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  • Potassium - Why we need it and the top 15 fruit and vegetables that supply it.

Potassium - Why we need it and the top 15 fruit and vegetables that supply it.

Posted on Aug 21, 2017  | Tags: good for you, Potassium, eye health

Potassium and sodium work together in the body and while we hear a lot about sodium, specifically how important it is to reduce the amount of sodium in our diet, there’s been much less noise about potassium, until recently. New research has found when we increase our intake of potassium, our blood pressure lowers irrespective of whether we decrease the amount of sodium in our diet or not.

The great thing about this news is that potassium is readily available in most vegetables, and they undoubtedly taste better with a light sprinkle of salt.

Why do we need potassium?

Potassium and sodium are known as essential electrolyte minerals and, in addition to regulating the fluid exchange across cell membranes, they help to convey energy and enable nerve impulses and muscular contractions. Potassium stays within cells, while sodium remains in the fluids outside and between the cellular walls. When there’s too much sodium in the body and not enough potassium, the sodium drags fluid out the body cells which then adds pressure to the outside of the cellular wall. Over time this will lead to high blood pressure. By increasing the amount of potassium in the diet we can prevent this unwanted fluid exchange, lower blood pressure and assist the kidneys in excreting excess sodium from the body.

Potassium also works with magnesium to help maintain levels of calcium in our bones which keep them strong. The alkaline nature of potassium rich foods also helps to neutralise acidity in the body which, if allowed to build up, causes inflammation and other degenerative diseases. 

Potassium is readily available from your local greengrocer. In fact, doctors who have for years been telling their patients to cut out salt from their diet would be better to tell them to pay a trip to their local greengrocer’s because fruit and vegetables are full of this essential mineral. 

Top 15 sources of potassium


Serve Size

Potassium in mg


1 large cob



1 medium (150 g) with skin


Red cabbage      

1 cup ( 100 g)



1 cup (150 g)


Brussels sprouts 

5 sprouts



1 cup (100 g)


Sweet Potato     

1 cup (140 g)



1 medium



1 medium 



½ cup



1 medium fruit



1 medium (80 g) bulb


Bok choy

1 cup


Green Beans

20 beans



1 cup


 How much potassium should we consume? 

The Australian Government National Health and Medical Research Council state the average daily intake of potassium for adults is 3,800 mg. It’s a big ask especially when the average Australian eats far less than the recommended 5 serves of veg a day. The incentive, however, is this: The World Health Organization estimates that hypertension is responsible for at least 51 percent of deaths due to stroke and 45 percent of deaths due to heart disease. The key to preventing hypertension is to lower blood pressure levels with a fresh natural diet comprising mainly of fresh produce.

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