The 30 Best Vegan Potassium Sources

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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.

How much potassium should you eat? For adults of either gender, the NIH has set the RDA to 4,700 mg per day.

potassium rda chart

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)
Spinach 1 bunch 78 1897
Swiss chard 10 leafs 91 1819
White potato 1 large 255 1502
Plantain 1 plantain 329 1315
Pummelo 1 fruit 231 1315
Durian 0.5 durian 442 1312
Eggplant 1 eggplant 137 1255
Adzuki beans 1 cup 294 1224
Melon 0.5 melon 180 1140
Soybeans 1 cup 254 970
Lima beans 1 cup 209 969
Rye grain 1 cup 571 862
Squash 1 large 52 846
Zucchini 1 large 55 843
Date 5 dates 332 835
Bamboo shoot 1 shoot 17 768
Fig 5 large 237 742
Jackfruit 1 cup 157 739
Lentils 1 cup 230 731
Kidney beans 1 cup 225 713
Navy beans 1 cup 255 708
Avocado 1 avocado 227 690
Cowpeas 1 cup 160 690
Oats 1 cup 607 669
Lotus root 1 root 85 639
Pistachio nuts 0.5 cup 344 630
Black beans 1 cup 227 611
Artichoke 1 large 76 599
Pumpkin seeds 1 cup 285 588
Mango 1 fruit 202 564

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.

Food Serving Energy (kcal)
Potassium (mg) per 100 calories
Bamboo shoot 1 shoot 17 4518
Watercress 10 sprigs 3 2733
Spinach 1 bunch 78 2432
Swiss chard 10 leafs 91 1999
Bok choy 1 cup 9 1956
Celery 1 stalk 9 1844
Squash 1 large 52 1627
Water spinach 1 cup 11 1591
Zucchini 1 large 55 1533
Arugula 1 cup 5 1480
Lettuce (red leaf) 0.5 head 20 1445
Mustard greens 1 cup 15 1433
Radish 2 large 3 1400
Tomato 1 large 33 1306
Cauliflower 1 cup 27 1185
Asparagus 4 spears 13 1031
Kale 2 cup 15 973
Cucumber 0.5 cucumber 23 961
Broccoli 1 cup 31 929
Okra 8 pods 31 916
Eggplant 1 eggplant 137 916
Turnip greens 1 cup 18 906
Rapini 5 stalks 21 886
Brussels sprouts 1 cup 56 884
Green bell pepper 1 large 33 870
Red bell pepper 1 large 43 805
Artichoke 1 large 76 788
Cantaloupe 1/8 of melon 35 777
Carrot 1 large 30 767
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)

potassium vegan sources bubble chartWhile none quite hit that top-right corner, it’s clear that some of the top sources stand out from the rest:

  • Spinach
  • Swiss chard
  • Eggplant
  • Bamboo shoot
  • Squash
  • Zucchini

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 cramps, which affects athletes in particular.

About the author

Dale C.

Your friendly neighborhood vegan from Toronto. Chemical engineer turned semi-professional soccer player and freelance writer. Trying to do my small part in making the world better by writing about the wonderful world of veganism.

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