Our body needs various minerals to stay well-nourished and to keep functioning properly. Maintaining a balanced diet and eating potassium rich foods can help provide us with a range of vitamins and minerals that help assure both a sound physical and mental health.
Potassium is a mineral that is stored in the body’s electrolytes, which aid in the body’s growth process.
In addition, the mineral also carries out other functions such as:
- Regulating blood pressure
- Regulating neuro-muscular activity
- Maintaining electrolyte balance
- Maintaining acid-base balance
- Activating certain enzymes
- Metabolizing carbohydrates
- Producing proteins
- Preventing illnesses
Thanks to its properties, it’s important to include potassium rich foods in our diet.
10 Potassium Rich Foods You Must Know
Maybe you’re heard that bananas are rich in this mineral. While it’s certainly true, it’s not the only food out there. We’ll clue you in on ten potassium rich foods in today’s article.
Full of vitamin A, nutrients and antioxidants, carrots are also rich in potassium. For every 100 grams of carrot, there are approximately 321 mg of potassium.
In addition, carrots are extremely versatile; you can use them in salads, soups, sauces and even in desserts.
Another vegetable with high levels of potassium as well as other vitamins and minerals is the pumpkin. For every 100-gram serving of pumpkin, we can find 190 mg of the mineral.
It’s a magnificent ingredient for all kinds of stews, soups and casseroles. Don’t forget to take advantage of the pumpkin season to incorporate it in your dishes.
We can obtain 267 mg of potassium for every 100 grams of cantaloupe. It’s a delicious, juicy and nutritious melon.
Cantaloupe also helps the body re-hydrate and makes for a great snack or side dish complementing more elaborate dishes.
Watermelons are a sweet and very juicy fruit. They have a high water content, which allows them to hydrate the body.
A single wedge of watermelon can provide your body with 320 mg of potassium.
Raisins are a popular dried fruit that can be eaten in almost any way that you can think of: they can be snacks when eaten raw or even used as an ingredient and decoration for desserts.
100 grams of raisins provide an amazing 749 mg of potassium. Besides being an excellent source of this mineral, they also relieve constipation thanks to their fiber content.
6. Wheat germ
Potassium is also present in grains, such as wheat germ, which has 1.09 g for every 100 grams.
The disadvantage of wheat germ is that it loses its oils easily, which makes it spoil and loose its properties. Due to its quick expiration date, it’s important to store it properly.
Pistachios are a small, salty and tasty nut that has 1 gram of potassium for every 100-gram serving.
Of course, we have to remember to have plenty of water in reach when we eat pistachios because their saltiness can make us very thirsty.
8. White button mushrooms
This variety of fresh mushrooms boasts 318 mg of potassium for every 100-gram serving.
In addition to important minerals, they also have a high amount of vitamin B5, which can soothe migraines and stress.
Potassium is also present in white meat, such as chicken. Along with other nutrients and vitamins like vitamin B3, chicken is a great food source. For every 100 grams of this protein, we can benefit from 264 mg of potassium.
Chicken meat, especially breast meat, is a mild and juicy meat. We can use it in many different ways such as stocks, salads, sandwiches or as a main dish.
10. Oily fish
With 384 mg of potassium for every 100-gram serving, oily fish are a great source of this nutrient.
It’s important to not confuse them with other types of fish, as others may have a content that’s too low or too high.
Some examples of oily fish are:
As you’ve seen, you can find this mineral in a high quantities and in a wide variety of foods which makes it easy for you to make sure it’s on our table.
Can you get sick from a lack or an excess of potassium?
While this mineral is a key element for our health, at the end of the day, a lack or an excess in our body is never recommendable.
We must ingest the right amount by avoiding both too little and too much potassium.
Consequences of a deficiency can lead to a medical problem called hypokalemia, which can cause symptoms such as the following:
- Muscle weakness
- Slower reflexes
On the other hand, an excess can cause hyperkalemia, which is a condition that could cause patients to suffer:
- Respiratory failure
- Nausea and vomiting
- Cardiovascular problems
- Neuro-muscular problems
A blood test can determine if a patient suffers from any of these conditions. In the case that a blood test indicates that there’s a problem, patients should contact their doctor to receive proper treatment.