Potassium is a mineral found in fruits, vegetables, dairy products and beans. An increased intake lowers blood pressure and dampens the rise in blood pressure that occurs with excessive salt consumption.

You should consume at least 4.7 g of potassium a day, which can be achieved without dietary supplements by following the DASH diet.

Milk, black beans, lima beans, bananas, cantaloupe, citrus fruits, Brussels sprouts, mushrooms and spinach are all good sources of potassium. But high levels of potassium can be dangerous, especially for people with kidney problems, type 1 diabetes or heart failure and those taking medications such as ACE inhibitors, potassium-sparing diuretics or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), so talk to your doctor before increasing your potassium intake.

Publication Review By: Lawrence Appel, M.D., and Rafael H. Llinas, M.D.

Published: 15 Jul 2013

Last Modified: 15 Jul 2013