Potassium is a mineral that supports heart, nerve, and muscle function†
Many Americans don’t consume the recommended intake of Potassium
Potassium rich foods include fruits, vegetables, lentils, and beans
Other sources of Potassium include dairy, poultry, fish, whole grains, and nuts
Potassium is a mineral that supports heart, nerve, and muscle function.  It’s also one of the main electrolytes in the body and works with sodium to balance fluid in and around cells.  A diet high in Potassium is linked to good health.†
Most people know bananas contain Potassium, but how much Potassium is in a banana, and is it the best source? What foods contain Potassium and which gets the most bang for your buck? Keep reading for the answers and a list of high Potassium foods.
What is Potassium?
Potassium is an essential mineral and one of the most abundant electrolytes in the body.  Potassium is found in all cells and tissues of the human body and is needed for many systems to work properly.† One of Potassium’s most important roles is working closely with sodium to support normal fluid balance. 
Although there are numerous benefits to consuming Potassium, many Americans consume less than is recommended.  How much do you need and what foods contain Potassium?
The agency responsible for creating Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs), concluded there isn’t enough evidence to establish a Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for Potassium.   So, how do you know if you’re getting enough Potassium?
An Adequate Intake (AI) for Potassium exists to help you determine how much you need in a day and is based on the average Potassium consumption of surveyed healthy individuals.
The current AI’s for Potassium intake in milligrams (mg) are: 
Men (ages 19+): 3400 mg
Women (ages 19+): 2600 mg
Pregnant women (ages 19+): 2900 mg
Breastfeeding women (ages 19+): 2800 mg
For heart health and to counteract the effects of excessive intake of sodium in the diet, professional organizations such as the American Heart Association recommend no more than 2,300 mg/day of sodium and 4,700 mg/day Potassium.
The human body can’t make its own Potassium, so you have to get it from food, drink, and/or Potassium supplements. Including Potassium-rich foods in your diet can help you meet the recommended intake, but what foods contain Potassium?
Potassium is found in a wide range of foods, including fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, whole grains, some dairy, meat, poultry, and seafood. Fruits and vegetables are some of the best food sources of Potassium, so including several servings of fresh produce per day can easily help you meet your daily need for Potassium.
Here are 12 sources of Potassium and the amount they contain: 
Most people reach for bananas for Potassium, but exactly how much Potassium is in a banana? One medium banana provides 422 mg (9% Daily Value or DV). Fresh bananas make a convenient snack. They’re also wonderful in smoothies, atop yogurt and oatmeal, or blended into a dairy- and sugar-free frozen dessert.
Fresh potatoes are a great source of Potassium. If you’re trying to consume more Potassium, eating a potato with the skin contains more Potassium than just the flesh. For example, a medium sweet potato cooked with skin has 542 mg (12% DV) compared to 347 mg without skin. A medium baked potato with skin contains 925 mg (20% DV) versus 610 mg without skin.
Believe it or not, avocado is a high Potassium fruit. One whole avocado contains 728 mg (15% DV). Try substituting avocado for banana in smoothies for the same creamy texture with a less sweet taste and a dose of satiating healthy fat.
Thanks to its electrolyte content, coconut water is an extra hydrating beverage. One cup of coconut water has 404 mg (9% DV) of Potassium. Some coconut waters contain added sugar, so look for an unsweetened variety as a healthy alternative to sugary electrolyte drinks.
Legumes include beans, lentils, and peas, all of which are good sources of plant-based protein, fiber, antioxidants, and several vitamins and minerals. Enjoy legumes in soups, salads, and casseroles or pureed into dips.
Here’s the Potassium content of some popular varieties:
1 cup white beans: 1004 mg (21% DV)
1 cup lentils 731 mg (16% DV)
1 cup black beans 612 mg (13% DV)
1 cup kidney beans 358 mg (7% DV)
½ cup soybeans 443 mg (9% DV)
Since the water content has been removed, the nutrients in dried fruit are highly concentrated and you don’t have to eat much to reap the benefits.
Here’s how much Potassium is in common serving sizes of dried fruit:
2 medjool dates: 334 mg (7% DV)
½ cup dried apricots: 755 mg (16% DV)
½ cup dried prunes: 635 mg (14% DV)
½ cup raisins: 618 mg (13% DV)
As if you needed another reason to eat more leafy greens, many varieties are sources of Potassium so eating a variety is a good choice to meet your Potassium intake. Two cups of raw spinach contain 334 mg (7% DV). Beet greens and swiss chard are also good choices with 580 mg (12% DV) and 272 mg (6% DV) per two cups serving, respectively.
Green salads with several cups of leafy greens as the base and topped with additional vegetables from this list make an easy Potassium packed meal. You can also incorporate leafy greens into soups, stir fry, pasta, casseroles, smoothies, and sandwiches.
One cup of sliced and cooked beets gives you 518 mg (11% DV). Pickled beets are higher in sodium than fresh beets, so try boiling or roasting beets at home and add them to salads, grain bowls, or serve by themselves as a healthy side dish.
One cup of sliced carrots contains 390 mg (8% DV). Try snacking on raw carrots paired with a bean dip for extra Potassium or add chopped or grated carrots to soups, sauces, stews, and salads.
Tomatoes usually make the list of best foods for Vitamin C, but Potassium can be found in both fresh and canned tomatoes as well. One cup of grape tomatoes contains 395 mg (8% DV) of Potassium.
Here’s the Potassium content of several tomato pantry items:
One cup of canned diced tomatoes: 485 mg (10% DV)
Two tablespoons tomato paste: 324 mg (7% DV)
One cup tomato juice: 527 mg (11% DV)
Tomato juice and canned tomato products often contain added sodium, so check the Nutrition Facts label if you’re watching your salt intake.
Winter squash can be blended into soups and sauces, roasted with olive oil and herbs, or mashed into a side dish. Here are some winter squash varieties and their Potassium content:
One cup mashed acorn squash: 644 mg (14% DV)
One cup mashed butternut squash: 582 mg (12% DV)
One cup of canned pumpkin puree: 505 mg (11% DV)
Cruciferous veggies are some of the healthiest vegetables you can eat thanks to their antioxidant, vitamin, and mineral content. Just one cup of broccoli, Brussels sprouts, or cauliflower supplies 458 mg (10% DV), 342 mg (7% DV), and 320 mg (7% DV) of Potassium, respectively.
Potassium is linked to many important body processes, including heart, nerve, and muscle function. Potassium is naturally found in many foods, yet many Americans don’t consume enough.
What foods contain Potassium? Many fruits, vegetables, and legumes are good sources of Potassium, but it’s also found in whole grains, dairy, meat, poultry, and fish. If you’re concerned about your Potassium intake, speak with a healthcare professional about your diet and possible Potassium supplementation.
Continue to check back on the Nature Made blog for the latest science-backed articles to help you take ownership of your health.
Sharon Lehman, RD is an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and a health writer. She specializes in intuitive eating, recipe development, food photography, and hormone health. She shares healthy living tips and recipes on her blog www.heartandstove.com
As a member of the Medical and Scientific Communications team, Sandra educates healthcare professionals and consumers on nutrition, supplements, and related health concerns. Prior to joining Pharmavite, Sandra worked as a clinical dietitian at University of Chicago Medicine in the inpatient and outpatient settings. Sandra received her Bachelor of Science degree in Nutritional Science, with minors in Spanish and Chemistry from the University of Arizona in Tucson, AZ. She earned her Master of Science degree in Clinical Nutrition from RUSH University in Chicago, IL. As part of her Master’s program, Sandra performed research on physical activity participation and correlates in urban Hispanic women.