Why should you be eating high potassium fruits? Potassium is an essential nutrient that helps regulate blood pressure levels, maintain electrolyte balance, and promote healthy nerve and muscle functions.
In this article, I’ll show you some of the best high-potassium fruits for optimum health and well-being.
What Is Potassium?
Potassium is an essential mineral needed by all tissues in the body. Potassium can be found naturally in various foods, but is also available as a supplement.
Benefits of Potassium in the Body
Besides being a mineral, potassium is an electrolyte because it carries a small electrical charge that activates different cells and nerve functions.
The primary role of potassium is to maintain fluid balance inside the cells, while its counterpart, sodium, maintains fluid balance outside the cells.
1. Potassium may lower the risk of stroke
Stroke is a common complication causing about 130,000 deaths and more annually in the United States.
During 2020 statistics, it was determined that 1 in every death from cardiovascular conditions was due to stroke.
Stress occurs when there’s a cut in blood flow to the brain. This will deprive the brain of oxygen, and the brain cells will begin to die within minutes.
Research shows that increasing potassium intake can help prevent stroke or lower the risk of developing it.
In one analysis, researchers found that increased potassium intake reduced the risk of stroke by 24%compared to those who didn’t go up on their intake.
Another analysis of 11 studies found that eating more potassium reduced the risk of stroke by 21% among participants. Their risk of developing heart disease was also significantly reduced.
2. It may lower blood pressure
A meta-analysis of cohort studies and randomized controlled trials found that high potassium intake from food and supplements reduced blood pressure in people with high blood pressure (hypertension).
Potassium lowers blood pressure by relaxing your blood vessel lining, causing the blood to flow at low pressure.
It also does this by promoting the removal of sodium from the body, which, if too high, can cause blood vessel tension, causing blood pressure to increase.
In one review of randomized controlled trials, the DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension), which is often low in sodium but high in potassium, was effective at lowering blood pressure in people with high blood pressure.
High potassium intake From a high intake of fruits and vegetables also exhibited potassium- lowering effect in people with normal blood pressure levels.
3. Potassium may prevent osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is a condition that causes bones to become weak and break easily. It’s often associated with reduced bone minerals like calcium, leading to low bone density.
Osteoporosis is common in older adults but can also occur in men and young women.
A potassium-rich diet can prevent osteoporosis by preventing calcium loss through the urine.
One study found that eating most potassium increased bone mass in the lower back and hip bones in women with osteoporosis.
Additionally, potassium prevents the leaching of calcium out of the bones. This phenomenon is common when there’s too much acidity in the body, such as from consuming high-phosphorus foods like animal protein.
Calcium is necessary to help neutralize the situation and restore balance, and the body will thus pull it out of the bones.
4. It may prevent kidney stones
Kidney stones are small hard deposits that form in your kidneys. They are often made up of acid salts and minerals like calcium and can vary in size from a grain of sand to a pea.
If not treated, kidney stones can cause kidney damage and even lead to kidney disease.
When you excrete calcium, there is a high chance that some can crystallize to form stones in your kidneys. Potassium can help with this by preventing calcium release from the bones.
A review of 3 large prospective cohort studies found that a high potassium intake was associated with a low risk of developing stones.
Another review of a randomized controlled trial found that increasing potassium intake through potassium citrate supplements reduced the risk of developing more stones in people with a history of previous kidney stones.
9 High Potassium Fruits Other Than Bananas:
While potassium is available in most foods, including vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and fruits, you may want to know whether there are many high-potassium fruits other than bananas.
Watermelon is the most popular fruit in the world. It’s rich in water, making it highly refreshing and filling with just enough sugar to boost your energy, especially on those tiring, hot summer days.
Watermelons are not only delicious but also healthy. They are rich in various nutrients, including vitamins A and C, as well as lycopene, a compound that gives them their red color. Lycopene is also an antioxidant that has been associated with a reduced risk of heart disease and cancer.
Additionally, watermelons are a good source of potassium. One cup of diced watermelon contains about 170 milligrams of potassium, which is about 4 percent of what your body needs in a day.
Grapefruit is a citrus fruit rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It has a sour, tangy taste that can be enjoyed fresh, juiced, or in recipes.
Grapefruits are a good source of fiber and potassium and can help improve heart health, lower cholesterol levels, and promote weight loss.
One cup of red or pink grapefruit sections with its juice contains about 311 milligrams of potassium or 6 percent of your daily potassium needs.
3. Dried apricots
With half a cup serving providing up to 1100 milligrams of potassium, or about 25 percent of your daily requirement, dry apricots are one of the best sources of potassium to add to your diet.
Dried apricots are also very high in antioxidants and fiber, which can help keep you regular and prevent constipation.
You can enjoy dry apricots as they are for a healthy snack or add them to fruit salads or smoothies.
Oranges are another popular fruit in the world, and they are very rich in nutrients that can offer numerous health benefits.
For one, they are very high in fiber, an important nutrient for digestive health, including improving bowel movements and preventing constipation.
Oranges are also high in vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that fights inflammation, boosts the immune system, and promotes skin health.
Oranges also contain other antioxidants that can help protect against free radical damage that may increase the risk of chronic conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
In addition to these nutrients, oranges can help boost your potassium intake, with one fruit providing about 237 milligrams of potassium.
Drinking a cup of orange juice can provide more potassium, with one cup containing about 496 milligrams of potassium. In addition, orange juice is a good source of folate, antioxidants, and thiamine.
However, be careful about commercial fruit juices, as most are very high in added sugar. To ensure you’re drinking pure orange juice, prepare yours at home.
Cherries are a good source of fiber, vitamins C and K, antioxidants, and potassium. They also contain phytochemicals that may help protect against some chronic diseases.
The fiber in cherries can help promote bowel regularity and reduce the risk of diverticular disease and hemorrhoids.
Vitamin C helps boost the immune system, while vitamin K is important for blood clotting.
Common antioxidants in cherries include anthocyanins and quercetin, and this may help protect against cancer, heart disease, and stroke.
When it comes to potassium, a cup of cherries without pits can provide you 268 mg of potassium which is about 5 percent of your daily requirements.
Pomegranates have been cultivated for centuries and were even mentioned in the Bible.
The fruit has been used medicinally for millennia and is believed to have many health benefits. Today these claims are being confirmed with science, making pomegranate a nutritious and healing food to include in your diet.
They are a good source of vitamins C, folate, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, and iron.
A whole, fresh pomegranate with a four-inch diameter contains 666 milligrams of potassium, or 14 percent of your daily requirement.
In addition, this fruit is high in phenolic compounds, including anthocyanins and punicalagin, both of which have been shown to protect the cells against damage.
Pomegranates have also been shown to protect your kidneys, with one study showing that pomegranate extract can inhibit the process by which kidney stones are formed in the body.
Further research even indicates that the compounds in pomegranate fruit, juice, or oil can kill cancer cells or slow the rate at which they spread in the body.
You can enjoy pomegranates on their own, as a juice, or add to recipes, including salads, or as a garnish.
Cantaloupe is an excellent source of potassium, providing about 417 milligrams of potassium per cup of diced fruit, which is equivalent to 11 percent of your daily requirement.
It’s also a good source of vitamin C, providing about 95 percent of the daily requirement per cup.
Additionally, cantaloupe is very rich in vitamin A, an essential vitamin that helps to keep our eyes and skin healthy. It can also boost the immune system and protect against infections.
Cantaloupe can also offer other nutrients, including vitamin B6, magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus, although in small amounts.
Consuming this fruit regularly can lower blood pressure, promote healthy skin, reduce stress, prevent cancer, improve menstrual problems, and prevent leg cramps.
Avocados are nutrient-dense fruits that can provide a variety of health benefits.
They are a good source of healthy fats, fiber, vitamins C, E, and B6, as well as folate. They also contain a variety of antioxidants that can help protect the body from damage.
The healthy fats in avocados can help improve cholesterol levels and lower the risk of heart disease. Avocados are also known to help manage weight and prevent obesity.
Additionally, avocados can offer a generous amount of potassium, with half an avocado without the seed or skin containing 345 milligrams of potassium, or 7 percent of the recommended daily intake.
It’s also a good source of magnesium which can help reduce stress levels and promote relaxation.
There are many ways to enjoy avocado; one is to simply eat it with a spoon. Another way is to put it on toast or in a sandwich. You can also use it in salads or as a topping on burgers or tacos.
There are endless possibilities when it comes to enjoying avocados. Just get creative and have fun with it!
Kiwifruit, also known as Chinese gooseberry, is a nutritious fruit that is native to China. It is an excellent source of potassium, vitamin C, and fiber.
Kiwifruit has a variety of health benefits, including aiding digestion, boosting immunity, and preventing constipation.
The easiest way to eat kiwi is to cut it in half and scoop out the flesh with a spoon. You can also add kiwi slices to fruit salads or yogurt.
Kiwifruit can also be added to smoothies, used as a topping on yogurt or cereal, or baked into pies or other desserts.
Effects of Potassium Deficiency:
Having less potassium than the body needs can result in various symptoms, including:
- Muscle cramps
- Increased urination
- Tingling or numbness
- It can cause an abnormal heart rhythm (feeling of skipped heartbeats)
- Slows the movement of food through the digestive tract leading to bloating and constipation
How much potassium do you need?
Here are the daily potassium intake recommendations by the National Academy of Medicine:
- Women 14-18 years: 2300 mg daily
- Women 19 years and more: 2600 mg
- Pregnant and breastfeeding women: 2500-2900 depending on age
- Men 14-18: 3000 mg
- Men 19 years and more: 3,400 mg.
- Generally, a daily potassium intake of 2320 mg has been recommended for women and 3016 mg for adult men.
Potassium is an essential mineral that our bodies require to keep us healthy. Fruits are a great source of potassium, and while bananas have long been known as the go-to choice for this nutrient, plenty of other delicious options exist.
From oranges and avocados to kiwi and cantaloupe, these potassium-rich fruits are sure to give you all the benefits you need without having to resort to eating nothing but bananas.
So why not try something new and add some variety to your diet with these amazing fruits?
More Articles About Fruit:
- Best Fruits for Heart Health
- Best Immunity Boosting Fruits
- Zinc Rich Fruits
- Best Fruits for Diabetics
- Dry Fruit Benefits
- Best Fruits for Backpacking
- Fruits to Eat During Pregnancy
- Best Fruit for Eye Health
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