- Potassium is an electrolyte and essential mineral that cannot be made by the human body. This means that our daily potassium intake must primarily come from potassium-rich foods.
- Bananas are most famous for their potassium content, but there are many other foods with more potassium than bananas (good news if you don’t like bananas). For instance, potatoes and avocados have high potassium levels.
- The recommended daily intake of potassium is around 3,000 milligrams on average but should be higher if you’re pregnant, breastfeeding, fighting a chronic illness, or extremely active.
When you think about potassium, you may connect it with two very different things: bananas and cramps.
Potassium is often recommended to help relieve cramps, but its role in the body is much more complex. In fact, almost every organ and system in your body needs potassium to function.
Potassium is an electrolyte and essential mineral for the body that helps us to maintain healthy fluid levels. It also helps regulate blood sugar and keep our muscle contractions in check (hello, all-natural cramp reliever).
One fun fact about potassium is that it’s actually in lots of different foods (plot twist for banana enthusiasts and haters alike). There are many everyday foods that have even more potassium than bananas.
Let’s explore how to get adequate potassium in your diet—and which potassium-rich foods you need to reach your goals (besides bananas).
Table of Contents:
- What Is Potassium?
- Potassium Benefits
- Potassium on a Cellular Level
- Do You Need More Potassium?
- What Is Potassium Toxicity?
- What Food Has More Potassium than a Banana?
- How to Incorporate Potassium-Rich Foods Into Your Diet
- Meet Your Recommended Daily Potassium Intake with Ease
What Is Potassium?
As a mineral and an electrolyte, there’s a lot to love about potassium. On a cellular level, potassium helps to balance the fluids that come in and out of our cells. On a physical level, potassium helps to take charge of our blood pressure and keep our blood sugar levels in check (and those are just a few benefits of potassium!).
Your body can’t produce potassium on its own, so your daily potassium intake (around 3,000 milligrams) must come from food sources.
Potassium is a powerhouse mineral working behind the scenes to make sure your body is ready for both summer athletics and everyday life.
Here are just a few benefits of potassium:
- Nervous system function
- Heart health and blood pressure regulation
- Fluid retention
- Helps boost bone mineral density
- Naturally balances hormones
- Regulates muscle contractions, stopping cramps in their tracks
Potassium on the Cellular Level
Craving a banana or some coconut water? That’s because your cells need potassium in order to thrive. Potassium carries an electric current—carrying fluid in and out of the cell. This simple function helps our bodies transmit nerve signals, regulate our heartbeat, and keep our hormones in check.
Pro tip: Heart palpitations can occur when hormones or minerals (like potassium) are imbalanced. That’s how crazy important potassium is for the body. Of course, this could be a serious symptom, so make sure you talk to your healthcare provider to rule out any immediate health concerns.
Do You Need More Potassium?
Most likely, yes. With many packaged and processed foods replacing nourishing homemade meals, potassium deficiency is becoming extremely common yet still very overlooked.
Clever marketing might try to convince you there’s enough potassium and other vital nutrients in fortified cereals and protein bars, but don’t believe it. The potassium hanging out in your processed food is not the same kind you’ll get from avocado, banana, or coconut!
If you’re pregnant, nursing, extremely athletic, or struggling with a chronic illness, you may need more than the average dose of potassium. Heavy physical activity or stress can rapidly deplete potassium stores, which means it’s important to pay attention to your body’s signals. Cramps, weakness, and abnormal heart rhythm are all symptoms of potassium deficiency.
What Is Potassium Toxicity?
Although rare, potassium toxicity is extremely dangerous. It typically happens in people with low kidney function, who can’t flush excess potassium out of their bloodstream.
If you struggle with kidney disease, have low kidney function, are on dialysis, have adrenal insufficiency or heart issues, it’s extremely important to get your potassium levels checked with your doctor, especially before leveling up your potassium intake or taking a supplement.
What Food Has More Potassium than a Banana?
How much potassium is in bananas? About 400 milligrams. But there are actually quite a few foods that have more potassium than bananas, which is good news for those who want to diversify their plate.
Here are 8 easy foods that have more potassium than bananas:
1. Sweet Potatoes
Enjoy them in crunchy chip form, mashed in a healthy casserole, or roasted with other root veggies. Sweet potatoes contain close to 500 milligrams of potassium, depending on the size of your potato.
This sweet summer snack is extremely refreshing on a hot day—and it could be partially due to the potassium content (Cheers to easy electrolytes!). About two watermelon slices contain a whopping 600 milligrams of potassium.
No more hating on avocado toast — avocados have more potassium than a banana (between 600 and 800 milligrams). They’re also a great source of magnesium, and fat-soluble vitamins C, K, and E.
4. Sunflower Seeds
Is it a coincidence that sunflower seeds are the go-to snack for baseball players? Delicious and packed full of potassium, sunflower seeds contain about 900 milligrams of potassium per cup. They also contain sodium (important for a sodium-potassium balance), linoleic acid, and antioxidants.
5. Prunes and Other Dried Fruits
This sweet treat is packed full of fiber, vitamins, and potassium—with one cup of prunes accounting for almost 1,300 milligrams. That’s nearly half the recommended daily intake of potassium. Just be careful not to eat too many prunes in one go, as you could find yourself running to the bathroom…
6. Wild-Caught Alaskan Salmon
Get a healthy dose of fatty acids, protein, and potassium by incorporating more salmon into your diet. Salmon contains about 500 milligrams of potassium per filet.
Pro tip: If you live where fresh salmon isn’t readily available, you may be able to substitute with local river fish, like steelhead trout. While steelhead trout contains slightly less potassium, it still packs a heavy nutritional punch and comes with even more fatty acids.
7. Cooked or Boiled Spinach
Yep, cooked spinach contains more minerals than raw spinach. This is because of a component called oxalic acid (which binds with minerals, lowering absorption). When cooked, that component is removed and minerals like potassium, magnesium, and calcium become more readily available. When cooked or boiled, spinach contains about 800 milligrams of potassium. Maybe Popeye was really on to something!
8. Coconut Water
A refreshing summer drink and delicious addition to your poolside mocktail, just one cup of coconut water contains more potassium than a banana (around 500 milligrams!). This is a great all-natural substitute for electrolyte drinks that are packed full of sugar, preservatives, and synthetic nutrients.
How to Incorporate Potassium-Rich Foods into Your Diet
Think you need more potassium-rich foods in your diet? You’re probably right. Here are some creative ways to get more potassium in your diet without the extra hassle.
Make a Mineral-Rich Adrenal Cocktail with Extra Potassium
Adrenal cocktails are taking the internet by storm—as many people began to experience the powerful benefits of potassium and vitamin C.
Vitamin C is a super nutrient that—when combined with other minerals—can help those minerals to absorb better. Essentially, when you combine orange juice and coconut water, you have an extra nutritious dose of potassium. If you’re not an orange juice fan, you can also try combining coconut water and fresh squeezed lime juice for a refreshing and potassium-forward spin on the traditional adrenal cocktail.
Try the Viral “Banana Coffee”
Banana coffee? What? Yep, the newest online trend involves blending your morning iced coffee with a frozen banana. This creates a thick iced drink (like a blended coffee you might get from Starbucks) and it’s pretty delicious! We would just add a scoop of collagen peptides or protein powder to avoid a serious blood sugar spike.
If bananas aren’t your thing, substitute your banana for a small avocado (which is still potassium rich!), a few chocolate chips, and a few ice cubes to create a healthy iced mocha blend.
Get Comfortable Eating Potatoes
Don’t let the carb police confiscate your potatoes. Sweet potatoes and regular potatoes — in moderation and combined with adequate protein of course — are packed full of nutritious vitamins and minerals, including potassium. In fact, they’re the highest potassium-rich food found in nature! Enjoy a doctored baked potato, potato salad, or try out a garlic and herb mashed potatoes recipe with dinner.
Meet Your Recommended Daily Potassium Intake with Ease
We’re big fans of getting your nutrients entirely through healthy food sources, but sometimes your body needs a bit of extra help. If you’re pregnant, extremely athletic, under stress, or fighting a chronic illness, a few avocados and prunes probably aren’t going to help you shatter your potassium goals or come back from a severe deficiency.
But our liquid mineral potassium supplement can.
Scientifically formulated and extremely bioavailable, our liquid mineral potassium supplement is a favorite among customers — known for banishing cramps and increasing energy — so you can focus on the more important things in life.
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