Potassium is a vital mineral that our bodies need to function correctly. This electrolyte helps our muscles contract and keeps our nerves working well.
If you experience muscle cramps often, eating foods high in potassium may help relieve your pain.
Avocados are trendy right now and have many health benefits, but is avocado high in potassium?
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Are avocados high in potassium?
Avocados are very high in potassium! This fruit, yes, avocados are a fruit, have more than double the amount of potassium in them than one medium-sized banana. One medium-sized banana has about 422 mg of potassium, but one average-sized avocado has 975 mg of potassium.
Even if you only eat half of an avocado, you'll still get about 487 mg of potassium, which is more than a banana.
Why is Potassium Good For Us?
We've already touched on potassium being a vital mineral that our bodies need. But why? What else does potassium do besides help our muscles and nerves function well?
Potassium is vital for our immune system. Eating foods that tend to be high in potassium are fruits and veggies, which can help our immune system improve and fight off infection easier.
Meeting your daily potassium intake may help prevent you from having a stroke. Strokes kill 130,000 people on average in the United States every year.
Several studies have been conducted that showed those who ate a high-potassium diet had a reduced risk of stroke.
Another medical condition that eating plenty of potassium may ward off is Osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a condition when you have fragile bones and a lower bone density, causing bones to break much easier.
When someone has Osteoporosis, they're deficient in calcium, which is crucial to bone health. If you're wondering how potassium and calcium are linked, hear me out.
It's believed that potassium can help decrease the amount of calcium you lose through your urine.
By reducing the amount of calcium you're losing when urinating, your body retains more calcium and decreases your chance of developing Osteoporosis.
If you've ever had kidney stones, you probably cringed when just by seeing the words. Drinking plenty of water helps prevent kidney stones, but a high-potassium diet may help too.
Remember our talk about calcium in your urine? Well, calcium plays a massive role in kidney stones.
If you eat a lot of potassium, the amount of calcium in your urine will decrease, helping to prevent kidney stones.
Eating high-potassium foods can also help lower your blood pressure. So don't feel guilty if you've ordered avocado toast for the fifth time this week or made it at home.
How Much Potassium Should You Eat a Day?
How much potassium you need daily is dependent on several factors—the main ones being your gender, age, and weight. If you're potassium deficient, you'll need more than the average person.
But, if you ask most health professionals, the recommended daily potassium intake is anywhere between 3,500 to 4,700 mg.
What has more potassium avocado or banana?
Although bananas are hailed as the fruit with the most potassium, that title should actually go to avocado as it's the fruit with the most potassium. A 3.5 oz (100 g) of banana contains 358 mg (10%) of potassium, while the same amount of avocado has 485 mg (13%).
Although it doesn't seem like much of a difference, it is in fact noticeable and people looking to limit or boost their potassium intake should take notice.
|Carbohydrates||23 g||9 g|
|Protein||1.1 g||2 g|
|Fat||0.3 g||15 g|
|Fiber||2.6 g||7 g|
|Potassium||358 mg||485 mg|
|Vitamin C (%DV)||14%||16%|
|Vitamin B6 (%DV)||20%||15%|
|Vitamin B12 (%DV)||0%||0%|
|Vitamin D (%DV)||0%||0%|
Dangers of Too Much or Too Little Potassium
As with most things in life, moderation is key. When it comes to the potassium levels in our body, too much and too little can have some dangerous side effects.
When you have too much potassium in your body, it's known as Hyperkalemia. Having high potassium levels in your blood can cause heart attacks, strokes, and even death from these conditions.
Luckily, our kidneys are built to remove extra potassium from our blood. But, if you have kidney problems or way too much potassium, this may not happen, and danger persists.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, having too little potassium in your body is known as Hypokalemia. Many people don't know they have low potassium levels because mild cases rarely show symptoms.
People may experience muscle weakness, cramps, twitches, kidney problems, and irregular heart rhythms for more severe cases.
Avocado Recipes to Increase Your Potassium Intake
There are several ways to incorporate avocados into your diet if you're looking to up your potassium intake. Of course, there's the trendy and delicious avocado toast, but avocados can be much more than this.
A great way to add avocado to your breakfast is to use it topping for breakfast tacos. All you have to do is scramble some eggs with whatever ingredients you like and then cut up an avocado and top the taco.
It's a delicious way to start your day and get some much-needed potassium. You can also use it as a topping for taco night too, but who doesn't love avocado at breakfast time?
If you're looking to spice up your BLT sandwich, adding sliced avocados is the way to do it. You can make your BLT however you normally would but then top it with several slices of avocado to make it a little richer and even healthier.
Grilled avocado stuffed with veggie ceviche or traditional ceviche is going to blow your mind, and it's straightforward to make.
First, you'll start but cutting your avocado in half and removing the pit. Then you'll drizzle a little olive oil (or oil of your choice) over the fruit before grilling them for a few minutes.
You can even bake them if you don't have access to a grill. Once they're finished grilling, you'll top the avocado with your veggie or traditional ceviche and serve.
What Country Produces the Most Avocados?
Even though it seems like the United States, specifically California would produce the most avocados in the world based on how often they're eaten, but they don't.
The country that leads the world in avocado production is the United States' southern neighbor, Mexico. Following behind Mexico is the Dominican Republic, and then Peru and Columbia.
While the United States isn't in the top four avocado-producing countries in the world, they still produce a lot. California is the largest producer of avocados in the United States. I don't know about you, but this doesn't come as much of a surprise.
Don't know which foods are high in potassium? Read our article 15 Best Food Sources of Potassium. We also have a guide on this important mineral: Potassium 101: All You Need To Know About Potassium.