Bananas may be known as potassium-rich foods, but you can also get potassium from avocados, sweet potatoes, spinach, coconut water, and other delicious food and drinks.
Potassium is a vital mineral and electrolyte that your body needs to maintain normal blood pressure, transport nutrients into your cells, and support healthy nerve and muscle function (
It’s considered an essential nutrient because your body can’t produce it. Therefore, you must get potassium from foods to meet your recommended daily needs, also known as the Daily Value (DV) (
However, most people don’t get enough potassium through their diets. It’s estimated that less than 0.015% of American adults meet their daily potassium needs (
Since a medium banana contains around 9% of the DV for this mineral, most people consider it the go-to food to increase their potassium intake. However, bananas are not the only good source of potassium (
Here are 18 foods that pack more potassium than a banana.
Avocados are packed with healthy fats, vitamin K, and folate.
Half an avocado without the skin and seed (68 grams) contains 345 mg of potassium, or 7% of the DV. If you eat a whole avocado, you’ll get almost 15% of the DV at once (
What’s more, avocados may benefit people with high blood pressure, who often need to increase their potassium and reduce their sodium intake. Like most other fruits, avocados are low in sodium, with half an avocado providing just 0.2% of the DV (
Avocados are packed with nutrients, and one avocado provides roughly 15% of your daily potassium needs. They’re also rich in vitamin K and folate.
Sweet potatoes are often used as an alternative to white potatoes.
They’re an exceptionally nutritious way to support your potassium intake. A 1-cup (328-gram) serving of mashed sweet potato boasts 16% of the DV (
What’s more, sweet potatoes are low in fat, offer a small amount of protein, and are a good source of complex carbs and fiber.
They’re also an excellent source of vitamin A, which is critical for vision. The same serving of sweet potatoes provides more than 200% of the DV of vitamin A (
For a balanced and filling meal, you can pair these delicious root vegetables with a protein source such as beans or meat, some dark greens or colorful vegetables, and a little fat.
Sweet potatoes boast 16% of the DV for potassium in just 1 mashed cup (328 grams), plus some protein, fiber, and vitamin A.
Spinach is one of the most nutrient-dense vegetables.
Just 1 cup (190 grams) of frozen spinach packs 12% of the DV for potassium. Similarly, about 3 cups (90 grams) of raw spinach contain roughly 11% of the DV (
It’s also loaded with other nutrients. The same serving of frozen spinach contains 127% of the DV for vitamin A, 857% for vitamin K, 58% for folate, and 37% for magnesium (
Spinach provides about 12% of the DV for potassium per 1 cup (190 grams) frozen or 3 cups (90 grams) fresh. This vegetable also offers folate, magnesium, and vitamins A and K.
Watermelon is a large, delicious fruit with high water content.
Just 2 wedges (about 1/8 of a melon, or 572 grams) provides just under 14% of the DV for potassium (
The same serving also contains 44 grams of carbs, 3.5 grams of protein, 0.8 grams of fat, and 2.2 grams of fiber. What’s more, this lush, red melon is a great source of magnesium and vitamins A and C (
Watermelon is a tasty summertime fruit that provides about 14% of the DV for potassium in just 2 wedges. It also offers several other vitamins and minerals.
Coconut water is a particularly hydrating drink.
It’s an excellent natural alternative to sports drinks, as it contains key electrolytes that help draw water into your cells. Its natural sugars also provide energy during exercise and help replenish lost glycogen stores afterward (
Just 1 cup (240 mL) of coconut water contains 13% of the DV for potassium. Plus, it’s a good source of magnesium, sodium, and manganese (
Coconut water is very refreshing when served chilled with ice after a sweaty workout. Just make sure to avoid varieties with added sugar.
Coconut water is not only a great hydrating drink but also an excellent source of potassium, containing 13% of the DV in just 1 cup (240 mL). It’s also a good source of magnesium, sodium, and manganese.
Beans are a nutritious source of complex carbs and plant-based protein.
Just 1 cup (179 grams) of white beans has twice as much potassium as a banana, clocking in at a whopping 21% of the DV. The same serving of black beans provides 13% of the DV (
While black beans contain phytates — an antinutrient that may reduce your body’s mineral absorption — you can soak dried beans overnight to help reduce their phytate content, as this compound will leach into the water (
Both white and black beans are incredibly versatile and easy to add to salads, burritos, and stews.
Beans are a terrific source of potassium. While white beans pack more potassium than black beans, both are delicious ways to add more of this mineral to your diet.
Aside from beans, the legume family includes lentils, chickpeas, soybeans, and peanuts — all of which are high in potassium.
For instance, a 1-cup (198-gram) serving of lentils packs 15% of the DV for the mineral, while the same serving of chickpeas, soybeans, and peanuts provide 10%, 19%, and 23% of the DV, respectively (
Certain legumes, such as lentils and chickpeas, contain phytates. Therefore, remember to soak them overnight to reduce their phytate content. You can also try sprouting them (
Legumes such as lentils, chickpeas, soybeans, and peanuts are rich in potassium. Soaking or sprouting them before eating them may improve mineral absorption.
Tomato paste is made from cooked tomatoes that have been peeled and seeded.
Just 3 tablespoons (50 grams) contain more than 10% of the DV. Tomato paste is also a good source of vitamin C and lycopene, a potent antioxidant with cancer-fighting properties (
This concentrated condiment adds flavor to all tomato-based sauces and dishes, but watch out for products that have added sugars, additives, or preservatives. You may want to pick the product with the fewest ingredients.
Tomato paste not only enriches the taste of your food but also provides ample amounts of potassium. Just 3 tablespoons (50 grams) pack around 10% of the DV.
Butternut squash is a sweet-tasting winter squash. While technically a fruit, it’s cooked like a root vegetable.
Just 1 cup (205 grams) provides 12% of the DV for potassium. It’s also a great source of vitamins A and C and has smaller amounts of B vitamins, vitamin E, and magnesium (
You can easily roast, boil, steam, or chop butternut squash for dishes such as baked veggies or hearty soups.
Butternut squash is a great source of potassium, boasting 12% of the DV in a single cup (205 grams).
Potatoes are a starchy root vegetable that remains a staple food in numerous countries.
One medium boiled potato (167 grams) offers 12% of the DV for potassium (
However, there are many varieties of potatoes, and their potassium content may depend on the soil in which they’re grown.
Potatoes are rich in potassium and are a staple in many households. One medium spud typically provides 12% of the DV for this mineral.
Dried apricots have a long shelf life and are usually pitted. Just 1/2 cup (65 grams) provides 16% of the DV for potassium (
These fruits are also a good source of fiber and vitamins A and E (
Dried apricots are delicious mixed into muesli or as a healthy snack for hikes or camping trips.
Dried apricots are a great alternative to bananas for a potassium boost. Just 1/2 cup packs 16% of the DV, as well as fiber and vitamins A and E.
Swiss chard, also known as silverbeet or simply chard, is a leafy green vegetable with a thick stalk that ranges from red to orange to white in color.
It’s also highly nutritious. Just 1 cup (175 grams) of cooked chard offers 20% of the DV for potassium — more than double the potassium in a banana (
The same serving packs 476% of the DV for vitamin K and 60% of the DV for vitamin A, all while being low in calories and high in fiber (
Swiss chard makes a delicious base for salads and is easy to steam or saute with a little oil.
Swiss chard contains more than twice as much potassium per cooked cup (175 grams) as a banana — about 20% of the DV.
Just 1 cup (170 grams) of boiled beets gives you 11% of the DV for potassium (
Plus, this root vegetable contains nitrates, which have been shown to support blood vessel function and overall heart health when converted into nitric oxide in your body (
Beets are also an excellent source of folate — a vitamin needed for DNA synthesis and repair — with 1 boiled cup (170 grams) providing 34% of the DV (
You can eat beets boiled, pickled, or raw.
Beets provide 11% of the DV for potassium per boiled cup (170 grams). They’re also a good source of folate and contain nitrates, which have been shown to support heart health.
Pomegranates are an extremely healthy, many-seeded fruit that vary in color from red to purple. One whole fruit (282 grams) gives you 14% of the DV for potassium (
Moreover, pomegranates are packed with folate and vitamins C and K. They also pack more protein than most other fruits, at 4.7 grams per fruit (282 grams) (
Pomegranates offer 14% of the DV for potassium, as well as sizable amounts of folate, fiber, protein, and vitamins C and K.
Drinking fruit and vegetable juices is another easy way to increase your potassium intake.
Citrus juices seem to provide the most potassium (
For example, 1 cup (240 mL) of 100% orange juice offers about 10% of the DV for potassium, while the same serving of grapefruit juice provides 9% of the DV (
Juices from potassium-rich fruits such as pomegranates are also great alternatives. A 1-cup (240-mL) serving of pomegranate juice packs 11% of the DV (
Some vegetable juices are also rich in this mineral.
For instance, 1 cup (240 mL) of carrot juice boasts 15% of the DV, and the same serving of tomato juice provides 10% of the DV (
Fruit and veggie juices such as orange, grapefruit, pomegranate, carrot, and tomato juice all provide 9% or more of the DV for potassium in 1 cup (240 mL).
Certain lean and fatty fish offer potassium.
For example, just half a fillet (154 grams) of cooked cod provides 12% of the DV, and a whole fillet (150 grams) of haddock offers 11% (
Similarly, half a fillet (154 grams) of cooked salmon has a whopping 21% of the DV, and the same serving of tuna boasts 17% of the DV (
In addition, fatty fish such as salmon and tuna are rich in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, which may further reduce your risk of heart disease (
Various lean and fatty fish species are excellent potassium sources. In addition, omega-3s in fish such as salmon and tuna may help reduce heart disease risk.
Yams are starchy tubers popular in South America, Western Africa, and the Caribbean. They’re very similar to yucca or cassava, but their flesh varies in color from yellowish-white to purple or pink.
Yams also happen to be rich in potassium, with 1 cooked, cubed cup (136 grams) providing 19% of the DV (
A 1-cup serving (136 grams) of cooked yam provides more than twice as much potassium as a medium banana.
Salt substitutes were designed to help reduce sodium intake, because excess salt consumption may lead to high blood pressure (
These substitutes replace sodium with another element or mix of elements — typically potassium — to reduce heart disease without reducing perceived salt intake or diminishing the taste (
Unlike regular salt, which is 100% sodium chloride, salt substitutes may be composed of 65% sodium chloride, 25% potassium chloride, and 10% magnesium sulfate. Others may offer 100% potassium chloride, which packs 11% of the DV in just 1 gram (
However, keep in mind that people with kidney or liver disease may need to avoid salt substitutes that are high in potassium (43).
Salt substitutes consisting of 100% potassium chloride provide 11% of the DV for the mineral in a single gram.
Like other vitamins and minerals, potassium is a micronutrient, meaning that you need to consume it only in small amounts — think milligrams (mg).
As previously mentioned, vitamin and mineral needs are measured according to their Daily Values (DV), the recommended amounts to consume per day (
The DV for potassium for healthy individuals is 4,700 mg. You can consume this amount by following a wholesome, varied diet (
Although Western diets are often low in potassium and high in sodium — two factors that can increase your risk of heart disease — eating foods from the list above may help you easily increase your potassium intake (
The DV for potassium for healthy individuals is 4,700 mg, which you can reach by following a balanced diet.
Although bananas are a good source of potassium, many other nutritious foods, including sweet potatoes, legumes, and beets, offer more potassium per serving. Swiss chard, yams, and white beans even have twice as much potassium per cup as a medium banana.
The key to getting enough potassium is to eat a range of plant foods each day. Certain fish, such as salmon, tuna, and cod, are good animal-based sources of this mineral too.
Just one thing
Try this today: If you want to increase your potassium intake on a budget, focus on legumes like beans or veggies like potatoes, which provide plenty of potassium at a low cost.