Your body needs potassium to function properly, but when your potassium levels spiral out of control, serious health problems can develop. Under certain conditions, you may need to limit your dietary intake of potassium. Fruits and vegetables, like most all foods, contain potassium, but some have much lower levels than others do.
Potassium is an essential mineral that contributes to normal body growth, helps build muscle and aids in maintaining a regular heartbeat. Healthy kidneys normally regulate the amount of potassium in your body, but if your kidneys become diseased or unhealthy, you may need to limit the amount of potassium you get from foods. Excessively high potassium levels can lead to an irregular heartbeat or even a heart attack, the National Kidney Foundation notes.
Fruits with the lowest potassium content per weight, include blueberries, grapes, pineapple and strawberries, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Nutrient Database. One cup of raw blueberries has 112 milligrams of potassium, 1 cup of red or green seedless grapes contains about 300 milligrams and 1 cup of raw strawberries has approximately 250 milligrams. Apples, pears, raspberries and peaches also are low in potassium. A raw apple with skin contains 148 milligrams, and a raw peach contains 186 milligrams of potassium.
Vegetables with the lowest potassium content per weight include green beans, cauliflower, cucumbers and lettuce. One cup of cooked green beans contains 183 milligrams, 1 cup of raw peeled cucumber has 162 milligrams and 1 cup of cooked cauliflower has 176 milligrams. A raw carrot has 230 milligrams, 1 cup of raw onions has 234 milligrams and an ear of yellow boiled corn has 168 milligrams. Cabbage, eggplant, radishes and mushrooms also are low-potassium veggies.
You can remove some of the potassium from high-content fruits and vegetables by soaking and boiling them in water. The liquid in canned vegetables and fruits contains large amounts of potassium, so drain them thoroughly and do not drink or use the liquid.
Fruits that are high in potassium include bananas, oranges, avocados, dried fruits and canned or frozen sweetened fruits and juices. Use these sparingly, or avoid them altogether if you're at risk. The same recommendation applies to high-potassium vegetables such as baked potatoes, dried peas and beans, olives and pickles, sauerkraut, pumpkin seeds and vegetable juice cocktail.
- fruit and vegetables on a pile studio isolated image by dinostock from Fotolia.com
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