Potassium is a mineral that, among other things, helps your muscles contract, helps regulate fluids and mineral balance in and out of body cells and helps maintain normal blood pressure by blunting the effect of sodium. Potassium may also reduce your risk of recurrent kidney stones and possibly bone loss as we get older.
Guidelines issued by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Science encourage adults to consume of at least 4,700 milligrams of potassium every day. That's almost double what most of us actually consume.
Potassium is found in a wide range of foods, especially fruits and vegetables like leafy greens, vine fruit like tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, eggplant and pumpkins and root vegetables like potatoes and carrots, beans, dairy foods, meat, poultry, fish and nuts.
Reach your recommended daily intake of potassium by frequently adding these foods to your daily menu:
- 1 cup of cooked spinach equals 840 milligrams
- A medium baked potato provides 800 mg
- 1 cup of cooked broccoli equals 460 mg
- 1 cup of cantaloupe has 430 mg
- A medium tomato has 290 mg
- ½ cup of strawberries contains 230 mg
- A medium-size banana contains 450 mg
- 8 ounces of yogurt contains 490 mg
- 8 ounces of low-fat milk contains 366 mg
Reviewed January 2013