Sure, it’s very important to get enough protein, vitamin B12, and omega-3 fatty acids in your vegan diet, but what about potassium?
After all, potassium cannot be produced in the body and has to come from the food you eat.
This essential mineral is required for a number of health functions in the body, including regulating bodily fluid levels and maintaining electrical activity in the heart and muscles.
Moreover, a diet high in potassium aids in reducing the risk of stroke, lowering blood pressure, and preventing muscle loss.
Unfortunately, less than five percent of Americans meet the daily recommendation for potassium consumption.
The human body needs at least approximately 100 milligrams of potassium every day to support bodily processes. However, the recommended daily intake for people ages 19 and above is 3,400 milligrams per day for males and 2,600 milligrams per day for females.
If you follow a vegan diet, you may be wondering where you can get this essential mineral from. The great news is, there are a good number of vegan foods that contain potassium.
To aid you as you plan your meals, let’s take a look at a list of high potassium foods that you can add to your grocery list.
#1: White Beans
Although all beans and lentils are great sources of potassium, white beans have the highest level of potassium.
In just one cup of white beans, you’ll receive 829 milligrams of potassium or roughly 18 percent of the recommended daily intake.
White beans are also an excellent source of fiber, antioxidants, and protein, making them an excellent food choice to add to your shopping list. Beans can be enjoyed in soups, stews, bakes, and many other cooking scenarios.
People tend to have a love/hate relationship with this purplish-red root vegetable. However, beets are an extremely healthy vegetable that provides you with many health benefits, including fighting oxidative damage, improving blood pressure, and decreasing the risk of heart disease.
Beets are also an excellent vegan source of potassium, measuring in at 518 milligrams of potassium per one cup. Enjoy beets in smoothies or salads.
This extremely popular– and delicious– fruit is not only rich in monounsaturated fats. It is also an excellent source of potassium, roughly 690 milligrams of potassium in each medium-sized avocado.
On top of that, avocados are also rich in fiber, antioxidants, vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin B6, and folate, making them a very healthy food to enjoy as part of a healthy vegan diet. It is also versatile in the kitchen and can be added to smoothies, pasta dishes, or egg scrambles.
#4: White Potatoes
Although white potatoes are not revered as highly nutritious food, they are one of the best vegan sources of potassium by far. In each large potato (roughly 10.5 ounces), you can expect to receive a little over 1,000 milligrams, or 34% of the RDI. You can try adding potatoes to salads, stews, and baked dishes.
Spinach is often referred to as a superfood, and for good reason. Including spinach in your diet will provide you with a list of health benefits, including cancer prevention, diabetes management, asthma prevention, blood pressure reduction, digestive regularity, and much more. Spinach also makes for an excellent vegan source of potassium, with approximately 839 milligrams of potassium per cup of cooked greens. There’s a reason why Popeye’s chose spinach as his weapon of choice.
#6: Acorn Squash
Although one of the lesser known foods on this list, acorn squash is a great source of potassium to add to any vegan diet. Each large acorn squash supplies nearly 896 milligrams of potassium, while also providing you with adequate amounts of vitamin C, fiber, vitamin A, beta-carotene, and more. Two popular methods of cooking acorn squash include roasting it in the oven or adding it to soups.
#7: Tomato/Tomato Sauce
Tomatoes can be found in countless meal situations, including pasta, salads, soups, and even on burgers in the form of ketchup.
This popular food is full of potassium in any form. For example, just one cup of tomato sauce provides roughly 427 milligrams of potassium. Additionally, tomatoes are rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6, copper, and other good-for-you vitamins and minerals. Tomatoes even contain lycopene, which is a healthy plant compound that fights inflammation and may reduce the risk of prostate cancer. You can add tomatoes to your diet fresh or in the form of ketchup, tomato sauce, or any other form.
#8: Oranges/Orange Juice
Oranges are especially known as a great source of vitamin C that can aid in recovery from illness. But oranges and other citrus fruits are also a great source of potassium.
In one average-sized orange, you can expect to receive 237 milligrams of potassium, making it an easy and delicious vegan snack to help you achieve RDI (recommended daily intake) levels.
Of course, oranges (and orange juice) also provide other vitamins and minerals, including folate, vitamin A, antioxidants, thiamine, and vitamin C. You can easily enjoy oranges as orange juice, in smoothies, or in natural form. However, if you do decide to drink orange juice, just be sure to do so in moderation– orange juice tends to be high in sugar.
A very popular snack option due to their natural packaging, bananas are a great addition to any vegan meal.
They’re rich in vitamin C, vitamin B6, magnesium, fiber, antioxidants, and of course, potassium. In fact, bananas are famously known as a rich source of potassium and weigh in at 422 milligrams of potassium per banana.
Although they are naturally higher in sugar, they are still a great potassium option to supplement in your vegan diet. As mentioned above, you can enjoy bananas as an easy throw-in snack. They’re also great to add to cereals, smoothies, or desserts.
#10: Coconut Water
Do you enjoy drinking coconut water? Although this is not technically a food, it is still worth listing as a great source of potassium. In just one cup of coconut water, you’ll receive 600 milligrams of potassium.
Coconut water is often enjoyed as a standalone drink, rather than being added to recipes. However, it is also a great addition to smoothies as a flavor enhancer.