Are You Getting Enough Potassium?

Potassium is found naturally in many foods and as a supplement.

Its main role in the body is to help maintain normal levels of fluid inside our cells.

Sodium, its counterpart, maintains normal fluid levels outside of cells.

Potassium also helps muscles to contract and supports normal blood pressure.

Adults should consume at least 4,700 milligrams of potassium per day.

In general, the most potassium-rich food sources are fruits and vegetables.

Other good sources of potassium include legumes, fish, and dairy products.

However, 12 of the richest sources of Potassium are:

Swiss chard, 1 cup cooked (960 mg)

Spinach, 1 cup cooked (840 mg)

Avocado, 1 cup (708 mg)

Sweet potato, medium (700 mg)

Bok choy, 1 cup cooked (630 mg)

Potato, medium (610 mg)

White beans, 1/2 cup (600 mg)

Beets, 1 cup (520 mg)

Brussels sprouts, 1 cup cooked (500 mg)

Broccoli, 1 cup cooked (460 mg)

Cantaloupe, 1 cup (430 mg)

Banana, 1 medium (420 mg)

If you have low potassium, your doctor may recommend you take a supplement. You should only take a potassium supplement under medical supervision, as too much potassium in the body can cause serious health problems. If your levels are very low, you may need potassium through a drip in the hospital.

On the other hand, having too much potassium in your blood can be dangerous. Potassium affects the way your heart’s muscles work.

When you have too much potassium, your heart may beat irregularly, which can cause a heart attack in the worst cases.

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Readers Bureau, Contributor

Edited by Jesus Chan

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