Are You Consuming Enough Potassium?

Lisa Nelson, RD, LN Health Pro
  • If you have high blood pressure, one of the most important nutrients to increase in your diet is potassium.

     

    If you've looked into the DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) you'll see that it is extremely high in fruits and vegetables. This is partly due to fruits and vegetables being rich sources of potassium . . . among other beneficial nutrients.

     

    It's recommended by the Institute of Medicine that adults consume 4700 milligrams (mg) of potassium daily. However, the average adult intake is typically around 2300 mg.

     

    Here are the fruits and vegetables that are the best sources potassium:

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    Avocado - 1097 mg (1 raw)
    Potatoes - 844 mg (1 baked potato w/ skin)
    Papaya - 781 mg (1 medium)
    Raisins - 751 mg (2/3 cup seedless)
    Cantaloupe - 494 mg (1 cup)
    Dried apricots - 482 mg (10 apricot halves)
    Honeydew melon - 461 mg (1 cup)
    Bananas - 451 mg (1 medium banana)
    Sweet potatoes - 397 (1 baked sweet potato with skin)
    Mango - 323 mg (1 medium)
    Pumpkin - 281 mg (1/2 cup - boiled, mashed)
    Tomatoes - 273 mg (1 red tomato, raw)
    Brussels sprouts - 254 mg (1/2 cup frozen, boiled)
    Kiwi - 251 mg (1 medium)
    Oranges - 233 mg (1 naval orange)
    Mushrooms - 230 mg (4 mushrooms - Shitake, dried)
    Pears - 208 mg (1 pear)

     

    How to Increase Your Consumption of High Potassium Foods

     

    Here are some ways you can boost your intake of these foods.

     

    1. Eat a banana with breakfast


    2. Sprinkle raisins on cereal


    3. Include a fruit and vegetable high in potassium with lunch and dinner


    4. Mix nuts with dried fruit (raisins/apricots) for a healthy snack

     

    Don't forget, this is just a list of foods highest in potassium. You'll receive potassium from other dietary sources as well, such as dairy products and grains. By ensuring you include foods rich in potassium each day, it should not be difficult to reach the recommended 4700 mg daily.

     

    A word of caution: If you have kidney or take certain diuretic medications you may need to limit potassium intake. Discuss with your doctor prior to increasing potassium levels in your diet.

     

    Be sure to sign up for the e-course 7 Natural Ways to Lower Blood Pressure at http://lowerbloodpressurewithlisa.com.

Published On: January 25, 2012