Are walnuts high in potassium? Which nuts have more?

Walnuts are good dietary sources of potassium. They contain up to 530 mg of potassium per 100g, and provide more than 4% of the required daily intake per serving. Other common nuts have a much higher potassium content, though.

Are walnuts high in potassium?

Walnuts are an excellent dietary source of potassium. They have 440-530 mg of potassium per 100g, depending on the variety. A serving can provide more than 4% of the Daily Value (DV).

For instance, English walnuts, which is the most common walnut variety, has 441 mg of potassium per 100g. A handful has 125 mg of potassium, which is 3.7% of the DV. A cup of chopped walnuts has 516 mg, while 1/4 cup has 129 mg of potassium.

Black walnuts have 18% more potassium than English walnuts. Black walnuts have 523 mg of potassium per 100g. A handful provides 148 mg of potassium, or 4.3% of the DV.[1]

What’s the potassium content of walnut-based foods?

Most foods containing walnuts are also high in potassium. 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.

Hence, people who have to follow a diet low in potassium should carefully read the nutrition facts label of foods.

Do walnuts have more potassium than other nuts?

Actually, walnuts have a pretty low potassium content as compared to other common nuts. For instance, almonds have 66% more potassium than walnuts! Pistachios, hazelnuts, and peanuts also have much higher amounts of potassium than walnuts.

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

Do we absorb the potassium of walnuts?

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

Can we increase the absorption of potassium of walnuts?

Magnesium depletion can contribute to potassium deficiency by increasing urinary potassium losses.[2]

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.

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.[3]

Cigarette smoking may deplete potassium as well. People who smoke more than 12 cigarettes a day have a higher risk of potassium deficiency.[4]

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

How much potassium do we need a day?

The recommended daily intake of potassium is 2,600 for adult women and 3,400 mg for adult men. Children and teenagers require lower doses. Pregnant and lactating women require about 2,800-2,900 mg of potassium a day.

Healthy people can safely consume much higher doses of potassium, though.

Poor diet, diarrhea, vomiting, or the use of certain medications can cause potassium deficiency in healthy people.

Keep in mind that patients with certain diseases, such as kidney disease, should consume much lower dosages than the recommended intake.

Always consult your physician before changing your diet.

Can walnuts help us meet our daily needs?

Walnuts can help us meet our daily potassium needs. Just a handful of walnuts can provide more than 4% of the required daily dose of potassium.

Furthermore, walnuts are great dietary sources of many other minerals, such as calcium and magnesium.

However, we should be very cautious with portion sizes. Overconsumption of walnuts can make you gain weight. Walnuts have many calories!

When should I eat walnuts?

The best time to eat walnuts for weight loss is between meals, as a healthy snack. You can eat walnuts on an empty stomach. Walnuts are low in carbs and sugar. They don’t spike blood sugar levels. On the contrary, walnuts control glycemic response! Moreover, fiber and protein in walnuts promote satiety.

Another great time to eat walnuts is before bed. Potassium and other compounds in walnuts may improve sleep quality and duration!

Can you get too much potassium from walnuts?

Healthy people shouldn’t worry about getting too much potassium from walnuts. They can safely consume more than the recommended daily intake.

But, people who have to follow a potassium-poor diet should avoid consuming too many walnuts. Even a handful of walnuts can be too much for patients with certain diseases, such as chronic kidney disease, diabetes, congestive heart failure, adrenal insufficiency, or liver disease.

These patients have impaired urinary potassium excretion. They have to take dosages below the recommended daily intake for healthy people.

Always consult your physician or a registered dietitian about appropriate potassium intakes from all sources. 

Symptoms of high levels of potassium in the blood may be muscle weakness, paralysis, heart palpitations, burning sensation, and cardiac arrhythmias.

Other common foods high in potassium

Potassium is found in abundant in most fruits and vegetables. Also, seeds, nuts, and beans are among the richest foods in potassium.

On the other hand, cereals and animal-based foods, such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and milk have lower concentrations of potassium.

A whole food plant-based diet provides three times more potassium than the average American diet.

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