It is no surprise that sodium gets a lot of attention when it comes to strategies for managing blood pressure. But let’s take a moment to celebrate potassium!
Did you know that boosting your potassium intake can help lower blood pressure? It can! Not sure where to find potassium in your food? Don’t fret, we’ve got you covered with these simple secrets to increase potassium intake.
Ever wondered why so many running and sporting events hand out bananas? The mellow yellow fruit is loaded with muscle cramp-reducing potassium! Even if grabbing a banana doesn’t sound like an ideal snack, they are incredibly versatile and can be used in a number of ways. Mashed bananas make a great replacement for eggs in pancakes, can be used to add moisture to baked goods, and can even be thrown into a tasty dinner. Wait…savory bananas? Walk on the wild side with this recipe (skip the salt if you are watching your sodium intake). And for dessert? End your day with a frozen banana treat for a sweet potassium boost. If you can find plantains, they aren’t sweet like bananas but offer up the same potassium benefit.
Top it off
Up your breakfast and snack game with some potassium-powered toppings. Dried fruits – especially apricots and raisins – make delicious additions to morning oats, an afternoon snack with yogurt, or mixed into trail mix. Want a different spin on your hot cereal? Try a drizzle of molasses for a flavorful addition of potassium. Looking for inspiration? Simple oatmeal is taken up a notch with molasses, or try a blend of different grains in this quinoa and millet porridge.
Veggie lovers, rejoice! Potassium is plentiful in many fruits and vegetables, especially some of our favorite go-to fixin’s for salad. Leafy greens, mushrooms, avocado…you name it! A hearty salad not only makes for a potassium-fueled lunch, it is also an easy way to fill your plate with fiber and nutrient-rich veggies. Spinach packs a potassium punch that makes for a lovely lunch – this recipe is sure to be a hit at any gathering! Other high-potassium salad builders include tomatoes, cucumbers, and cheese…sounds like a Greek salad to us! Use this simple recipe as your base, and boost up the flavor with the addition of oregano, black pepper, and red wine vinegar, or fresh lemon juice.
While there isn’t a rule of thumb to determine which fruits and vegetables are high in potassium, there sure are a lot of orange foods that are packed with it! Some of the best sources of potassium include winter squash, sweet potatoes (regular potatoes do the trick too), cantaloupe, and oranges. Want to give it a go? This hearty squash dish is packed with fiber, potassium, and fall flavors. Yum!
Note: high potassium consumption is not appropriate for everyone, especially those with kidney disease or on certain medications. Chat with your doctor before ramping up your potassium foods.
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Reviewed by Emily Matson, MS, RDN
on February 20, 2020. Emily is a Registered Dietitian with her Master's degree in Nutrition from Bastyr University in Kenmore, WA, and is one of our Brook Experts.