Foods High in Potassium



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There are several foods high in potassium. Select foods with potassium from the given list of potassium sources. Your body may have a deficiency of potassium or high potassium. Know the potassium deficiency symptoms.

Potassium (chemical symbol K) is a mineral having 19 protons and 19 electrons. What does potassium do for the body? Potassium is essential for normal body functioning of all cells and nervous, muscle function, the transmission of nerve impulses, prevention of excess fluid retention and for the metabolism of carbohydrate and protein. But too much potassium or less potassium i.e. deficiency is harmful to the body.

We get potassium from our diet. It is present in allmost all the foods, however, some foods are high in potassium while the others contain only medium or low amount of potassium.

High Potassium Levels

Our kidneys maintain the right amount of potassium in our body. But if the kidneys are not functioning properly, then you need to reduce foods that can increase the potassium in your blood to high levels (see the list of high potassium foods below), because excessive potassium can cause irregular heartbeats and even heart failure (cardiac arrest). Potassium supplements should therefore not be taken without the advise of your doctor. If you feel weakness and numbness, it may be due to high level of potassium and you should consult your doctor.




The symptoms of high level of potassium are irregular and/or rapid heart beat, low blood pressure, kidney disease, infrequent menstrual cycles, muscle spasms or cramps, joint / back pains, higher risk of cancer (cancer fighting foods), bladder infections, poor immune system, anxiety, insomnia, irritability, impotence.

Potassium Deficiency Symptoms

Effects of Low Potassium

You may have a potassium deficiency (low level) if you have vomited very frequently or have loose motions - diarrhea or extreme sweating. You can also have a deficiency of potassium if you are taking a diuretic medicine like Lasix for urination. Diuretic medicine is often prescribed to the people having high blood pressure. You can eat the foods that are high in potassium content (see the list below).

The symptoms and effects of low level of potassium are irregular and/or rapid heart beat, high blood pressure, stroke, kidney disease, asthma, muscle spasms or weakness, bladder weakness, water retention, high blood sugar (blood sugar range), liver disease, weight gain, fatigue, impotence.

Recommended daily allowance for Potassium:

Recommended daily dietary need for potassium for an adult is 4700 milligrams (4.7 g or 118 millimoles) per day according to the United States Department of Health and Human Services (U.S. DHHS). For children the potassium RDA is much less. In Australia, the RDA for adults is 50 -140 millimoles (2.0-5.5 g).

List of Potassium rich foods

Potassium Foods

Foods which are rich in potassium include apricot, banana, baked potato, sweet potato, beet greens, yogurt, tomato puree, prune juice, carrot juice, tomato juice, spinach, lentils, beans, milk, etc. The potassium content in some foods in a serving size are given in the following table/chart. The values above 500mg are considered high in potassium and lower than 500 mg as low potassium foods. The foods high in potassium as given in the following list are artichoke, banana, beans, blacked-eye peas, beets, Brussel sprouts, carrot, lentils, backed potato, spinach, tomatoes, winter squash, yogurt, etc. and are marked with *.


FoodsServing SizePotassium
(mg)
Almond2 oz (57 g)412
Apricots, dried10 halves407
Artichoke1 cup595 *
Avocados, raw1 ounce180
Bananas, raw1 cup594 *
Beans, baked1 cup752 *
Beans, Kidney1 cup713 *
Beans, Lima1 cup955 *
Beans, Pinto1 cup800 *
Beets, cooked1 cup519 *
Black-eyed peas(lobia)1 cup690 *
Brazil nuts2 oz (57 g)340
Brussel sprouts, cooked1 cup504 *
Cantaloupe1 cup494
Carrot Juice1 cup689 *
Chickpeas1 cup477
Dates, dry5 dates271
Figs, dry2 figs271

Foods with PotassiumServing SizePotassium
(mg)
Kiwi fruit, raw1 medium252
Lentils1 cup731 *
Melons, honeydew1 cup461
Milk, fat free or skim1 cup407
Nectarine1 nectarine288
Orange juice1 cup496
Orange1 orange237
Pears(fresh)1 pear208
Peanuts dry roasted, unsalted2 oz (57 g)374
Potato, baked,1 potato1081 *
Prune juice1 cup707
Prune, dried1 cup828 *
Raisin1 cup1089 *
Spinach, cooked1 cup839 *
Tomato canned sauce1 cup909 *
Tomato Juice1 cup535 *
Winter squash1 cup896 *
Yogurt plain, skim milk8 ounces579 *

Source: USDA Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 15
www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/Data/SR15/sr15.html

Foods high in potassium (values more than 500 mg) are marked as *. Choose foods low in potassium to make a low potassium diet.




How to treat high levels of Potassium?

If you are diagnosed for a high level of potassium, you basically may reduce eating foods that are rich in potassium, i.e. eat a diet low in potassium. Modifications in your diet can help prevent and treat high potassium levels.

Changes in diet

  1. Limit or avoid some vegetables such as asparagus, potatoes, tomatoes or tomato sauce, winter squash, pumpkin and cooked spinach.
  2. Limit or avoid some fruits such as avocados, bananas, cantaloupe, honeydew, Kiwi Fruit, nectarines, oranges, orange juice, prunes, and raisins and other dried fruits.
  3. Avoid taking salt substitutes.

References

  1. USDA Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 15
    www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/Data/SR15/sr15.html
  2. Foods that contain potassium - Queensland Health
    www.health.qld.gov.au/nutrition/resources/renal_klong.pdf
  3. USDA Nutrient Data Laboratory (NDL),
    https://fnic.nal.usda.gov/food-composition/usda-nutrient-data-laboratory




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You should eat foods high in potassium if you have potassium deficiency symptoms.