9 Foods with More Potassium than a Banana

Article posted in: Diet & Nutrition
cantaloupe list of carbohydrates

Potassium doesn’t get the headlines that many other vitamins and minerals do, but behind the scenes it is as vitally important as any nutrient in your diet. It is essential for healthy heart functioning and it helps your muscles recover from exertion. Most critically, potassium acts as a balance to the sodium in your system, helping your body to absorb the salt it needs and discard any excess.

The Recommended Daily Allowance of potassium for an average adult is 4,700 milligrams, but, according to the American Heart Association, most people fall short: men consume an average about 3,200 mg. daily and women about 2,400 mg. The best way to make sure you get all of the nutrient that you need is to eat potassium-rich foods. You’ve probably heard that bananas are loaded with potassium—a medium-size banana has about 422 mg. That’s a healthy amount, but these nine foods have even more. Now that doesn’t mean you should stop eating bananas. Just add some or all of these to your daily diet to pump up your potassium intake.

1. Apricots
1 cup sliced fresh: 427 mg.
Try this: Add natural sweetness to hot cereal and whole grain dishes with chopped apricots.

2. Beet Greens
1/2 cup cooked: 644 mg.
Try this: Blanch the leafy tops of beet roots for 2 minutes, until tender, drain and squeeze the water out. Chop them coarsely and toss with pasta or use in an omelet.

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3. Butternut Squash
1 cup baked: 582 mg.
Try this: Peel, seed, and cut squash into 1-inch cubes into a large bowl. Stir them with a little olive oil, garlic powder and black pepper, and arrange on a baking sheet. Roast in a 400 degree F oven until tender and lightly browned, 25 to 30 minutes

4. Cantaloupe
1 cup cubed: 427 mg.
Try this: Toss fresh melon cubes with a bit of honey, basil, sea salt and crushed black peppercorns for a summery side dish.

5. Lima beans
1/2 cup cooked: 478 mg.
Try this: Blend cooked lima beans with grilled corn, sweet onion, and zucchini, a splash of olive oil and cider vinegar.

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6. Potato
1 medium-size baked with skin: 759 mg.
Try this: Peel and boil the small “new” potatoes available in spring until fork tender, then toss with chopped parsley, fennel seeds, lemon juice, salt and pepper.

7. Sweet Potato
1 medium-size baked with skin: 950 mg.
Try this: Cut sweet potatoes into 1-inch wedges and coat with a light mixture of olive oil, sea salt and pepper. Pick the leaves from sprigs of rosemary and roll the wedges through the leaves. Bake at 375 degrees F for 1 hour, turning once.

8. Tomato Sauce
1 cup jarred: 728 mg.
Try this: Get more vegetables in your diet by adding chopped greens such as spinach or kale to your favorite brand of tomato sauce just before you’re ready to take it off the stove.

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9. Yogurt
8 ounces plain non-fat yogurt: 579 mg.
Try this: Make a savory, protein-rich dip for raw vegetables by stirring a splash of lime juice, a sprinkle of garlic powder, and a dash of fresh herbs such as dill and thyme into a plain yogurt.