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).
Table of Contents
How Much Potassium Do You Need? (RDA)
For adults of either gender, the NIH has set the RDA to 4,700 mg per day.
Note the units: Potassium is usually measured in mg instead of grams.
The Top Potassium-Rich Vegan Foods
This table contains the amount of potassium per 100 grams and per 100 calories of each food.
Click on the headings to sort.
|Food||Potassium (mg) per 100 grams||Potassium (mg) per 100 calories|
|Wheat flour (whole-grain)||394||119|
|Red bell pepper||211||805|
|Lettuce (red leaf)||187||1445|
|Green bell pepper||175||870|
|Vital wheat gluten||100||27|
Types of Vegan Foods High in Potassium
Let’s summarize the highlights of the table above:
- Leafy greens – Spinach is an amazing source of many vitamins and minerals, and potassium is no exception. Other leafy greens like swiss chard and bok choy also have a lot of potassium.
- Seeds – Most seeds have a good amount of potassium. However, some seeds have much more than others (e.g. hemp seeds have about 3 times as much as sesame seeds).
- Nuts – Most nuts are high in calcium, but also have a lot of calories. Pistachios and almonds are right near the top of the list in terms of potassium per 100 grams.
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)
While none quite hit that top-right corner, it’s clear that some of the top sources stand out from the rest:
- 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.
Vegan Recipes High in Potassium
Based on what we’ve seen, someone looking to get more potassium should focus primarily on getting more leafy greens into their diet, and having a few nuts and seeds are a bonus.
There are a ton of plant-based recipes that are high in potassium, but I’ll get you started with a few of my go-to ones.
Lentils aren’t that high in potassium, but they do contain a ton of other minerals like folate and iron.
They’re also great in soups, and leafy greens like spinach go extremely well in soups.
This is a simple 1 pot recipe that doesn’t take that long to make, and you can make a huge batch to last you multiple meals.
Bok choy is one of the best vegan sources of potassium, and I typically like to eat it in some sort of ramen dish.
Not all ramen noodles are vegan-friendly, but they do exist in most places.
You can also sub out the ramen noodles for another type of noodle like rice noodles or soba noodles, which are usually vegan.
These protein balls are simple to make and one of my favorite snacks.
It combines many of the top plant-based sources of potassium per 100 grams, including: hemp seeds, flaxseed, chia seeds, and almonds.