Nutrient Information: Potassium, K

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Nutrient Key Information 
Nutrient Name: Potassium, K
Nutrient Category: Minerals
Unit Name: mg
Nutrient Summary: Potassium plays an important role in maintaining body fluid balance. It is also required for normal cellular function. This is the nutrient we should get more of to have good blood pressure level, healthy affects on neural transmission, muscle contraction, and vascular tone.
Nutrient Function:

  • Potassium helps to regulate body fluid balance: potassium is the major intracellular cation (inside the cells) and sodium is the main electrolyte in extracellular fluids (outside the cells). Potassium and sodium balance the fluid of inside and outside body cells.
  • It helps to lower blood pressure level. It reduces the negative impact of the sodium intake to the blood pressure.
  • Help to maintain a steady heartbeat
  • Help muscle contraction
  • Help nerve transmissions
  • Carbohydrate metabolism and blood sugar control
  • Decrease bone loss, as a result increase bone strength and reduce the risk of calcium-containing kidney stones


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Food Sources


  • Leafy dark green vegetables: such as spinach, beet greens, amaranth leaves, broccoli, artichokes.
  • Root vegetables: such as yam, potatoes, and sweet potatoes.
  • Vine vegetables and fruits: such as acorn winter squash, zucchini, tomatoes, pumpkin, cucumbers, and eggplant.
  • Fruits: such as bananas, kiwifruit, watermelon, dried apricots, and stewed prunes.
  • Nuts and seeds: such as pistachio, almond, sunflower and pumpkin seeds.
  • Beans: such as soybeans, pinto beans, lentils, kidney beans.
  • Juices: such as carrot and tomato juices, and orange, pomegranate, and prune juices.
  • Dairy products: such as milk and yogurt.
  • Seafood: such as clams and salmon.

Notes:
1) Though meat and milk products contain some potassium, they are less effective in absorption by body.
2) Most processed foods, such as canned vegetables and luncheon meats contain less potassium than them in fresh state.

Sample Foods High in: Potassium, K
View Additional Food Sources
Food Description Nutrient Amount1 Daily Value%2
Beet greens, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt
Category: Vegetables and Vegetable Products
909 mg 19.34%
Amaranth leaves, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt
Category: Vegetables and Vegetable Products
641 mg 13.64%
Yam, cooked, boiled, drained, or baked, without salt
Category: Vegetables and Vegetable Products
670 mg 14.26%
Potatoes, red, flesh and skin, baked
Category: Vegetables and Vegetable Products
545 mg 11.60%
Sweet potato, cooked, baked in skin, flesh, without salt
Category: Vegetables and Vegetable Products
475 mg 10.11%
Squash, winter, acorn, cooked, baked, without salt
Category: Vegetables and Vegetable Products
437 mg 9.30%
Bamboo shoots, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt
Category: Vegetables and Vegetable Products
533 mg 11.34%
Bananas, ripe and slightly ripe, raw
Category: Fruits and Fruit Juices
326 mg 6.94%
Soybeans, mature seeds, dry roasted
Category: Legumes and Legume Products
1,364 mg 29.02%
Soybeans, mature cooked, boiled, without salt
Category: Legumes and Legume Products
515 mg 10.96%
Nuts, pistachio nuts, dry roasted, without salt added
Category: Nut and Seed Products
1,007 mg 21.43%
Peanut butter with omega-3, creamy
Category: Legumes and Legume Products
780 mg 16.60%
1 Nutrient amount is in 100 gram food
2 Use FDA 2000 calorie diet as Daily Value reference



Additional Nutrient Information
Nutrient Summary Potassium plays an important role in maintaining body fluid balance. It is also required for normal cellular function. This is the nutrient we should get more of to have good blood pressure level, healthy affects on neural transmission, muscle contraction, and vascular tone.
Deficiency Health Effects • Moderate potassium deficiency may increase blood pressure, salt sensitivity, calcium loss in bones, risk of kidney stones, and risk of cardiovascular disease (particularly stroke).
• Severe potassium deficiency (hypokalemia) can cause irregular heartbeat, muscle weakness, tiredness, and glucose intolerance which increases risk of developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Effects if Above Upper Limit For healthy people (not the individuals with impaired urinary potassium excretion), excess potassium above the Adequate Intake level is readily excreted in the urine, so there is no upper limit values set for potassium intake from foods.

However, high level consumption of potassium supplements may cause acute toxicity in healthy people if their bodies can't eliminate the excessive potassium. The most serious potential effect of hyperkalemia is irregular heartbeat (cardiac arrhythmia) and chest pain.
External References Learn more at:
• The National Academies of Science, Engineering, Medicine publication: Dietary Reference Intakes
• NIH (National Institutes of Health) article: Potassium
• healthline.com article: What Does Potassium Do for Your Body?
• Nutrition Science Book: Understanding Nutrition by Ellie Whitney and Sharon Rady Rolfes



Daily Value Age Group Recommended Daily Values
Toddler 1 to 3 years old: 3,000 mg
Child 4 to 8 years old: 3,800 mg
Male 9 to 13 years old: 4,500 mg
Male 14 to 18 years old: 4,700 mg
Male 19 to 30 years old: 4,700 mg
Male 31 to 50 years old: 4,700 mg
Male 51 to 70 years old: 4,700 mg
Male Senior 71 or older: 4,700 mg
Female 9 to 13 years old: 4,500 mg
Female 14 to 18 years old: 4,700 mg
Female 19 to 30 years old: 4,700 mg
Female 31 to 50 years old: 4,700 mg
Female 51 to 70 years old: 4,700 mg
Female Senior 71 or older: 4,700 mg
Female Pregnancy (>18): 4,700 mg
Female Lactation (>18): 5,100 mg
FDA (Based on 2000 calorie daily diet): 4,700 mg


Dietary Reference Intakes The nutrient Dietary Reference Intakes and nutrition facts is from Institute of Medicine of National Academies 2006. Dietary Reference Intakes: The Essential Guide to Nutrient Requirements. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/11537
US FDA Nutrition Education Nutrition facts knowledge are based on U.S. FOOD & DRUG Administration Nutrition Education Resources & Materials. https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/interactivenutritionfactslabel/
National Institutes of Health Nutrition facts knowledge are based on National Institutes of Health Dietary Supplement Fact Sheets. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/list-all
Disclaimer The nutrient information provided here should not take the place of medical advice. We encourage you to talk to your healthcare providers (such as your doctor) about your dietary requirements which are best for your overall health. We also recommend you to read organization or professional reference documents or articles mentioned, but not limited to, in this page. Any mentions and reference links in this page don't represent our endorsement of their services and advice.


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