Potassium is a mineral that is essential for a balanced diet. According to research, it helps lower down blood pressure in people with hypertension and may decrease our risk of stroke. Frances Largeman-Roth, RDN, a New York Times bestselling author and nutrition expert in Brooklyn, New York says that potassium is necessary for maintaining normal blood pressure and keeps our heart beating regularly. Furthermore, potassium also helps regulate fluid balance, muscle contractions, and nerve signals, reduce water retention and prevent osteoporosis and kidney stones.
Check out below some of the best foods to try if we want to enjoy the numerous health benefits offered by potassium.
This creamy fruit is one of the best potassium-rich foods that we can add to our diet. One whole avocado can provide the body with 1,067 milligrams of potassium.
In a study, researchers found that people who ate avocados tended to have healthier diets overall, an increased nutrient intake, and a decreased likelihood of developing metabolic syndrome.
One of the most nutrient-dense vegetables around, spinach is a great addition to our meals. About three cups (100 grams) of raw spinach contain 558 mg of potassium while one cup (156 grams) of frozen spinach contains 540 mg of potassium. Aside from this, the leafy veggie is also loaded with vitamin A, vitamin K, folate, and magnesium. Scientific research also shows that spinach contains plant chloroplast glycoglycerolipids, which are believed to act as cancer-fighting agents.
This reddish-brown in color beans with a mild taste when boiled is loaded with essential nutrients that are important in the proper functioning of the body. Aside from being high in fiber, kidney beans are a great source of potassium, with more than 600 mg per cup. Add them into salads or mashing them up with salt and pepper to use as a burrito filling. Other beans high in potassium include lima beans, pinto beans, and white beans.
A cup of cooked Swiss chard contains 961 milligrams of potassium. This nutritional-powerhouse leafy green is also an excellent source of vitamins K, A, and C, as well as a good source of magnesium, iron, and dietary fiber. Consumption of it has been linked to a number of health benefits such as weight loss, lowered blood sugar levels, improved heart health, and bone health. We can enjoy its possible benefits by mixing it into salads or adding to pasta dishes, casseroles, soups, or stews.
Bananas are high energy snacks that have good amounts of potassium with more than 400 mg of potassium each. In addition to this, the curvy yellow fruit is also high in vitamin B6 and a good source of fiber and vitamin C as well as high in antioxidants that can provide protection from free radicals. It can help reduce swelling, protect against developing Type 2 diabetes, aid in weight loss, strengthen the nervous system, and help with the production of white blood cells.
Dried Fruits (Apricots, Peaches, and Figs)
When served dried, apricots are a great potassium-rich snack that can also satisfy a sugar craving. Just one cup of dried or dehydrated apricots can give the body with about one-third of the recommended daily potassium level, or about 1,500 mg. Dried peaches, raisins, or dried figs are also high in potassium. However, we should always opt for unsweetened dried fruit to avoid added sugar.