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.
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 (
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 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.
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.
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 (
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.
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.
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 (
Legumes such as lentils, chickpeas, soybeans, and peanuts are rich in potassium. Soaking or sprouting them before eating them may improve mineral absorption.
8. Tomato paste
Tomato paste is made from cooked tomatoes that have been peeled and seeded.
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.
9. Butternut squash
Butternut squash is a sweet-tasting winter squash. While technically a fruit, it’s cooked like a root vegetable.
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.
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.
How to peel potatoes
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.
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.
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 offer 14% of the DV for potassium, as well as sizable amounts of folate, fiber, protein, and vitamins C and K.
15. Fruit and vegetable juices
Drinking fruit and vegetable juices is another easy way to increase your potassium intake.
Some vegetable juices are also rich in this mineral.
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.
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.
A 1-cup serving (136 grams) of cooked yam provides more than twice as much potassium as a medium banana.
18. Salt substitutes
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 (
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 (
Many Western diets are low in potassium and high in sodium — two factors that can increase your risk of heart disease. However, eating foods from the list above may help you increase your potassium intake (
How much potassium do you need each day?
For most people, the recommended daily intake for potassium is 4,700 mg (
What foods have highest potassium?
Foods that are good sources of potassium include dried fruit, lentils, spinach, sweet potatoes, and orange juice (
What increases potassium quickly?
Adding potassium to the diet or taking supplements, if a doctor recommends, can increase your potassium levels.
What are the signs of low potassium?
Early symptoms of low potassium include constipation, fatigue, muscle weakness, a general feeling of being unwell. A more severe deficiency can lead to an increase in diluted urine, muscular paralysis, and changes in heart rhythm, among other symptoms (
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.