Potassium is an essential mineral that helps you stay healthy. It’s found in an abundance of foods that should be a part of a well-balanced diet.
While following a healthy lifestyle and eating fresh and natural foods should provide you with all the potassium you need, some people still experience deficiencies.
To avoid that, you can add some high potassium snacks to your diet to get enough of this essential mineral.
Foods and snacks that are high in potassium should contain more than 200mg of this mineral per single serving. Generally, a healthy adult should take around 4700mg of potassium per day. So, if this seems unattainable considering your current diet, there are many foods you can snack on to get to that amount and maintain good health.
READ ALSO: The Best Low Potassium Snacks
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What’s the role of potassium in your body?
Potassium is a mineral found in various foods, and it also works as an electrolyte. Along with sodium, it helps conduct electrical impulses throughout the body.
It also contributes to several essential body functions, such as blood pressure regulation, muscle contractions, digestion, heart rhythm, and even pH balance.
Adding high-potassium foods to your diet can also help you with hypokalemia – a potassium deficiency. It can be caused by kidney disease, overuse of diuretics, excessive sweating, diarrhea, vomiting, magnesium deficiency, and even the use of antibiotics.
Don't know which foods are high in potassium? Read our article, 15 Best Food Sources of Potassium. We also have a guide to this important mineral: Potassium 101: All You Need To Know About Potassium.
As a result, adding foods rich in potassium to your diet can help you counteract the side effects of these conditions.
Your body doesn’t have the ability to produce potassium naturally, so you have to make sure it gets as much as it needs from your diet.
Because of that, adding high-potassium foods to your meals is crucial. Another reason why this is important is that consuming too little potassium can cause serious health issues, including many cardiovascular conditions as well as muscle weakness.
In healthy people, kidneys help maintain normal potassium levels in the body by removing excess amounts through urine. But if you deal with some kidney issues or even kidney failure, potassium can accumulate in your kidneys, leading to serious health complications.
As a result, if you have to follow a specific low-potassium diet, make sure to adhere to it and not take in more potassium than you’re allowed.
What are the best high potassium snacks?
To figure out whether a certain type of food is high in potassium, make sure to look at how much it contains per single serving. Many foods contain a lot of potassium, but natural sources, such as vegetables and fruits, are the best to get enough of this mineral.
So, if you want to increase how much potassium you consume, you can try adding some fresh foods to your diet, such as:
- Coconut water
- Peanuts and other nuts
- Citrus fruits
- Leafy, green veggies
- Dried apricots
These foods contain the highest amounts of potassium in their raw forms, but some of them, such as potatoes, have to be cooked before consumption.
Because of that, it’s important to remember that cooking, especially boiling, decreases the potassium content in most foods. So, if the food can be consumed raw, that’s your best choice to take in more potassium.
Most of the foods listed are also rich in other essential vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C and K, folate, fiber, and even protein. These nutrients help you stay healthy and prevent many health conditions.
What’s more, fiber helps soak up excess stomach acid and feed the ‘good’ gut bacteria that keep your digestive system healthy. Because of that, these can also protect your kidneys and flush our potassium if too much of it gathers.
If you’re looking for a traditional snack, dried fruits, such as bananas, apricots, or kiwis, are a good choice. They’re easy to add to any diet and delicious, so they make snacking very easy. On the other hand, dried fruits are high in calories and sugars but lower in other essential nutrients, making them a snack that you should have only every once in a while.
If you’re experiencing symptoms of potassium deficiency, it might be a good idea to invest in supplements.
When doing that, it’s best to stick to multivitamin tablets since it’s harder to take in too many nutrients that may negatively impact your health and wellbeing. It’s also important to take them during a meal as they can get absorbed better.
Can eating too many high-potassium snacks be bad for you?
Depending on your dietary requirements, you may need to avoid some snacks that are particularly high in potassium. For example, if you suffer from kidney problems, you have to follow a low-potassium diet to avoid any uncomfortable symptoms from developing.
What’s more, eating too many high-potassium snacks for a prolonged period of time may affect the way your heart’s muscles work, causing it to beat irregularly. Because of that, make sure to consult your doctor if you notice any unusual symptoms and before you make any drastic changes to your diet.
What’s more, you should only consume very high-potassium foods if your doctors tell you to do so. This is because most people get enough potassium simply by eating a balanced diet.
As a result, you only need to up your intake of this mineral if you notice some symptoms of deficiency or if your doctor prescribed you a higher intake of potassium. In that case, it’s best to add high-potassium foods to your diet instead of taking supplements, which don’t absorb as well.
Potassium is a vital mineral that contributes to good health and maintains various bodily functions. But many people, particularly these days, don’t take in enough of this mineral. Because of that, it can be a good idea to add some high-potassium snacks to your diet and reap all the health benefits of this mineral.
Most of them are also delicious, so there’s no reason not to add a few to a healthy, balanced diet.