By Beth Lipton
Pop quiz: When we say potassium, you say… We’re guessing “bananas.” And yes, bananas are a great source. But not the only one.
First: The why. Potassium is a really important mineral, crucial for cell, nerve and muscle function. It’s an electrolyte (along with sodium, calcium, magnesium, and phosphate), which means it helps regulate hydration, among other functions. If you consume too much sodium and not enough potassium, you risk high blood pressure. But too much potassium is also potentially problematic—so foods are usually a better source than supplements.
Still, there are only so many bananas a person can eat, and that’s assuming you like them. So here are some other potassium-rich foods and some tasty ways to incorporate them:
If you buy beets with the leaves attached, don’t toss them. Not only is that a waste of food (and your precious grocery dollars), you’d also be losing out on a really delicious way to get a whole lot of potassium, along with fiber, vitamins A, C and K, iron and calcium.
Try it: Sauteed Beet Greens
Turns out that elementary-school lunchbox staple is a great source of potassium. A little goes a long way; just an ounce and a half delivers nearly 10 percent of your daily potassium, along with magnesium, iron and fiber.
Try it: Romanesco with Golden Raisins, Tahini and Sumac
Sweet potatoes (with skin)
Do you need an excuse to eat a sweet potato? (We don’t.) But here it is, just in case: A large baked sweet potato with skin has nearly double the potassium of a banana.
Try it: Sweet and Savory Sweet Potato Breakfast Ideas
Turns out this fruit-salad fave also brings some good nutrition, with 12 percent of your day’s potassium in 1 cup, along with lots of vitamins A and C. It’s also hydrating, so snack on it as an electroltye replacer and refresher after a workout.
Try it: Cantaloupe, Cucumber & Coconut Salad with Spicy Melon Dressing
OK, avocados—now you’re just showing off. These incredibly healthy and delicious fruits are loaded with so much good nutrition, including more than 20 percent of your day’s potassium per cup.
Try it: Beauty-Boosting Avocado Brownies
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