The Best Ways to Get More Potassium
Go beyond the banana.
When it comes to blood-pressure-helping potassium, there’s a lot of chatter about bananas as the go-to source. But why? A medium banana contains 422 milligrams of potassium, per the USDA National Nutrient Database. This comes out to 9% of the daily value, placing the fruit just shy of being a good source of potassium.
So should the banana be thought of the go-to food for giving you your fill of potassium? While it should certainly be one of them, many foods pack in even more potassium than a banana. Here are four that fit the bill.
A 1/2 cup of canned white beans contains 595 milligrams potassium, according to the USDA National Nutrient Database. “Not only is this nutritional powerhouse high in potassium, it is also packed with protein and fiber to help with weight management and gut health — and to help reduce risk of diabetes and heart disease,” says Lauren Harris-Pincus, MS, RDN, author of The Protein-Packed Breakfast Club. “White beans are fabulous in a salad, mixed with avocado, chopped veggies, and a citrus dressing.” You can also add them to a white bean and chicken chili, a white bean pizza, and white bean hummus.
Three cups of raw spinach offer 502 milligrams of potassium, per the USDA National Nutrient Database. “The spinach cooks down to about one cup, if you prefer to eat it that way,” says Alicia Blittner, MS, RDN, corporate nutritionist and employee wellness manager at FreshDirect. You also get immunity-helping vitamin C and plant-based iron (which helps to keep red blood cells healthy) from the spinach. Enjoy the leafy green in quick sautéed spinach, spinach lasagna and a lupini bean salad.
A medium baked potato boasts 542 milligrams of potassium, per the USDA National Nutrient Database. It offers many other nutritional benefits, too. The sweet potato is an excellent source of eye-benefitting vitamin A and vitamin C — and is a good source of cholesterol-helping fiber. “It also may help reduce inflammation and blood pressure,” says Harris-Pincus. “Sweet potatoes are so delicious when made into baked fries. I also love to make sweet potato toast and top it with peanut butter and raspberries.” Also add sweet potatoes to sweet potato salad and sweet potato cauliflower pizza or serve them roasted with honey and cinnamon.
Here’s a surprising source of potassium, with 534 milligrams in a 3-ounce serving, according to the USDA National Nutrient Database. “They also provide minerals like calcium, magnesium and zinc — as well as protein,” notes Harris-Pincus. “People who have trouble eating seafood two times per week can easily add canned clams to soup, pasta and rice dishes. One of my favorite go-to dinners is to combine whole-grain or bean-based pasta with marinara sauce, leftover roasted veggies and canned clams. The tomato sauce also offers potassium, so it's a potassium double whammy.” Canned clams are also a great addition to Manhattan clam chowder, pasta and clam pizza.
Amy Gorin, MS, RDN, is a registered dietitian nutritionist and owner of Amy Gorin Nutrition in the New York City area. She’s a regular contributor to many publications, including EverydayHealth.com, ReadersDigest.com, NBCNews.com, and more. She also pens a recipe-focused blog, Amy’s Eat List, where she shares easy, healthy recipes. Connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.