With the rise of fast food, convenience-focused shopping, and prepackaged meals the truth is that most people don’t meet their daily nutritional needs. Chances are you’re loading your diet with protein and carbs while completely ignoring other essential nutrients like potassium. But, don’t worry. You can boost your intake with a few carefully chosen fruits and vegetables.
In fact, with the right fruit cocktails, you can get all these benefits without wasting too much time and energy cooking. Ideally, adults need to consume between 2500 and 3500 mg of potassium daily. So, which fruits and vegetables should you shop for, and here is a list of drinks that are high in potassium?
Why Potassium Matters
Potassium is an essential nutrient for a reason. It serves as an electrolyte and allows your body to stabilize blood pressure levels, aid muscle contraction, regulate heart rate, maintain pH levels, and even ensure proper nerve functions. Potassium is also needed for other nutrients to move in your cells and waste to be removed, making it essential for kidney health.
Research by the CDC shows that a diet high in potassium and low in salt can help minimize the risks of heart disease and strokes. However, excess amounts of the nutrient are also bad for you. The ideal daily quantity is 3400 mg for men and 2600 mg for women.
Food Sources of Potassium
When you know what ingredients to look at, it becomes incredibly easy to mix and match them. You can prepare delicious cocktails to drink at home, on the go, or even in the office. Healthy eating has never been easier. Some of the ingredients you should keep an eye out for include:
- Fruits like bananas, oranges, cantaloupe, apricots, grapefruit, and honeydew
- Nuts like prunes, raisins, and dates
- Vegetables like steamed spinach, potatoes, peas, cooked broccoli, cucumbers, pumpkins, zucchini, and mushrooms
In addition to these fruits and vegetables, certain types of fish like tuna, halibut, and cod also add a significant amount of potassium to your diet. But if you aren’t getting enough potassium from your diet you can supplement it with potassium drinks.
Top 10 Drinks That Are High In Potassium
- Orange juice (496 mg per cup)
There’s nothing quite like a fresh glass of orange juice to get your day started. But, this breakfast staple is more than a refreshing drink, it’s also chock full of essential vitamins and minerals. In fact, one cup of freshly squeezed orange juice has 496 mg of potassium. That’s around 14 percent of your daily requirement.
Additionally, orange juice is a primary source of vitamin C, with one cup more than meeting 100 percent of the daily need for both men and women. So start your day off right with this nutritious boost. To get the most benefits try juicing at home or purchase fresh orange juice without added preservatives or sugar. Some high-end brands will boost theirs with a certain amount of calcium and vitamin D, so you can cover all your bases with just one drink!
- Tomato Juice (556 mg per cup)
Tomato juice is rich in a multitude of essential nutrients including Vitamins A, C, B3, and Potassium. One cup of this rich puree is enough to satisfy 16 percent of the daily requirement. Add it to your fruit cocktail with premium ingredients like celery and carrots to great a huge dose of healthy nutrients. Your body will definitely thank you for it since tomato juice is essential for promoting heart health.
There is also research that links it to increased metabolisms and a two-month study showed that regular consumption helped over 30 women lose weight and reduce cholesterol with a clear difference in waist circumference. Another study showed a decrease in 8-oxodG serum levels establishing a link between regular tomato juice consumption and a lowered risk of breast cancer. So women especially have a lot to gain from this high-powered drink!
- Prune Juice (707 mg per cup)
Prune juice is without any competition the richest source of potassium, with one cup fulfilling 27 percent of the daily requirement for women and 20 percent of the daily requirement for men. Not to mention, this sweet juice extracted from dried plums makes for a delicious treat on a hot, summer’s day. High in fiber prune juice is also great for cleansing your body and regulating your digestive system. In fact, it’s often used as a cure for constipation.
- Apricot Juice (286 mg per cup)
If you’re looking for a quick pick-me-up to get you through the day apricot juice is a good option. This sweet flavored drink is a treat for anyone’s taste buds, and while it doesn’t have as much potassium as some of the other drinks on this list it does cover around 10 percent of your daily needs. There’s also the added benefit of it being less troublesome to drink than tomato juice and easier to find in the grocery aisle than grapefruit juice.
A great tip is to use apricot juice as one ingredient in your potassium-boosting drink. The sweet flavor may even cover some of the less appealing tastes from the other raw vegetables in your mix.
- Grapefruit Juice (400 mg per cup)
When it comes to citrus fruits people love grapefruit is near the top of the list, beat only by the popular orange. The sweet yet tart flavor makes it a tasty addition to any meal. Similar to apricot juice, grapefruit is a great ingredient to add to a healthy cocktail or smooth and can help balance the flavor from all those leafy greens.
On its own, it provides around 12 to 15 percent of your daily potassium requirement, which can’t hurt. It definitely makes a good alternative to a midday fizzy drink.
- Carrot Juice (342 mg per cup)
Carrot juice provides a multitude of health benefits and is rich in potassium, vitamin A, and C. In fact, one cup of fresh carrot juice a day can help boost your immune system, improve your eyesight, and according to some studies protect against cancer. This is definitely a drink you’ll want to add to your diet.
In terms of potassium, it can cover around 15 percent of your needs which is a significant amount, especially if your meals include potassium-rich foods like fish and peas.
- Coconut Water (600 mg per cup)
Coconut water is the ultimate health drink. Fat-free, calorie-low, and packed with more potassium than most of the drinks on this list, coconut water makes a great addition to any diet. In fact, the endorsements by prominent athletes and celebrities in recent years have made its popularity skyrocket.
One cup can meet up to 25 percent of your daily requirement. Whether you’re looking for a base for your smoothie, or just a drink to keep you hydrated throughout the day, coconut water is probably your best choice.
- Green Juice
Leafy greens are a prime source of potassium. A mixture of kale, spinach, and cucumbers can easily help you meet at least 50 percent of your daily potassium needs if not more. Even store-bought green juice contains enough nutrients to meet 36 percent of your requirements. Making your own custom mix will let you control the quantities of specific ingredients and adjust the flavor as you see fit.
Adding one of the earlier fruit-based juices like grapefruit, apricot, or orange can help dilute the taste will adding even more health benefits. All in all, green juice opens up a lot of options for health-conscious drinkers who want to add flavorings like dates or prunes. You can load it up with as many protein-rich ingredients as you want and use this guide to get a good idea of how much potassium you’re drinking.
- Milk (366 mg per cup)
Milk has long been a staple in most households. Dairy products whether yogurt or milk have a high quantity of potassium. So while a glass of milk a day may not meet all your needs it will certainly help you along. Add a handful of raisins or dates and you can easily boost this to 500 mg, meeting 25 percent of your daily requirement.
- Banana Smoothie (360 mg per fruit)
Finally, the best for last. Nothing says potassium quite like a banana smoothie. A single banana can carry anywhere between 360 and 500 mg of potassium depending on its size. So if you add two medium-sized bananas to 1 cup of milk you get a smoothie with 1210 mg of potassium or up to 48 percent of your daily requirement. That definitely puts this drink leagues ahead of its competitors.
At the end of the day, you can always mix and match. The best part about all these drinks is that you can combine them to make even richer formulas, suited to your tastes. If you like a crunch add some nuts. If you prefer sweeter drinks add more fruit juice. At the end of the day, it’s completely up to you. And while juicing at home is always cleaner and healthier, you can easily save time with store-bought items. Just make sure they aren’t loaded with sugars and preservatives and you’re good to go.