Potassium is found in most vegetarian and non-vegetarian food sources. You can easily meet your daily potassium requirement from a balanced diet. However, sometimes deficiency of this essential mineral occurs due to illness and wrong dietary habits.
Benefits of potassium
Potassium is needed to preserve the normal pH balance of the body. It restores the fluid balance of the body. This essential mineral is needed for muscle growth and brain and nerve functions.
High potassium foods
Potassium rich fruits
Papaya and prune juice are the richest sources of potassium. From a cup of prune juice you can get 707 mg of potassium, whereas, a single serving of papaya will give you about 781 mg of the mineral. Banana, cantaloupe, mango, raisins, orange, kiwi and pear can give your between 200 and 500 mg of potassium per serving. Peach, apple, watermelon, pineapple and strawberries are moderate sources of potassium. Foods containing less than 100 mg of potassium per serving include grapes, blueberries and mandarin orange.
Potassium rich vegetables
Tomatoes, avocado, potato and sweet potato contain large amounts of potassium per serving. From a cup of tomato juice, you can get more than 500 mg of potassium. Pumpkin, asparagus, Brussels sprouts and mushrooms are known for their high potassium content. Cauliflower, broccoli, zucchini, peas, carrots and green beans are moderate sources of potassium.
Potassium rich proteins
Plant proteins such as beans, lentils, peanuts, sunflower seeds and soy are rich in potassium. You can even meet your daily potassium requirement from lean beef, turkey and fish. Milk and dairy products are rich potassium sources. From an egg, you can get 55 mg of potassium.
Causes of low potassium level
Usually digestive disorders such as excess vomiting and diarrhea can bring down the potassium level in your blood. Prolonged intake of laxatives could bring down your potassium level. Excess use of diuretics, taken for treating edema, could decrease the potassium content in the blood through excess urination. In such circumstances, you should eat potassium rich foods to normalize the potassium balance in your body.
When high potassium food is bad
You should avoid potassium rich foods when the potassium level in your blood riches abnormally high level. Potassium rich foods are not recommended for people with kidney diseases.