Potassium is an important mineral, although it’s not any harder to get on a vegan diet than an omnivorous diet.
I’ve put together a list of the top 30 vegan potassium sources for convenience, using data from the USDA’s food database.
Surprisingly, bananas don’t fall in the top 30, despite being most people’s go-to recommendation for potassium (they do have a good amount, but you’ll have to eat many bananas to match the foods below, which most people don’t do).
How much potassium should you eat? For adults of either gender, the NIH has set the RDA to 4,700 mg per day.
I’m not sure why potassium is always measured in mg instead of grams, it just is.
The Top Potassium-Rich Vegan Foods
This first table is in order of potassium per typical serving size.
Later down the page is a similar table, but it’s ordered based on potassium per 100 calories. Look at that one if you’re counting calories.
|Food||Serving||Energy (kcal)||Potassium (mg)|
|Swiss chard||10 leafs||91||1819|
|White potato||1 large||255||1502|
|Adzuki beans||1 cup||294||1224|
|Lima beans||1 cup||209||969|
|Rye grain||1 cup||571||862|
|Bamboo shoot||1 shoot||17||768|
|Kidney beans||1 cup||225||713|
|Navy beans||1 cup||255||708|
|Lotus root||1 root||85||639|
|Pistachio nuts||0.5 cup||344||630|
|Black beans||1 cup||227||611|
|Pumpkin seeds||1 cup||285||588|
Spinach is the king of nutrition for so many vitamins and minerals, and potassium is no exception. A similar leafy green, swiss chard, comes in at number 2 on the list.
Most of the other results at the very top are fruits, although not particularly common ones: plantains, pummelos, melons, and durians.
It was a bit surprising to me that white potatoes ranked so highly, coming in at number 3.
The Best Vegan Foods for Potassium Per 100 Calories
The results are a bit different when we look at potassium per 100 calories, but compared to other nutrients, it’s not a very big change.
Most of the top foods stay near the top, although a few low calorie vegetables like watercress and red leaf lettuce shoot up the list.
Potassium (mg) per 100 calories
|Bamboo shoot||1 shoot||17||4518|
|Swiss chard||10 leafs||91||1999|
|Bok choy||1 cup||9||1956|
|Water spinach||1 cup||11||1591|
|Lettuce (red leaf)||0.5 head||20||1445|
|Mustard greens||1 cup||15||1433|
|Turnip greens||1 cup||18||906|
|Brussels sprouts||1 cup||56||884|
|Green bell pepper||1 large||33||870|
|Red bell pepper||1 large||43||805|
|Cantaloupe||1/8 of melon||35||777|
|Lotus root||1 root||85||752|
The Most Efficient Potassium Sources for Vegans
There’s one last way we can look at the data we’ve looked at above.
By plotting the potassium per serving against the amount per 100 calories, we can find the best foods to get potassium foods if you want to minimize your overall serving and calorie intake.
The best overall foods should gravitate to the top-right of the chart. (Click it to enlarge)
- Swiss chard
- Bamboo shoot
Why is Potassium Important?
In case you’re not quite sure why potassium is so important to get in your diet, here’s a quick refresher.
Potassium deficiency is linked with 4 main disorders and diseases:
- Hypertension (high blood pressure) and stroke
- Kidney stones
- Bone health
- Poor blood glucose control (can lead to type 2 diabetes).
A lack of potassium can also contribute towards muscle and leg cramps, which affects athletes in particular.