3: Paprika and Red Chili Powder
Either paprika or red chili powder add a nice kick to any dish, and with all the potassium they provide you have good reason to start adding them. Paprika provides the most potassium with 2.3g (67% RDA) per 100 gram serving, or 164mg (5% RDA) per tablespoon. Chili powder will provide 1.9g (55% RDA) per 100 gram serving or 153mg (4% RDA) per tablespoon.
#4: Cocoa Powder and Chocolate
Dark chocolate is an excellent source of iron and zinc in addition to potassium. Pure cocoa powder without any fat, milk, or sugar, provides the most potassium with 1.5 grams (44% RDA) in a 100g serving, or 1.3g (37% RDA) per cup, and 76mg (2% RDA) per tablespoon. Unsweetened baking chocolate provides 830mg (24% RDA) per 100 gram serving or 241mg (7% RDA) per square. Most sweetened milk chocolates will provide around 272mg (11% RDA) per 100 gram serving, and 164mg (5% RDA) per bar (1.5oz).
#5: Dried Apricots, Prunes, Zante Currants, and Raisins
Most common as a snack, dried apricots and prunes can also be chopped and served in a salad. A good source of fiber and many other vitamins, apricots provide 1.9g (53%RDA) of potassium per 100g serving (about 20 dried apricots). Prunes provide 1g (30% RDA) per 100g serving, or 1.4g (40% RDA) per cup. Zante currants are really a type of grape and taste very similar to raisins. Zante currants provide 892mg (25% RDA) of potassium per 100g serving, or 1.3g (37% RDA) per cup. Raisins provide almost the same amount with 825mg (24% RDA) per 100 gram serving, or 1.2g (24% RDA) per cup.
#6: Pistachios and Other Nuts
Pistachios are a delicious snack, and a great addition to salads. 100 grams (~3/4cup) will provide 1g (30% RDA) of potassium. Other nuts high in potassium include Beechnuts (29% RDA per 100g), Ginko nuts (29% RDA), Chestnuts (28% RDA), Almonds (21% RDA), Hazelnuts (19% RDA), Cashews (18% RDA), Pine nuts (17% RDA), Coconuts (16% RDA), and Walnuts (15% RDA).

#7: Seeds (Pumpkin, Squash, Sunflower, and Flax)
A popular food in the Middle East and East Asia pumpkin and squash seeds contain about 919mg (26% RDA) of potassium per 100g serving, 588mg (17% RDA) per cup. If you can’t find these in your local supermarket you will surely find them in Middle Eastern or East Asian specialty stores. Alternatively, you can also save any pumpkin and squash seeds you have and roast them in your oven. The seeds are typically eaten by cracking the outer shell and eating the seed inside. Sunflower seeds are also a good source of potassium, providing 850mg (24% RDA) per 100 gram serving, or 1.1g (31% RDA) per cup. Flax seeds provide 813mg (23% RDA) of potassium per 100 gram serving, or 1.4g (39% RDA) per cup, and 81mg (2% RDA) per tablespoon.

#8: Fish (Pompano, Salmon, Halibut, Tuna)
Fish has many health benefits and is a great source of potassium. Pompano provides the most with 636mg (18% RDA) per 100 gram serving, or 540mg (15% RDA) per fillet (3 ounces, 85 grams). It is followed by Salmon which provides 534mg (15% RDA) per 3 ounce serving, Halibut, Yellow Fin Tuna, Lingcod, Mackerel, Anchovies, Herring, Cod, Snapper, Rockfish, Tilefish, Grouper, and finally Trout with 394mg (11% RDA) in a 3 ounce serinvg. Cooking fish with dry heat is the best way to preseve the potassium content.
#9: Beans
White beans provide the most potassium with 561mg (16% RDA) per 100 gram serving, 1g (29% RDA) per cup cooked. White beans are followed by Adzuki Beans, Soy Beans, Lima Beans, Pinto Beans, Kidney Beans, Great Northern Beans, Navy Beans, Pigeon Peas, Cranberry (Roman) Beans, French Beans, Lentils, Split Peas, Black Beans, Hyancinth, and finally Yardlong Beans with 539mg (15% RDA) per cup cooked.
#10: Dates (Medjool)
Dates are great as a snack, as an addition to fruits salads, or even savory stews. Medjool dates provide 696mg (20% RDA) per 100 gram serving, or 167mg (5% RDA) in a single date.
Health Benefits of Potassium
Osteoporosis Protection – Several studies have found a relation between increased bone density and increased intake of dietary potassium. These studies were true even for post menopausal women and older men.2-4
Reduced Risk of Stroke – Several observational studies have found that those with high potassium levels experience a lower risk of stroke. The health benefits are likely through reduction of blood pressure combined with a diet high in fruits and vegetables.5-9
Alleviation of High Blood Pressure (Hypertension) – Studies show that a diet high in potassium, especially potassium from fruits and vegetables, lowers blood pressure. This is especially true if the increase in potassium foods is not accompanied by an increase in high sodium foods. 10-12

People at Risk of a Potassium Deficiency
Alcoholics
People taking Diuretics – Especially thiazide or furosemide
People with severe vomiting or diarrhea
Anorexics or bulimics
People with a magnesium deficiency
People taking Certain Medications13,14
Beta-adrenergic agonists – Epinephrine
Decongestants – Pseudoephedrine, phenylpropanolamine
Bronchodilators – Albuterol, terbutaline, pirbuterol, isoetharine, fenoterol, ephedrine, isoproterenol, metaproterenol, theophylline
Tocolytic (labor suppressing) agents – Ritodrine, nylidrin
Diuretics – Acetazolamide, thiazides, chlorthalidone, indapamide, metolazone, quinethazone, bumetanide, ethacrynic acid, furosemide, torsemide
Mineralocorticoids – Fludrocortisone
Substances with mineralocorticoid effects – Licorice, carbenoxolone, gossypol
High-dose glucocorticoids
High-dose antibiotics – Penicillin, nafcillin, carbenicillin
Other – Caffeine, phenolphthalein, sodium polystyrene sulfonate

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