What is the importance of potassium in vegetables? Are there risks associated with lack of this nutrient? What vegetables have potassium? What is the distribution of this mineral nutrient in vegetables? Are there vegetables high in potassium? What are of the low potassium vegetables? Read on learn more
Potassium in Vegetables
Why potassium in vegetables? What are potassium vegetables?
The mineral, potassium, is found in nearly all kinds of foods in varying amounts. It is an important nutrient that is necessary for the maintenance of total body fluid volume, acid and electrolyte balance, and normal cell function. The amount of potassium in vegetables and other foods is usually reduced by food processing. A diet rich in processed foods and that is low in fresh fruits and some vegetables is often lacking in this vital mineral. Potassium vegetables are edible plants with varying amount of potassium either high or low.
Vegetables High in Potassium or High Potassium Vegetables & List
What vegetables have potassium in large amounts? These are vegetables rich in the mineral up to more than 200mg of this mineral content in a single serving. Below is list of the top vegetables highest in potassium.
It is ranked as one of top the vegetables with high amounts of potassium content. A sun dried 100g tomato contain up to 3.4g the mineral that is 98% daily recommended value. One cup of tomato that is about 54g contains 1.1g of potassium that is 53% daily value (DV).
100g raw spinach contain up to 558mg of potassium that is 16% DV. One cup of raw spinach weighing 30g has 167mg potassium content with 5% DV while one cup of 180g cooked spinach has 839mg giving 24% DV.
This is an excellent source of the mineral potassium. 1 Cup of bok choy contains 630mg of the mineral with 18.2 DV.
100gcooked Swiss chard has up to 549mg potassium with 16% DV while the mineral content in one cup chopped Swiss chard weighing 175g is 961mg offering 27% DV.
100g mushroom contains 484mg potassium that is 14% DV while one cup diced mushroom of 86g has 416mg potassium content of 12% DV.
100g sweet potato with skin has 475mg the mineral with 14% DV; one cup of 200g potato contains 950mg with 27% DV while an average sweet potato with skin weighing 114g has 542mg of potassium having 15% DV.
One cup of a broccoli serving offers 457.08 mg of potassium and 13.06% DV
Raw kale of 100g contains 447mg potassium that is 13% DV while a cup of it weighing 67g has 299mg mineral nutrient nutrient giving 9% DV.
100g Brussels sprout contains up to 389mg potassium of 11% DV, and one cup of 88g Brussels sprout contains 342mg having 10% DV while in one sprout weighing 19g the amount is 74mg that has 2% DV.
According to world’s healthiest foods, beet greens are the top vegetables when it comes to quality potassium content. One cup contains 1308.96mg with 37.40 % of DV
100g zucchini with skin contains 253mg potassium with 7% DV while potassium content in one cup of zucchini weighing about 180g is 455mg giving 13% DV. However, is some cases some individuals classify this vegetable as a low potassium veggie.
100g green bean has 209 mg of the mineral with 6% DV while a cup of green beans weighing 110g contains 230 mg of potassium that has 7% DV.
Other vegetables with potassium include: yams, garden cress, wasabi root, bamboo shoots, taro root, acorn squash, baked potato, lotus root and palm hearts.
High consumption of these potassium rich vegetables results to high levels of this mineral in the blood causing hyperkalemia. The condition can transpire, as a result, of chronic kidney failure, hormone deficiencies, alcoholism or red blood cells destruction. Since high potassium levels can result into serious heart, muscle and nerve problems, monitoring its intake is significant (Downey, 2005)
Low Potassium Vegetables List
What vegetables have potassium in low amounts?Low potassium veggies are vegetable with potassium that is of a little amount. How much is the little amount? Foods that offer less than 200g of the mineral per serving are categorized into low –potassium foods. A large selection of vegetables is also recommended for low amounts of this mineral. Some of that are the staple of many meals including onions, peppers, corn, potatoes, cucumber, cabbage and lettuce. Many of these low potassium vegetables lend themselves to entree salads and stir-fried meals. Below is a list of some low potassium vegetables.
- Raw alfalfa sprouts weighing 28g contains 22.1g .
- Cooked or boiled eggplant weighing 28g contains 34.4 mg .
- Peeled raw cucumber weighing 28g contains 38.1 mg .
- Raw iceberg lattice weighing 28g contains 39.5mg.
- 28g of raw onions contains 40.9mg .
- 28g of raw green pepper contains 49.0mg .
- 28g cooked or boiled turnips contain 49.6mg.
- 28g cooked or boiled cabbage contains 54.9 mg.
Low potassium nutrition is recommended for individuals who suffer from hyperkalemia because they have too much of the mineral in their blood. However, when the level in the body gets too low, a condition known as hypokalemia develops. It can be due to privation of enough potassium in the diet, digestive problems such as chronic diarrhea or excessive vomiting.
Potassium in Vegetables- Importance & Risks
What are the risks or health benefits of potassium in vegetables? What about potassium deficiency?Let us explore importance and risks associated with the mineral potassium either in high, medium or low content. Potassium is essential in human body balance, normal blood pressure, muscles contraction normal nerve functioning.
Low potassium levels can result to weakness as cellular processes are affected.
A large percentage (98) of the mineral is found within the cells. Small variations in the level of potassium that is present outside the cells can have severe effects on the nerves and heart. It also lead to irritability and hypertension
Potassium rich vegetables are essential as the mineral helps:
- Maintain normal blood pressure by neutralizing the effect of sodium (Young, 2001). It helps maintain the osmotic pressure within the body cells and the pH of blood.
- Body muscles contraction. It contributes extensively in the working of the muscles of the heart and also in the contraction of involuntary and voluntary muscles. Hence, it is critical for the effective operation of the musculoskeletal entity.
- Improve kidney health thus reduce risks of recurrent kidney stones. Increasing dietary potassium decreases urinary calcium excretion reducing the risk of developing kidney stones.
- Normal nerve functioning and brain functioning.
- Reduce risk of bone loss as one get older or osteoporosis, a disease characterized by reduced bone mineral density that results to porous bones (Young, 2001).
- Lower the risks of stroke in the human brain and prevents the occurrence of heart diseases. Studies show that a high potassium intake is associated with a 24% lower risk of stroke (Downey, 2005).
- Reduce fatigue and irritability
- Potassium is also cofactor for enzymes. A small number of enzymes need the presence of potassium to enhance their activities such as the activation of sodium, potassium-ATPase and pyruvate kinase.
In summary, potassium is an essential nutrient utilized in maintaining the electrolyte balance and fluid in the body. In controlling the blood pressure, potassium vegetables rich in potassium plays a key role.
Risks of Excess Potassium in the Body
High level of potassium in the blood exceeding the normal level (i.e. 3.5-5.0mEq/L) leads to a condition known as hyperkalemia. A condition characterized by irregular heartbeats, and in extreme cases can be fatal. Overdose of potassium from the natural source like potassium vegetables is almost impossible. Conversely, it is possible to consume excess the mineral nutrient through potassium salt or in food supplements and this can lead to:
Potassium helps muscles to function properly and high potassium levels effect muscular functioning. Muscles get fatigued, and weak, and temporary muscular paralysis may occur. Unusual sensations, tingling and numbness of the hands and feet is also associated with high potassium levels (Downey, 2005).
High potassium levels may cause stomach and intestinal problems. Symptoms can vary from vomiting and nausea to stomach diarrhea and stomach pains. Intestinal ulcers are also associated with people who take enteric-coated potassium chloride tablets.
Potassium helps regulate the electric impulses that help the heart beat correctly. When potassium levels get extremely high, abnormal heart rhythms .The change in the heartbeat may lead to heart attack and eventually progress to cardiac arrest (You et al., 2011). More studies show that only 5% of US population does meet the required daily value for standard potassium in the body i.e. eating fresh fruits and vegetables thus majority suffer heart conditions (Drewnowski et al., 2012.
Loss of consciousness
Just an adequate amount of potassium is necessary for the nerves in the body to function regularly. Its excessiveness can cause problems to the brain interfering with the normal brain coordination. The intake of supplements containing potassium should, therefore, be under a medic’s instruction or supervision. Those suffering from hyperkalemia (high blood pressure) or with kidney disease need to limit or reduce their potassium intake in the diet. Linus Pauling Institute endorses taking potassium extras with food and selecting coated supplements to reduce the impact of stomach and intestines lining.
Potassium from natural food sources is considered safe and healthy. The recommended percentage value for daily potassium consumption is 3.5 grams (Duyff, 2012). However, focusing on age, gender or disease condition as special risk categories in daily value for standard potassium intake is of importance.
Like other minerals, potassium is stable to storage, thus no significant change to bioavailability over storage life. However, cooking potassium vegetables can lead to loss of some or much of their potassium content. Paying attention to the your cooking methodology is thus essential.