Everyone knows that bananas are high in potassium, don’t they? Well you might be surprised to find that they only account for 7% of your RDA (recommended daily amount) not much when you look at it like that. And do you even know why you need potassium?
Potassium - Why do you need it?
Well, potassium is a mineral and an electrolyte that can conduct electricity and it’s vital for several bodily functions.
Potassium is required to enable our bodies to incorporate and use carbohydrate.
Potassium intake protects against kidney stones.
Potassium rich foods have also been shown to maintain the acid/alkaline balance of our bodies and prevent osteoporosis.
Potassium enables the transport of nutrients in and out of your cells.
A moderate increase in dietary potassium can significantly reduce the risk of a stroke.
Adequate potassium levels maintain appropriate blood pressure and are critical for your muscle contraction and heart function.
Potassium and salt (sodium chloride)
Potassium along with sodium is critical in maintaining the healthy beating of your heart.
The interaction of potassium and sodium in your body to maintain normal function accounts for up to 40% of the energy you use when you rest. WOW!
It is now thought that your dietary intake of potassium needs to be on a par with your sodium chloride intake rather than much lower than your salt intake, which is often the case if you eat a diet high in processed foods.
So what food should you be eating?
Well, I can help you there with the top 10 foods for potassium; luckily it has a good proportion of meat, fish and vegan foods to keep everyone happy. The list is by an average portion size.
Palm Hearts – 22% of your RDA
Soya Mince – 22% of your RDA
Potatoes – 19% of your RDA
Coconut water – 18% of your RDA
Chicken – 18% of your RDA
Sardines – 18% of your RDA
Beef stewing steak – 18% of your RDA
Sweet potatoes – 16% of your RDA
Cod dried and salted
Pork lean cuts - 15% of your RDA
Not a banana in sight!
As you can see there’s no one magical food you can eat to get all of your potassium, but if you add a glass of coconut water to your daily food intake you can top up almost a 1/5 of your potassium for very few calories.
Potassium is in a lot of everyday foods in small amounts but I noticed that I was by always about 25% short of potassium at the end of the week if I didn’t top up with my coconut water.
If you want to check your food and make sure that all of the foods you eat will contribute to your potassium intake over a day/week to reach your RDA you need to keep a food diary. How can you start a food diary?
To start a free trial at CheckYourFood and start protecting your health now.
It’s really easy when you see your daily report to see which nutrients you are a bit short on and then click on those nutrients to see what foods you need to eat more of the next day.
Co-founder, production manager
I'm our communications and marketing person, dealing with social media and copywriting. I also work with Matt and Ric overseeing the design and strategic management of the site.
I'm also the author of the Eva the Hungry Amoeba children's book series (only one so far). You can find it on Amazon.
My favourite foods, shepherds pie and smoked haddock!