Nature's energy bar. Better than a sports drink. Bananas have earned themselves quite a healthy reputation in the fitness world.
Not that it isn't deserved. One medium banana packs about 422 milligrams of potassium, about 11 percent of the 4,700 milligrams adults should aim to get daily. And one study found that cyclists performed just as well in an endurance workout when they ate bananas than when they drank a sports drink.
But it's not the only place the electrolyte can be found.
"We actually get a lot of potassium from our vegetables," Angela Ginn, R.D., L.D.N., C.D.E., a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, told HuffPost earlier this month. "People assume it's all from fruit."
In fact, there are a number of rich sources of potassium that might surprise you. Click through the slideshow below for some of our favorites. Then tell us what we left out in the comments!
Have a medium baked spud and you’ll knock back <a href="http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/3152">751 milligrams of potassium</a>. A medium sweet potato isn’t a bad option either, with <a href="http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/3274">542 milligrams</a> -- and a boost of antioxidant <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/29/healthy-food-healthiest-list_n_1636409.html#slide=1162283">beta-carotene</a>.
A cup of cooked Swiss chard packs <a href="http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/2985">961 milligrams of potassium</a> -- more than double the amount in a medium banana. Popeye’s favorite contains <a href="http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/3234">839 milligrams</a> per one cooked cup and a cup of cooked beet greens has <a href="http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/2936">more than 1,300</a>.
A number of varieties of this <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/16/beans-health-benefits_n_1792504.html">fiber- and protein-packed superfood</a> are rich in potassium, including white beans, with <a href="http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/4744">1,189 milligrams per cup</a>, lima beans, with <a href="http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/3398">707 milligrams per cup</a>, edamame, with <a href="http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/3229">970 milligrams per cup</a> and lentils, with <a href="http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/4762">731 milligrams per cup</a>.
A cup of cooked butternut squash cubes contains <a href="http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/3255">582 milligrams of potassium</a>, while the same amount of acorn squash clocks in at <a href="http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/3252">896 milligrams</a>. Plus, these seasonal superfoods are loaded with <a href="http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20307323_10,00.html">vitamin A and omega 3s</a>, Health.com reported.
With <a href="http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/2519">167 milligrams of potassium per date</a>, a handful of this dried fruit (<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/16/7-november-superfoods_n_1095439.html#s476043&title=Dates">also a good source of fiber</a>) beats out a banana.
Your favorite 8-ounce container of low-fat yogurt contains <a href="http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/105">531 milligrams of potassium</a>. Just beware of fruit-on-the-bottom varieties, which <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/09/worst-snacks-for-body_n_1760945.html#slide=1355057">can be loaded with sugar</a>.
One avocado contains more than twice as much potassium as a banana at <a href="http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/2257">975 milligrams</a>. Even if you don’t eat the entire fruit in one sitting, scooping half into a salad or topping a sandwich or burger with a few slices will still do the trick.
A cup of the canned stuff can contain upwards of <a href="http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/3298">800 milligrams of potassium</a> -- just make sure to pick a brand without too much sodium or added sugar on the label!
A three-ounce serving of <a href="http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/4480">halibut packs 449 milligrams of potassium</a>, slightly more than that medium-sized banana. <a href="http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/4648">Salmon</a> and <a href="http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/4599">clams</a> are among other good seafood options.
Honorable Mention: Raisins
There’s a hefty dose of potassium packed into these little dried fruits -- <a href="http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/2472">322 milligrams</a> in just one snack-sized 1.5-ounce carton. Help yourself to a bigger serving if you want to beat out a banana -- just keep in mind the high sugar count in raisins (they are a fruit, after all) can make calories add up fast. <em>Photo from <a href="http://www.amazon.com/California-Raisins-6-Count-1-5-Ounce-Cartons/dp/B001E5308O/ref=sr_1_15?ie=UTF8&qid=1348069301&sr=8-15&keywords=raisins">Amazon.com</a></em>
Honorable Mention: Dried Apricots
One more dried fruit that ranks high on the list of potassium-rich food is apricots, with <a href="http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/2253">257 milligrams</a> per <a href="http://www.eatingwell.com/nutrition_health/nutrition_news_information/what_is_a_serving_size_of_fruit?page=7">1/4-cup serving</a>.
Honorable Mention: Cantaloupe
A serving (134 grams) of this refreshing melon clocks in at <a href="http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/2372">358 milligrams of potassium</a>, but springing for a cup of fruit would put you more on par with a banana.
Honorable Mention: Papaya
This brightly-colored fruit contains <a href="http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/2406">264 milligrams per cup</a> of 1-inch pieces -- but we have a hunch you might snack on more.
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