Potassium Rich Foods for a Healthier You

Are you looking to boost your health and well-being with the power of potassium? Discover the incredible benefits of potassium-rich foods that can enhance your overall health.

From bananas to spinach, incorporating high potassium foods into your diet can make a significant difference. Whether aiming to improve heart health, regulate blood pressure, or support muscle function, finding the best potassium sources is key.

This article explores the top potassium rich foods and will help you make informed choices for a healthier lifestyle. Let’s dive into the world of potassium and unlock the potential of these nutrient-packed foods!

High Potassium Foods (Per Serving)

If your potassium intake is low, it’s time to focus on foods that contain more potassium per serving, like:

  • bananas
  • potato
  • ribeye filet
  • salmon
  • turkey breast
  • ground beef (lean)
  • T-Bone steak
  • lamb roast
  • natto
  • sirloin steak
  • Brussels sprouts
  • sweet potato

The infographic below shows popular foods that provide more potassium per serving.

high potassium foods (per serving)

Once you’re ready to revitalise your diet with a wider variety of high-potassium foods, download our printable list of foods with more potassium per serving here.

Potassium Rich Foods (Per Calorie)

Once you know you’re getting the minimum amount of potassium your body needs, you can zero in on potassium-rich foods that deliver more potassium per calorie to increase your satiety and nutrient density, like:

  • spinach
  • zucchini
  • celery
  • arugula
  • lettuce
  • tomato
  • cauliflower
  • asparagus
  • kale
  • cucumber
  • dill pickles
  • Brussels sprouts

The infographic below shows popular foods that provide more potassium per calorie.

potassium rich foods (per calorie)

For more variety, check out our printable list of potassium-rich foods per calorie.

Potassium-Rich Food Chart

Curious about how your favourite foods stack up in the potassium game?  Dive into our dynamic chart showcasing popular foods, comparing potassium content per calorie and per serving.  For an immersive experience, explore the interactive Tableau version.

potassium rich foods chart


How Much Potassium Do You Need Per Day? 

Our satiety analysis reveals that your body craves at least 1,800 mg of potassium per 2000 calories.  However, achieving the Optimal Nutrient Intake of 5,400 mg per 2,000 calories from food aligns with a massive 30% reduction in energy intake.  The current Dietary Reference intake for potassium of 3,400 mg is between the bliss point and the Optimal Nutrient Intake for potassium.

potassium vs satiety

Will More Potassium Help Me Lose Weight?

While getting more of all the micronutrients per calorie aligns with eating less, the relationship between potassium and energy intake is significant and a key part of our satiety algorithm. Moving from the bliss point to the optimal nutrient intake for potassium aligns with a 30% reduction in energy.

Along with protein, calcium and iron, potassium is one of the most neglected nutrients in our modern food and is one of the nutreints of public health concern for the us population.

While we don’t have a strong craving for potassium it is a marker for intact cells, and thus, minimally processed whole foods that tend to have a lower energy density. Ultra processed foods are never ultra processed foods.

Nutreint tends foods tend to have a stronger taste, signalling to our bodies that they contain a higher concentration of the nutrient we need, so we need less of them (McCrickerd & Forde, 2016). Pure potassium tastes bitter, so it appears that we experience sensory specific satiety when consuming foods that contain more potassium. Hence, we get all the potassium we need from them with less energy.  

Potassium-Rich Recipes

Elevate your culinary game with our chart, showcasing over 1750 NutriBooster recipes used in our Micros Masterclass.  We’ve plotted these recipes based on potassium content versus protein percentage.  The further right you go, the more potassium you can enjoy with fewer calories.

potassium rich recipes chart

Dive into the details with our interactive Tableau chart on your computer.  Click on each recipe to uncover its magic and even feast your eyes on mouthwatering pictures!

photos of Potassium-Rich Recipes

Benefits of Potassium: Why Potassium is So Important

Potassium is an essential mineral and an electrolyte with many benefits for the human body’s proper functioning.  

  • Blood pressure: One of the benefits of potassium is that it helps counteract the negative effects of sodium in the diet, which can cause high blood pressure. It also helps relax the walls of blood vessels, promoting healthy blood flow and reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.
  • Muscle function: Potassium is involved in muscle contraction and relaxation. It helps maintain proper nerve function, supports healthy muscle function, and prevents muscle cramps.
  • Fluid balance: Potassium helps regulate the balance of fluids and electrolytes in the body, which is important for proper hydration, cell function, and waste elimination.
  • Bone health: Potassium helps maintain strong bones by preventing calcium loss from the body.
  • Kidney function: Adequate potassium intake may help prevent kidney stones and reduce the risk of kidney disease.
  • Stroke: According to some studies, potassium-rich foods are associated with a lower risk of stroke.

Role Potassium in the Body

  • Potassium is an intracellular mineral, meaning it is highly concentrated inside the cell. Therefore, normal body function depends on tightly regulated potassium concentrations inside and outside cells.
  • Potassium and sodium are perhaps one of the most critical mineral relationships, creating membrane potential.  This is critical for sending nerve signals, contracting muscles, cardiovascular function, and nutrient transport into and out of cells.
  • Potassium is critical to insulin sensitivity and synthesis.  Studies have shown that low levels of potassium intake have been linked to high blood sugar and insufficient insulin levels to control blood glucose. This is particularly important for people with diabetes.
  • Because potassium is an electrolyte and a mineral critical to cell signalling, it is crucial for regulating the immune system and is also known to activate parts of it.
  • Potassium helps you regulate your fluid balance.
  • Potassium regulates muscle concentration and heartbeat.  Low blood concentrations (hypokalaemia) can result in muscular paralysis or abnormal heart rhythms that can be fatal. 
  • Potassium is essential for balancing sodium and maintaining adequate blood pressure. For this reason, it can help manage the damaging effects of chronic hyperpertension on the heart, blood vessels, and kidneys and prevent stroke.
  • Because potassium is important for bone and kidney health, low levels have been associated with kidney stones and osteoporosis. 
  • Athletes often require higher potassium intake to support muscle function and energy levels.

Potassium Helps You Do It with Feeling

Nerve impulses are generated when sodium ions move into cells, and potassium ions move out. This is known as the Na/K+ pump, responsible for many bodily functions. For example, the nervous system relays messages between the brain and body that help to regulate muscle contractions, heartbeat, reflexes, and many other functions using the Na/K+ pump. 

Factors Influencing Potassium Requirements

Certain factors and conditions may increase your demand for potassium, like if you:

Sodium vs Potassium

Without the right balance of electrolytes, your body can’t effectively utilise the energy from the food you eat.  This is particularly true for sodium and potassium.  When potassium dissolves in water, it produces positively charged ions (electrolytes), allowing electric charges to move through your body. 

The sodium-potassium pump and the balance of potassium ions inside the cell with sodium ions outside the cell are integral to your energy production and the movement of energy throughout your body.

Potassium and sodium are synergists as well as antagonists of one another.  As a result, potassium depletion induces sodium retention, which is associated with hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease. 

While we crave salt, sodium could be a stop-gap measure when our body craves more potassium. Conversely, you tend to need less sodium when you get enough potassium. While we need some sodium in our diet, most people would benefit from prioritising foods containing more potassium. 

As shown in the cahrt below, from 24-Hour Urinary Sodium and Potassium Excretion and Cardiovascular Risk (Hu et al, 2021), people with a higher potassium:ratio have a lower risk of cardivascular disease.

As shown in the chart below, we eat much less with a higher potassium:sodium ratio in our diet.  People who are active and hence lose a lot of sodium in their sweat should target potassium:sodium ratio of greater than 1.0. Meanwhile, people who are less active or who have high blood pressure should target a potassium:sodium ratio of greater than 2.0.

Can You Get Too Much Potassium?

While there is a limit to how much sodium you should consume, it seems almost impossible to overdo potassium from food because of the complete mineral profile found in nutrient-dense, potassium-rich foods.  In addition, many of the issues associated with excess sodium consumption can be mitigated by increasing the amount of potassium in your diet. 

The chart below from the PURE study indicates that higher potassium levels are beneficial.  While there is an inflection point at around 2 g per day, there is no apparent downside to higher potassium intake at the levels achievable from food.

Please remember that this comes from food forms of potassium and not supplements.  Taking large amounts of potassium as a supplement can lead to heart palpitations, arrhythmia, and even death.  If you take potassium-sparing medications for blood pressure, you should be especially careful when supplementing potassium. 

Availability of Potassium in the Food System

Potassium in our food system has decreased significantly since chemical fertilisers were implemented for widespread use in the 1940s, and industrial agriculture increased in the 1960s.  We need to consume 33% more food to get the same amount of potassium as in the 1940s!

Availability of Potassium in the Food System

While fossil fuel-based fertilisers have enabled us to double food production and support an increased population, food that grows faster tends to have a lower nutrient content, especially when the soil has become depleted of nutrients.

Synergistic Nutrients with Potassium

Potassium works synergistically with vitamins B6 and D, bicarbonate (HCO3), calcium, insulin, magnesium, phosphate, and sodium.

Because potassium requires ALL of these nutrients to do its job, we recommend getting as much potassium as possible from food sources to ensure you get a profile of nutrients and not just an isolate from supplements.

How Can I Calculate if I’m Getting Enough Potassium?

Curious about your potassium intake?  Take our Free 7-Day Nutrient Clarity Challenge and discover if you’re hitting the potassium sweet spot in your diet.

After just one week of tracking your daily meals with Cronometer, Nutrient Optimiser will unveil a personalised roadmap, your guide to a healthier, more nutrient-rich lifestyle. 

You’ll receive a curated list of foods and tantalising NutriBooster recipes that not only fill your magnesium gaps but also ensure you’re not missing out on critical nutrients.

Ready to unlock your nutrient potential?  Join the challenge and journey towards a brighter, healthier you!

Nutrient Density Starter Pack

Ready to supercharge your nutrition?  Get our Nutrient Density Starter Pack – your all-access pass to a healthier, more vibrant you!

In our quest to make Nutritional Optimization a breeze, we’re thrilled to offer you this treasure trove of tools and resources when you join our vibrant Optimising Nutrition Community:

  • Food Lists: Discover our carefully crafted lists optimised for each essential nutrient, tailored to your goals, preferences, and unique conditions.
  • The Healthiest Meal Plan in the World: Peek into a week of mouthwatering, nutrient-dense meals that’ll leave you satisfied and energised.
  • Recipes: Download delectable samples from our NutriBooster recipe books, designed to elevate your nutrition while tantalising your taste buds.
  • 7-Day Nutrient Clarity Challenge: Unearth your priority nutrients and pinpoint the foods and meals that pack a nutrient punch so you can kickstart your journey to better health.

Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity to transform your nutrition effortlessly.  Join our community and unlock your path to a healthier, more vibrant you!

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