Potassium is a mineral found naturally in many foods, and it belongs to the sub-family called electrolytes. Other electrolytes crucial for good health include sodium and magnesium.
It is essential for the body to maintain the correct balance of fluids in the body and helps to ensure your blood pressure is at a healthy measurement. Low potassium levels are actually not that common, but the proper term for this is known as hypokalaemia.
It is not recommended that you supplement with potassium without the advice of a doctor as too much potassium is dangerous. However, eating a diet rich in potassium dense foods lowers your risk of high blood pressure and stroke.
Potassium protects the blood vessels from oxidative damage and also helps to prevent the walls from thickening!
Potassium Rich Foods
Here are just 8 of the many potassium food sources!
#1 Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potato not only contains potassium but also provides a host of other health benefits such as being high in fibre and rich in beta carotene (a pre-cursor of Vitamin A). It is low in calories and super versatile; you can use a sweet potato in baking but also as a savoury food.
✓ Sweet potatoes make great chips that are a healthy choice when you bake them in the oven – they’re delicious with some spices sprinkled on top!
#2 Dark Leafy Greens
Leafy green vegetables are a great addition to your diet as they are jam contain ‘disease fighting’ phytochemicals. They also contain fibre and a range of vitamins and minerals.
✓ Consider adding spinach to your smoothies or simply use your leafy greens as a base for a salad.
✓ Spinach also tastes great when mashed into potatoes or simply on its own lightly steamed.
✓ Make your own tomato sauce to not only regulate your fat and salt intake, but it is also a good source of potassium. Try blending cooked tomatoes and adding in a range of spices for a delicious homemade sauce!
Cooked tomatoes are also high in lycopene, an additional antioxidant to add to the health benefits!
Yoghurt is a great option that is rich in potassium. It also has other benefits such as its calcium content; important for bone health and it contains pro-biotics that can help aid digestion.
✓ Why not make some frozen yoghurt for a healthy treat to help you keep cool in the summer? Add some berries and nuts to give it more flavour!
Fish in general is a great source of potassium. They also make a great addition your diet for the heart protecting benefits they provide too.
✓ Fish is a good source of protein; salmon and sardines also contain high levels of fatty acids (see above link for more!)
Adding avocados to your diet has been suggested to lower the risk of heart disease, in addition to creating favourable lipid levels in the blood.
✓ It is a potassium rich food, which when combined with its other attributes, makes it a great food source to add to your diet for a good nutritional balance.
A great source of potassium and also antioxidants, the humble mushroom is often overlooked in many people’s diets.
✓ Mushrooms are a good source of vitamin D and selenium. They’re also a filling food due to their high fibre content!
✓ Mushrooms are a great low calorie option for anyone hoping to increase their potassium intake through their diet whilst watching the calorie intake!
Famous as a high potassium food, bananas pack a great potassium boost. They are a great source of fibre and a handy snack to eat on-the-go.
✓ Bananas are also great in baking – why not make a healthy loaf of banana bread to enjoy after your workout!
Take Home Message
Try some of these food sources to add more potassium into your diet!