Potassium – an essential electolyte

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Potassium is an essential nutrient used to maintain fluid and electrolyte balance in the body. A deficiency in potassium causes fatigue, irritability, and hypertension (high blood pressure). Unless you are on dialysis, or have a special condition, overdose of potassium from natural sources is nearly impossible; however, it is possible to consume too much potassium via potassium salts which can lead to nausea, vomiting, and even cardiac arrest. Healthy high potassium foods include beans, dark leafy greens, potatoes, squash, yogurt, fish, avocados, mushrooms, and bananas. The current daily value for potassium is 3.5 grams. Below is a list of high potassium foods ranked by common serving sizes.

#1: White Beans

Potassium in 100g 1 cup cooked (179g)
561mg (16% DV) 1004mg (29% DV)

Other Beans High in Potassium (%DV per cup): Adzuki (35%), Soy (28%), Lima (28%), Kidney (20%), Great Northern (20%), Pinto (18%) and others at an average of 15% DV per cup cooked.

#2: Dark Leafy Greens (Spinach) Greens

Potassium in 100g 1 Cup (30g) 1 Cup Cooked (180g)
558mg (16% DV) 167mg (5% DV) 839mg (24% DV)

Other Greens High in Potassium (%DV per cup cooked):Swiss Chard (27% DV), Kale (8% DV), and Collards (6% DV).

#3: Baked Potatoes (With Skin)

Potassium in 100g Average Potato (173g)
535mg (15% DV) 926mg (26% DV)

Warning: Potatoes are high in simple carbohydrates and not recommended for people with diabetes. Sweet potatoes are actually better for regulation blood sugar, an average baked sweet potato with skin (114g) provides 542mg (15% DV) of potassium.

#4: Dried Apricotsapricot_dried

Potassium in 100g 1/2 cup (65g)
1162mg (33% DV) 755mg (22% DV)

Other Dried Fruits High in Potassium (%DV per 1/2 cup):Peaches (22% DV), Prunes (20% DV), Raisins (18% DV).
Warning: Dried fruits are high in sugar.

#5: Baked Acorn Squash

Potassium in 100g 1 cup cubed (205g)
437mg (12% DV) 899mg (26% DV)

Other Squash High in Potassium (%DV per cup baked):Hubbard (21%), Butternut (17% DV), Zucchini (14% DV), Average Winter Squash (10% DV).

#6: Yogurt (Plain, Skim/Non-Fat)

Potassium in 100g 1 cup (245g)
255mg (7% DV) 625mg (18% DV)

Other Yogurt High in Potassium (%DV per cup): Whole-Fat (11% DV), Chocolate Yogurt (24% DV).

#7: Fish (Salmon)

Potassium in 100g 1 3oz fillet (85g)
628mg (18% DV) 534mg (15% DV)

Other Fish High in Potassium (%DV per 3oz fillet (85g)):Pompano (15% DV), Lingcod (14% DV), Halibut (13% DV), Yellowfin Tuna (13% DV), Anchovies (12% DV), Mackerel (10% DV), Herring (10% DV) and most other fish at an average of 10% DV.

#8: Avocados

Potassium in 100g Average Avocado (201g) 1/2 Cup Pureed (115g)
485mg (14% DV) 975mg (28% DV) 558mg (16% DV)

An average avocado provides 322 calories, half a cup purred contains 184 calories.

#9: Mushrooms (White)

Potassium in 100g 1 cup sliced (108g)
396mg (11% DV) 428mg (12% DV)

1 cup cooked sliced white mushrooms contain 28 calories.
Other mushrooms high in potassium (%DV per cup sliced): Portabella (9% DV), Brown or Crimini (9% DV), Enoki (7% DV), Shiitake (5% DV), Maitake (4% DV).

#10: Bananas

Potassium in 100g Average Banana (118g) 1 Cup Mashed (225g)
358mg (10% DV) 422mg (12% DV) 806mg (23% DV)

An average banana provides 105 calories, 1 cup mashed contains 200 calories.

Items to remember about Potassium:

Potassium is a mineral that your body needs to work properly. It is a type of electrolyte.


Potassium is a very important mineral for the human body.

Your body needs potassium to:

  • Build proteins
  • Break down and use carbohydrates
  • Build muscle
  • Maintain normal body growth
  • Control the electrical activity of the heart
  • Control the acid-base balance

This article was compiled for Dr. David Jensen by Larry Heinrichs


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