How much potassium do we need daily?
The recommended daily dose of potassium for men is 3,400 mg and 2,600 mg for women. Although, there are many foods containing high amounts of potassium, most US citizens fail to consume the daily recommended dose. That’s why the 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans identifies potassium as a “nutrient of public health concern”.
Studies have shown that only 10% of men and less than 1% of women consume the daily recommended intake of potassium.
Additionally, there isn’t an upper safe dose of potassium for healthy people.
Foods high in potassium
We should eat lots of foods high in potassium every day. Potassium is easily excreted by the kidneys. So, the human body doesn’t store high amounts. Consume regularly fruits, vegetables, seeds, and nuts, as they’re the best dietary sources of potassium.
mg per 100g
mg per 100g
The richest food in potassium is hemp seeds. 100g contain 1,200 mg of potassium! Also:
- 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 nut in potassium. Furthermore, pistachios have unique compounds that help you lose belly fat easily.
- fruits, such as prunes, apricots, bananas, papaya, oranges, watermelon, and apples are rich in potassium, as well. Raisins are the richest fruit in potassium, though!
- beans & legumes are nutrient-dense foods. Also, they’re particularly rich in potassium.
- beverages, such as coffee (116 mg per cup) and tea (88 mg per cup) also contain potassium. Actually, they’re the top sources of potassium in the diets of U.S. adults! Avoid drinking too many cups of coffee a day, though. Excess amount of caffeine may cause hypokalemia, due to the diuretic action of caffeine. In a case study, scientists found that drinking more than 10 cups of coffee a day may cause hypokalemia. Hypokalemia is a dangerous condition in which the level of potassium in the blood gets too low.
Animal-based foods, such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and milk contain moderate amounts of potassium.
Why is potassium important for losing weight?
Studies have shown that weight loss depends on high levels of potassium, besides low caloric intake, exercise, lifestyle, genetics, metabolism, or disease.
Above all, scientists founds that eating foods high in potassium has been linked to a lower body weight index (BMI), smaller waist circumference, and a lower risk of obesity. Certainly, decreasing the daily intake of sugars and calories is also vital for fast weight loss!
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 metabolism of fat.
Moreover, potassium is important for maintaining and building muscle mass. Especially for men. Increasing muscle mass is important for increased metabolism. Muscle mass demands high amounts of energy. Hence, muscle mass burns more calories without diet or exercise!
Also, foods that contain potassium contain many other compounds that help you lose belly fat, as well. For instance:
- walnuts and flaxseeds are the best dietary sources of omega-3 fatty acids.
- Brazil nuts are the best source of selenium, an important element for weight loss.
- Hazelnuts and tahini are also good for losing weight, due to their high antioxidant content. Moreover, seeds, nuts, and beans are filling foods, helping us eat fewer calories throughout the day!
Other health benefits of potassium
Eating foods high in potassium is vital for good health, as it’s present in all body tissues and is required for normal cell function. Adequate amounts of potassium may help:
- decrease blood pressure.
- reduce risk of kidney stones.
- make bones stronger.
- reduce risk of type 2 diabetes, insulin resistant, and increased levels of fasting glucose.
Are bananas really a good source of potassium?
Bananas have high amounts of potassium per serving. A banana contains 360-545 mg of potassium, depending on its size. So, just a large banana may contain up to 20% DV (Daily Value)!