When most people think of potassium, bananas immediately come to mind.
There is more than just potassium in bananas. There are 23 g of carbohydrates in bananas. They also provide very good amounts of vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), and they contain good sources of vitamin C, dietary fiber, and manganese. They also provide the carotenoids alpha carotene, beta carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin. They also contain phytosterols, which inhibit cholesterol absorption.
As well, one medium-sized banana contains 467.3 mg of potassium, which is 13.4% of your daily value intake. How important is potassium in your diet anyway?
Your body needs 4,700 mg of potassium daily from age 14 and up, while people ages nine to 14 need 4,500 mg. Potassium helps maintain normal blood pressure and heart function, and it is also needed for carbohydrate metabolism. It also helps maintain overall balance in your body, including water balance maintenance, pH regulation, and for the sodium/potassium pump function in the cell membrane. Potassium also helps you maintain calcium levels, while helping with muscle and nerve function.
Bananas are all the rage, especially among those who enjoy high carbohydrate and raw vegan lifestyles. There is even a web site forum that promotes the high consumption of bananas called 30 Bananas a Day! Although bananas are healthy foods, 30 a day seems a bit much for me. It’s best to have some variety in your diet.
It is true that bananas are a good source of potassium; however, there are many better potassium-rich healthy foods for your diet as well. Here are five alternative options to get your potassium intake in your diet, besides from the beloved banana.
Bananas are a great fruit snack on the go—however, it’s amazing how many more healthy foods your body can get potassium from such as the suggested vegetables and fruits mentioned above.
Mateljan, G., The World’s Healthiest Foods: Essential Guide for the healthiest way of eating (Seattle: George Mateljan Foundation, 2007), 98, 114, 238, 241, 352, 416, 420, 776, 777.
“Foods With More Potassium Than A Banana,” HuffPost Healthy Living web site, Sept. 20, 2012; http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/20/potassium-foods-banana_n_1898078.html.
Reiter, D., “10 Common Foods with More Potassium than Bananas,” Yahoo! Shine web site, Dec. 16, 2009; http://shine.yahoo.com/work-money/10-common-foods-with-more-potassium-than-bananas-554715.html.