by guest blogger Caroline Praderio, food and nutrition writer for Prevention magazine and EatClean.com
When you think of the best sources of potassium, you probably default to bananas. In fact, most people are hard-pressed to think of any other source of potassium, the essential mineral that works to aid communication between nerves and muscles and helps move nutrients into cells. You'd think the tropical fruit has a monopoly on the stuff.
But the truth is, bananas are really nothing to write home about in the potassium department. Each medium fruit provides 422 mg of the mineral, or about 9 percent of your 4,700 mg recommended daily intake. Not too shabby, but you can easily do better. Just start with these 7 foods, all of which provide more potassium than your old yellow standby.
1. Sweet Potato
A medium baked sweet potato has 542 mg (12 percent DV) of potassium. These tubers are also rich in vitamin A. They also just happen to be ridiculously tasty; we love them in this bacon-and-egg stuffed sweet potato recipe.
2. White Potato
Surprise, surprise: A single medium baked potato has 941 mg (20 percent DV) of potassium. Let your potato cool before you eat it and you'll get a dose of gut-friendly resistant starch, too. Potato salad, anyone?
3. Tomato Sauce
This plain old pasta topper is a secret source of potassium, with 728 mg (15 percent DV) in each cup.
Chomp down two refreshing watermelon wedges and you'll get 641 mg (14 percent DV) of potassium. It's also a great source of lycopene, a naturally occurring plant pigment that's been linked to a reduced risk of certain cancers.
5. Frozen Spinach
Add 1 cup of frozen spinach to your next stir-fry or pasta dish and you'll get a respectable 540 mg (11 percent DV) of potassium. Bonus: It's crazy inexpensive.
A cup of cooked, sliced beets delivers 518 mg (11 percent DV) of potassium. (Just don't freak out if they turn your pee pink or red afterward! Totally normal, we promise.)
7. Butternut Squash
One cup of this slightly sweet fall favorite packs 582 mg (12 percent DV) of potassium. Try it out in this delicious, guilt-free butternut squash mac and cheese.
Caroline Praderio is the food and nutrition writer for Prevention magazine and EatClean.com. A native of Massachusetts, she's a graduate of Emerson College and a winner of two International Regional Magazine Association awards. When she's not writing, she loves to read, cook, and rehearse with her dance company.
Adapted from an article originally published on EatClean.com
For more from Maria Rodale, visit www.mariasfarmcountrykitchen.com