The richest foods in potassium are seeds & nuts!

Seeds, nuts, and certain vegetables and fruits, such as avocado, banana, and spinach, are the richest foods in potassium. They even have higher amounts of potassium than animal-derived foods!

How much potassium do we need daily?

The recommended daily dose of potassium for men and women is 3,400 mg and 2,600 mg, respectively.

On the other hand, there hasn’t been established a maximum safe dose of potassium for healthy people. Potassium is easily excreted by the kidneys. So, the human body doesn’t store high amounts.

Although, there are many foods containing high amounts of potassium, most people who follow a standard Western diet fail to meet their daily needs. That’s why the 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans identifies potassium as a “nutrient of public health concern”.[1]

Studies have shown, that only 10% of men and less than 1% of women consume the recommended daily intake of potassium.[2]

Foods high in potassium

We should eat plenty of foods high in potassium every day. Fruits, vegetables, seeds, and nuts are the best dietary sources of potassium.

potassium (mg)
per 100g
potassium (mg)
per 100g
hemp seeds1,200avocado351-507
sunflower seeds850tahini414
chia seeds813kidney beans375
pumpkin seeds788potatoes372
prunes, dried732macadamia363
Brazil nuts659tomato237
pine nuts597squash180-340
cashews548rice, brown86
The richest vegan foods in potassium!

Hemp seeds are the richest food in potassium, containing 1,200 mg of potassium per 100g!

Banana boosts potassium intake!

Banana is also particularly high in potassium. It’s the main source of potassium for people who don’t eat many fruits or vegetables.

Actually, a medium (7″) banana has 420 mg of potassium. This dose is 12% of the Daily Value.

Moreover, a large (9″) banana contains approximately 540 mg of potassium, or almost 16% of the DV.

All other banana products are excellent natural sources of potassium. For instance, banana chips contain 536 mg of potassium per 100g, while dehydrated bananas contain 1,490 mg of potassium per 100g, or 44% of the DV.

Moreover, bananas help increase potassium levels because they’re excellent dietary sources of magnesium. Magnesium depletion can contribute to potassium deficiency by increasing urinary potassium losses.

Other favorite foods rich in potassium

Nuts & Seeds

All nuts & seeds are high in potassium. Pistachios, sunflower seeds, flaxseeds, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, and cacao seeds (chocolate) are also excellent sources of potassium. Pistachios are the richest nuts in potassium. Furthermore, pistachios have unique compounds that help you lose belly fat.

potassium (mg)
per 100g
potassium (mg)
per serving
% DV
Brazil nuts6591875.5%
pine nuts5971695%
Potassium in common nuts.

We absorb most potassium of walnuts and other nuts. It’s estimated that the body absorbs approximately 90% of dietary potassium.

Magnesium depletion can contribute to potassium deficiency by increasing urinary potassium losses. Therefore, consuming a wide variety of foods high in magnesium, like spinach, almonds, peanuts, and pumpkin seeds, helps maintain normal potassium levels. Walnuts are great dietary sources of magnesium as well.

May recipes with nuts contribute to the daily intake. For instance, a serving of walnut-based bread or cookie can provide more than 6% of the DV:

potassium (mg)
per 100g
potassium (mg)
per serving
% DV
soft cake111200.6%
Potassium in walnut-based foods.


Fruits, such as prunes, apricots, bananas, papaya, oranges, watermelon, cantaloupe, and apples are rich in potassium. Raisins are the richest fruit in potassium, though!


Beverages, such as coffee (116 mg per cup) and tea (88 mg per cup) also contain potassium. Avoid drinking too many cups of coffee a day. In a case study, scientists found that drinking more than 10 cups of coffee a day may cause hypokalemia, due to the diuretic action of caffeine. Hypokalemia is a dangerous condition in which the level of potassium in the blood gets too low.[3]

Animal-derived foods, such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and milk, contain moderate amounts of potassium.

What foods inhibit potassium absorption?

Caffeine, smoking cigarettes, drugs, and extreme diets may reduce the absorption of potassium and cause potassium deficiency.

Consuming high amounts of caffeine may cause increased loss of potassium via the urine stream. Caffeine is diuretic. Drink coffee, tea, energy drinks, or other caffeinated beverages in moderation.[4]

Cigarette smoking may deplete potassium as well. People who smoke more than 12 cigarettes a day have a higher risk of potassium deficiency.[5]

People who follow extreme diets or take certain drugs have also increased risk of potassium deficiency.

Health benefits of potassium

Eating foods high in potassium is vital for good health, as it’s present in all body tissues, and it’s required for normal cell function. Adequate amounts of potassium may help:

  • decrease blood pressure
  • reduce the risk of kidney stones
  • make bones stronger
  • reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, insulin resistant, and high glucose levels

Is potassium beneficial for weight loss?

Studies have shown that high levels of potassium support weight loss. Scientists found that eating foods high in potassium has been linked to a lower body mass index (BMI), smaller waist circumference, and a lower risk of obesity.

But, why is the consumption of foods high in potassium beneficial for weight loss? It seems that potassium might:

  • improve insulin sensitivity
  • help reduce inflammation
  • improve the metabolism of fat

Moreover, potassium is important for muscle growth. Increased muscle mass improves basal metabolism and burns belly fat.

The best way to stay lean, as we get older, is by exercising, consuming adequate amounts of protein, and other compounds, such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium![6]

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