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The 10 Best Foods High in Potassium

Written by Daisy Whitbread, MScN
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The 10 Best Foods High in Potassium

Potassium is an essential nutrient used to maintain fluid and electrolyte balance in the body. A deficiency in potassium causes fatigue, irritability, and hypertension (high blood pressure). Unless you are on dialysis or have a special condition, an overdose of potassium from natural sources is nearly impossible; however, it is possible to consume too much potassium via potassium salts which can lead to nausea, vomiting, and even cardiac arrest.

High potassium foods include leafy green vegetables, fish, white beans, avocados, potatoes, acorn squash, milk, mushrooms, bananas, and cooked tomatoes. The current daily value (%DV) for potassium is 4700 milligrams (mg), recently raised from 3500mg by the FDA.

Below is a list of high potassium foods ranked by common serving sizes, for more see the lists of high potassium foods by nutrient density, more potassium rich foods, fruits high in potassium, and vegetables high in potassium.

You can also sort high potassium foods by 100 gram and 200 calorie serving sizes using the nutrient ranking tool.

Looking for to consume less potassium? See our list of low potassium foods.

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List of High Potassium Foods

1Beet Greens
Beet Greens

More Greens High in Potassium

-20% DV in 1 cup of cooked Swiss chard
-18% DV in 1 cup of cooked spinach
-8% DV in 1 cup of cooked kale

See the list of high potassium vegetables.
2Salmon
Salmon Fillets

More Fish High in Potassium

-19% DV in a 6oz snapper fillet
-18% DV in a 6oz mahi-mahi fillet
-14% DV in a 6oz tilapia fillet

See all fish high in potassium.
3Large White Beans
White Beans

More Beans High in Potassium

-20% DV in 1 cup of lima beans
-16% DV in 1 cup of navy beans
-16% DV in 1 cup of lentils

See all beans high in potassium.
4Avocados
Half an avocado
See the list of fruits high in potassium.
5Potatoes
Potatoes
Warning: Potatoes are high in simple carbohydrates and not recommended for people with diabetes. Sweet potatoes are actually better for regulating blood sugar, an average baked sweet potato with skin (180g) provides 18%DV of potassium.
6Acorn Squash
An acorn squash

More Squash High in Potassium

-16% DV in 1 cup of hubbard squash
-12% DV in 1 cup of butternut squash
-10% DV in 1 cup of zucchini

See the list of high potassium vegetables.
7Milk
Glass of milk

More Dairy High in Potassium

-12% DV in 1 cup of low-fat yogurt
-9% DV in 1oz of gjetost cheese
-8% DV in 1 cup of low fat buttermilk

See all dairy high in potassium.
8White Button Mushrooms
Mushrooms

More Mushrooms High in Potassium

-8% DV in 1 cup of crimini mushrooms
-8% DV in 1 cup of oyster mushrooms
-7% DV in 1 cup of portabellas

See the list of high potassium vegetables.
9Bananas
Bananas

More Fruits High in Potassium

-15% DV in 1 cup of guavas
-12% DV in 1 cup of kiwifruit
-10% DV in 1 cup of cantaloupe

See the list of fruits high in potassium.
10Tomato
Tomatoes
-8% DV in 1 cup of cherry tomatoes
-6% DV in an average tomato

See All 200 Foods High in Potassium

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A printable one-page list of the top 10 foods highest in potassium.

The Top 10 High Potassium Foods by Nutrient Density (Potassium per 100 Grams)

#1 Dried Herbs (Chervil)101% DV (4740mg) in 100grams
#2 Sun-Dried Tomatoes73% DV (3427mg) in 100grams
#3 Cocoa Powder53% DV (2509mg) in 100grams
#4 Whey Powder49% DV (2289mg) in 100grams
#5 Paprika49% DV (2280mg) in 100grams
#6 Yeast Extract Spread45% DV (2100mg) in 100grams
#7 Rice Bran32% DV (1485mg) in 100grams
#8 Molasses31% DV (1464mg) in 100grams
#9 Soybeans (Dry-Roasted)29% DV (1364mg) in 100grams
#10 Seaweed (Spirulina)29% DV (1363mg) in 100grams

Other Potassium Rich Foods

#1 Dried Figs22% DV (1013mg) in 1 cup
#2 Chestnuts18% DV (847mg) in 1 cup
#3 Coconut Water13% DV (600mg) in 1 cup
#4 Whelk13% DV (590mg) in 3oz serving
#5 Clams11% DV (534mg) in 3oz serving
#6 Orange Juice11% DV (496mg) in 1 cup
#7 Brussels Sprouts7% DV (342mg) in 1 cup
#8 Pistachios6% DV (286mg) in 1oz handful
#9 Palm Hearts5% DV (258mg) in 1 cup
#10 Sunflower Seeds5% DV (241mg) in 1oz handful
#11 Pumpkin and Squash Seeds5% DV (224mg) in 1oz handful
#12 Almonds4% DV (208mg) in 1oz handful
#13 Watermelon Seeds4% DV (184mg) in 1oz handful
#14 Dates4% DV (167mg) in per date
#15 Cashews3% DV (160mg) in 1oz handful
#16 Walnuts3% DV (125mg) in 1oz handful

Health Benefits of Potassium

  • Osteoporosis Protection - Several studies have found a relation between increased bone density and increased intake of dietary potassium. These studies were true even for post menopausal women and older men.(2-4)
  • Reduced Risk of Stroke - Several observational studies have found that those with high potassium levels experience a lowerrisk of stroke. The health benefits are likely through reduction of blood pressure combined with a diet high in fruits and vegetables.(5-9)
  • Alleviation of High Blood Pressure (Hypertension) - Studies show that a diet high in potassium, especially potassium fromfruits and vegetables, lowers blood pressure. This is especially true if the increase in potassium foods is not accompaniedby an increase in high sodium foods.(10-12)

Who is at Risk for Potassium Deficiency?

  • Alcoholics
  • Long distance athletes - People who exercise over long distances lose electrolytes via sweat and need to replenish their sodium, potassium, magnesium, and phosphorus levels.
  • Anorexics or bulimics
  • People with a magnesium deficiency
  • People taking any of the following medications:(13,14)
    • Diuretics - Such as thiazide or furosemide
    • Beta-adrenergic agonists - Epinephrine
    • Decongestants - Pseudoephedrine, phenylpropanolamine
    • Bronchodilators - Albuterol, terbutaline, pirbuterol, isoetharine, fenoterol, ephedrine, isoproterenol, metaproterenol, theophylline
    • Tocolytic (labor suppressing) agents - Ritodrine, nylidrin
    • Diuretics - Acetazolamide, thiazides, chlorthalidone, indapamide, metolazone, quinethazone, bumetanide, ethacrynic acid, furosemide, torsemide
    • Mineralocorticoids - Fludrocortisone
    • Substances with mineralocorticoid effects - Licorice, carbenoxolone, gossypol
    • High-dose glucocorticoids
    • High-dose antibiotics - Penicillin, nafcillin, carbenicillin
    • Other - Caffeine, phenolphthalein, sodium polystyrene sulfonate

How much potassium do you need each day?

The percent daily value (%DV) and the recommended daily intake (RDI) for adults is 4700mg per day.

Here are the breakouts of the RDIs by age group:

  • Age 14+: 4700mg
  • 9-13 years old: 4500mg
  • 4-8 years old: 3800mg
  • 1-3 years old: 3000mg

What foods are low in potassium?

Foods low in potassium include most refined fats and oils, grains like cornmeal, white rice, and white pasta, some cheeses like soft goat cheese, and blueberries, leeks, and napa cabbage. Boiling vegetables in water and discarding the water they are cooked in can help reduce their potassium and electrolyte content. For more, see the article on low potassium foods, and low potassium vegetables.

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View more food groups with the nutrient ranking tool, or see ratios with the nutrient ratio tool.

Data Sources and References

  1. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 28.
  2. New SA, Bolton-Smith C, Grubb DA, Reid DM. Nutritional influences on bone mineral density: a cross-sectional study in premenopausal women. Am J Clin Nutr. 1997;65(6):1831-1839.
  3. New SA, Robins SP, Campbell MK, et al. Dietary influences on bone mass and bone metabolism: further evidence of a positive link between fruit and vegetable consumption and bone health? Am J Clin Nutr. 2000;71(1):142-151.
  4. Tucker KL, Hannan MT, Chen H, Cupples LA, Wilson PW, Kiel DP. Potassium, magnesium, and fruit and vegetable intakes are associated with greater bone mineral density in elderly men and women. Am J Clin Nutr. 1999;69(4):727-736.
  5. Ascherio A, Rimm EB, Hernan MA, et al. Intake of potassium, magnesium, calcium, and fiber and risk of stroke among US men. Circulation. 1998;98(12):1198-1204.
  6. Iso H, Stampfer MJ, Manson JE, et al. Prospective study of calcium, potassium, and magnesium intake and risk of stroke in women. Stroke. 1999;30(9):1772-1779.
  7. Fang J, Madhavan S, Alderman MH. Dietary potassium intake and stroke mortality. Stroke. 2000;31(7):1532-1537.
  8. Bazzano LA, He J, Ogden LG, et al. Dietary potassium intake and risk of stroke in US men and women: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey I epidemiologic follow-up study. Stroke. 2001;32(7):1473-1480.
  9. Green DM, Ropper AH, Kronmal RA, Psaty BM, Burke GL. Serum potassium level and dietary potassium intake as risk factors for stroke. Neurology. 2002;59(3):314-320.
  10. Barri YM, Wingo CS. The effects of potassium depletion and supplementation on blood pressure: a clinical review. Am J Med Sci. 1997;314(1):37-40.
  11. Hajjar IM, Grim CE, George V, Kotchen TA. Impact of diet on blood pressure and age-related changes in blood pressure in the US population: analysis of NHANES III. Arch Intern Med. 2001;161(4):589-593.
  12. Appel LJ, Moore TJ, Obarzanek E, et al. A clinical trial of the effects of dietary patterns on blood pressure. DASH Collaborative Research Group. N Engl J Med. 1997;336(16):1117-1124.
  13. Gennari FJ. Hypokalemia. N Engl J Med. 1998;339(7):451-458.
  14. Pauling Institute on Potassium

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