Most people do not understand the importance of potassium in the body – not in the way, for instance, that they understand why calcium or iron is necessary for health. The fact is, however, that potassium actually plays an incredibly important role in everyday body functions; it helps to keep blood pressure at a healthy level, for instance, and also helps to boost energy levels and plays an important role in the muscle function.
A banana is the food that most often comes to mind when the subject of potassium arises. However, there are other foods, too, which are potassium-rich and which can be included in the diet to keep the body functioning at an optimum level. Five of these foods are discussed below.
A mere half-cup serving of cooked white beans will provide 502 mg of potassium to keep the body’s levels sufficiently high. What is more, beans also provide a number of other healthy nutrients, including amino acids which help to build and maintain the body’s muscle and dietary fiber to aid weight loss and keep the digestive system working at its best.
There are many reasons why sweet potatoes are considered to be a superfood and one of them is because a medium-sized spud will bring in 543 mg of potassium. In addition to this, sweet potatoes are an excellent source of dietary fiber, contain high levels of Vitamins A and C and are low on the glycemic index, meaning that they will not spike up the blood sugar levels. ( source)
Avocadoes, like sweet potatoes, are a definite super food which will provide a whopping 960mg of potassium for the whole fruit. In addition to this, avocadoes are also a great source of dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals and are a rich source of monounsaturated fats; these fats have been proven to improve heart health and aid in natural weight loss.
Even in comparison to other dark, leafy green vegetables, spinach stands out as a nutritional superstar. A one-cup serving boasts an impressive 839mg of potassium. In addition to that, it is also a rich source of plant-based iron and calcium (making it a great choice for vegetarians) and is high in fiber to aid weight loss and digestion as well.
A single cup of yogurt bring in 579mg of potassium, making it even better than bananas at providing this nutrient. The benefits do not end there, however: yogurt also is a good source of calcium and protein. In addition to this, its probiotic bacteria help to replenish the natural flora in the digestive tract which are so important to good digestion and overall health.
In short, the good news is that, while bananas are certainly an excellent source of potassium and an overall healthy food, they are not the only option. The foods mentioned above also provide large quantities of this vital nutrient and bring many other health benefits with them as well.
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