Our human bodies need a variety of nutrients and minerals to function properly. Among these, potassium is also a very crucial nutrient that helps our nerves communicate with each other and also keeps the sodium levels in check in the body. The absence of potassium in our body can lead to major complications since it is an essential nutrient that keeps the body fluids in check.
Not just that, having potassium-rich foods in your diet can also prevent chronic conditions and diseases.
A lot of us underestimate the need for potassium in the body and often undermine it and do not have food that is rich in this mineral. But a lack of potassium in the body can lead to several chronic conditions that may affect our body and its function severely.
Here are some of the major benefits of having potassium-rich foods:
Potassium-rich foods also help our body to increase its immunity and fight against a variety of diseases.
Potassium Helps Keep The Blood Pressure Under Check:
People who suffer from high blood pressure or elevated blood pressure have shown a decrease in their blood pressure by having foods that are rich in potassium. This difference was seen in a matter of just a few weeks. People who were on such a diet also showed a decrease in hypertension. As we all know, blood pressure and hypertension are correlated and a decrease in this can promote a sense of wellbeing. You also feel much more energised to go on with your daily chores.
Potassium Protects The Heart And The Brain:
It has been proven by a number of researches that potassium-rich foods in a diet can help to lower the blood pressure. When someone has a high blood pressure, he or she is under a major risk for stroke and heart disease. When you are having a diet that has a lot of potassium-rich food, it may curb a person’s elevated blood pressure by contributing to more flexible arteries, and also by helping the body get rid of excess sodium. The presence of extra sodium in the body may lead to fluid retention and is also a risk for a higher blood pressure level, which in turn, leads to people having various other issues like hypertension.
These are two major reasons why you should think of introducing foods that are rich in potassium in your diet. Besides these, there are two other reasons for increasing potassium-rich food in your diet. They are:
Protects Against The Onset Of Osteoporosis:
A lot of women, when they enter their middle ages, start experiencing the pain of osteoporosis. Many years of research indicated that the bone density is directly proportional to the amount of potassium in your system. Scientists were able to prove that having different types of foods that were rich in potassium could actually help to keep the bones strong and at the same time prevent the early onset of osteoporosis in the body.
Reduces The Appearance Of Cellulite:
A lot of women, especially in their late twenties, start observing a lot of cellulite on their thighs and buttocks. A major reason for an increase in the appearance of cellulite is the presence of fluids in the body. Fluid retention can increase the cellulite and really wreak havoc on a person’s self-confidence. But having a potassium-rich food or a diet helps to flush out the extra sodium in the body (which is the culprit behind fluid retention) and help create a smoother skin and texture.
Now that you know the reasons why such food is important in our diet, here are our top picks for foods rich in potassium.
Here Is The List Of Potassium-Rich Foods:
1. Good Old Yogurt:
One of the most common as well as most popular sources of potassium is the plain old yogurt. While most people believe that bananas are one of the richest sources, another source that is largely ignored is yogurt! In fact, it’s not the Greek yogurt that has more potassium, but it is our regular and plain yogurt that contains a whopping 573 mg (12% DV) of potassium per cup. In addition to that, one serving of yogurt is also great to get your daily fix of calcium. Always opt for natural yogurt rather than buying from stores – the ones that you can create from scratch at home. These will help you get a better dose of probiotics too.
2. Sweet Potato:
The unassuming sweet potato is a tuber that packs a massive punch of potassium. A serving of sweet potato will contain 542mg of potassium. They are also a very good source of Vitamin A and C – which means that your eyes and skin are taken care of. Not just that, but they are a fibrous vegetable too, so your daily dose of fiber is met and these are ridiculously tasty too – so you wouldn’t need an excuse to have it in your diet. There are hundreds of ways to enjoy sweet potato, but an easy method includes boiling and mashing it – just sprinkle some salt and pepper on top and you are good to go!
Avocado – the healthiest food that no one is ready to give up yet. Over the years, we have seen how phenomenal and exponential the liking for avocado has been. Hailed as a superfood, avocado is packed with proteins and fibers that are supposed to aid in digestion, help in weight loss and at the same time help your body get its dose of healthy oils and fats. Avocado is also had in many forms, including the very common guacamole. Researchers have, in fact, indicated that people who include avocado in their diets are much healthier than their non-avocado eating counterparts. Avocado eaters also have a lesser prevalence of metabolic diseases.
Watermelons are the best fruits to have in the summertime and also a great source of potassium. Just two slices of watermelon can give you 641mg of potassium. It’s a great fruit to lose weight because it’s maximum water. So when you feel like snacking, this could be a great alternative to other fruits because it fills you up faster. Watermelon also contains other essential nutrients including lycopene, Vitamin A and Vitamin C.
In case munching on watermelon doesn’t catch your fancy, you could also have cold-pressed watermelon juice which has more potassium than two slices. Even a small glass of cold-pressed watermelon can have a whopping 825mg of potassium!
Spinach is a mineral and potassium-rich food that can be very beneficial for your health. The humble and very cheap leafy vegetable can give you the daily dose of potassium in a jiffy. In fact, you can add it in salads or have it in the form of palak paneer to include it in your diet. It is also a vegetable that is very rich in calcium, vitamin A, and magnesium. Even though it is very cheap, make sure you buy it fresh.
You can also have it as a part of your breakfast by pureeing it or mixing it with carrot, kale, and ginger to make a green smoothie. This smoothie can help you kick-start your day with a ton of energy and keep you fuller for a much longer time.
6. Acorn Squash:
This is not one of the most common sources of potassium, nor is it mostly had, but this humble vegetable can give you almost 560mg of potassium in one serving. Acorn squash is also considered a very valuable vegetable because of the immense amount of antioxidants in it. Not just that, but it’s also very rich in carotenoids and is said to contain cancer-fighting agents that prevent cancers of the lung, breast, and prostate.
This super versatile vegetable can be used in soups, salads, and even juices. The fresh vegetable has 518mg of potassium and can be easily had for snacks. Recently research has revealed that beetroot juice is also a great source of oxygen boosters and athletes who have beetroot juice before a competition seem to perform much better than those who hadn’t had beetroot juice.
One can however of having beetroot juice is that it may not suit everyone and it may lead to loose motions. It will also turn your pee and poop to red, but don’t get alarmed, because that’s how beetroot works!
8. White Potato:
Bet you would have never thought that we would have advised you to have white potatoes. Unlike popular belief, these potatoes are actually low in calories, fat, and sodium but at the same time rich in potassium. As a result, it is good to have in your diet. The best thing about the plain old potato is that it’s a very versatile vegetable and you can have it baked, boiled or fried and it will still end up being extremely tasty! One single serving of potato can have a whopping 941mg of potassium!
Rich in Omega 3 fats and potassium, salmon is one of the best antioxidants available in the market right now. Salmon is very good for your skin and heart and is also a great source of lean protein which means that it is extremely good for people who are trying to lose weight. One serving of canned salmon has almost 427mg of potassium. It is also rich in Vitamin B6 that helps in the production of blood cells and helps to keep you healthy.
10 Butternut Squash:
Butternut squash is a very rich source of potassium and Vitamin A. It also contains magnesium, folate, calcium and Vitamin A, all of which act for the immunity of the body. Including it in your diet will give you almost 482mg of potassium in each serving. You can have it boiled and mashed or you could bake it with some toppings for a more flavourful dish.
[ Also Read: Protein-Rich Foods ]
Chard is another green leafy vegetable that packs a punch when it comes to the amount of potassium. But it is not as widely used and available as spinach and can be a little more expensive. But it also contains a huge amount of Vitamin A and Antioxidants which makes it a great superfood.
12. Coconut Water:
Tired of all the solid food options that we have been giving you, well here you go – coconut water, a potassium-rich drink that is refreshing and extremely healthy at the same time. One cup of coconut water has 600mg of potassium and also has no added sugar. But the natural and sweet taste of this water is a good substitute to curb our sugar cravings.
Coconut water is in fact also used in emergency situations to rehydrate a patient or give them a boost. As far as possible, stick to coconut water that has been sourced directly in front of you. Avoid having pre-packaged coconut water from the stores as they may not be very natural and will not have as many benefits as the natural one.
So there you go – an extensive list of all the food items that are rich on potassium and that could be had to prevent heart failures or strokes. Potassium-rich foods can boost your immunity and also promote a healthy heart. So make sure you at least include some of the fruits or vegetables that are mentioned in the list above to improve your health.
If you wish to add more items to the list or give tips on how to consume them, please do write in the comments below!