Potassium is a vital mineral and electrolyte needed by the body.
It helps maintain normal blood pressure, transports nutrients into your cells and supports healthy nerve and muscle function.
Some people turn to bananas, as these are well known for being high in potassium. In fact, one medium-sized banana typically containing 422mg or 9 percent of the AI. (3)
However, although bananas contain a fair amount of potassium, they’re also loaded with sugar.
In this article I will outline 9 foods that pack more potassium than a banana.
Avocados have become extremely popular — and with good reason.
Packed with healthy fats, avocados are also a particularly great source of vitamin K and folate. One half of an avocado contains 487mg of potassium, or 10 percent of the AI. If you eat a whole avocado, you’d get 20 percent of your daily potassium needs at once. (4)
Additionally, avocados may help people with high blood pressure, who are often told to increase their potassium and reduce their salt (sodium) intake.
Avocados, like most fruit, are low in sodium. Half an avocado provides 7mg or just 0.5 percent of your recommended dietary intake (RDI) of sodium (7)
Without a doubt, spinach is one of the most nutrient-dense vegetables we can consume.
Just one cup of frozen spinach contains 540mg of potassium, or roughly 12 percent of the AI. (8)
It also packs a punch with other nutrients. The same serving size contains 366 percent of your RDI for vitamin A, 725 percent for vitamin K, 57 percent for folate and 29 percent for magnesium. (9)
Similarly, about three cups of raw spinach contain 558mg of potassium, also around 12 percent of the AI. (10)
3. Coconut Water
Coconut water is an excellent way to hydrate yourself, especially if you’re and athlete.
It’s an excellent natural alternative to sports drinks, as it contains key electrolytes that help draw water into your cells, and its natural sugars provide energy during exercise or replenish lost glycogen stores after. (11)
It’s refreshing when served chilled with ice after a sweaty workout.
4. White Beans
The term white beans can refer to navy (pea) beans, cannellini (white kidney) beans, great northern beans or lima beans.
Though bananas are lauded for their potassium content, one cup of any of these beans has twice as much potassium as one banana. One cup of cooked white beans gives you 829mg of potassium — a whopping 18 percent of the AI. (13, 14)
One cup also provides up to 61 percent of the RDI for various B vitamins. Additionally, white beans are a great source of iron and plant-based protein. (15)
As one cup alone contains nearly 19 grams of fiber, they also happen to be very filling. (16)
White beans are incredibly versatile and can easily be added to many different types of meal, including soups, salads and stews.
5. Black Beans
Black beans, also known as turtle beans, are a staple food in Central and South America and are often used in burritos and soups.
Although white beans may have more potassium than black beans, the latter are still a great source of potassium. One cup of black beans gives you 611mg, or 13 percent of the AI. (17)
However, as black beans contain phytates which can reduce your body’s absorption of minerals, not all of that potassium may be put to use.
It’s difficult to know how much these phytates may affect the absorption of minerals like potassium, but if you’re using dried beans it’s best to soak them overnight. This step will help reduce the number of phytates the beans contain. (18)
Edamame, traditionally eaten in Japan, are immature soybeans served in the pod.
They too have more potassium in one cup than a banana. In fact, one cup provides 676mg or just over 14 percent of the AI. (19).
They’re filled with many other nutrients, but most notably contain 121% of the RDI for folate per cup. (20).
What’s more, they’re a great source of vitamin K, magnesium and manganese. (21)
Edamame are delicious lightly steamed as an accompaniment or appetizer to meals.
7. Butternut Squash
Butternut squash is a sweet-tasting winter squash. While technically a fruit, it’s cooked like a root vegetable.
One cup of butternut squash can give you 582mg of potassium — over 12 percent of the AI. (22)
It’s also a great source of vitamins A and C and has smaller amounts of B vitamins, vitamin E and magnesium. (23).
Butternut squashes can be roasted, boiled, steamed or chopped up for use in hearty soups or as a side dish.
8. Swiss Chard
Swiss chard, also known as silverbeet or simply chard, is a high leafy green vegetable.
Their thick stalks can range from red to orange to white in color.
They’re highly nutritious. Just one cup of cooked chard provides 961mg or 20 percent of the AI for potassium — that’s more than double the potassium in a banana. (24)
The same amount also packs 716 percent of the RDI for vitamin K and 214 percent of the RDI for vitamin A. (25)
They’re also low in calories and a good source of fiber.
Swiss chard is sometimes overlooked in favor of other leafy greens, but it’s a delicious base for salads and can be easily steamed or sautéed with a little oil.
Pomegranates are an extremely healthy, multi-seeded fruit, about the size of an orange and ranging in color from red to purple.
They’re a fantastic source of potassium, as one fruit can bestow 666 mg. This equates to just over 14% of the AI. (26)
What’s more, pomegranates are packed with vitamins C and K, as well as folate and have a higher protein content than most fruits — 4.7 grams per fruit. (27)
However, they pack more calories than most fruits and a sizeable amount of natural sugars. (28)
On the other hand, pomegranates also have 11 grams of fiber, which can help slow digestion and make you feel fuller longer.
Although bananas are a great source of potassium, many other healthy foods — such as avocados and spinach — have more potassium per serving.
Some foods such as Swiss chard and white beans even have double the amount of potassium per cup, compared to a medium-sized banana.
The key to getting enough potassium is to eat a good range of plant-based foods each day. In particular, you could aim to include some of the 9 high-potassium foods outlined in the article to your diet regularly to help boost your intake.