The Importance of Potassium

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Watermelon, cantaloupe and orange juice are potassium-rich foods.Potassium is a mineral that helps maintain the normal function of the heart and nervous system.


Some people with heart failure need to eat foods high in potassium. Diuretics (water pills) or other medications commonly prescribed for heart failure patients to get rid of excess fluid can cause potassium loss.


Others, who have kidney problems or take certain other medications, may risk having potassium build up in their systems. And too much potassium can be just as harmful as too little.


Every situation is different, so ask your healthcare team what's right for you.


Potassium-rich foods - which you might need to eat more of or avoid based on your medication and health - include:

  • Dried fruits: Raisins, prunes, apricots, dates
  • Fresh fruits: Bananas, strawberries, watermelon, cantaloupe, oranges
  • Fresh vegetables: Beets, greens, spinach, peas, tomatoes, mushrooms
  • Dried vegetables: Beans, peas
  • Fresh meats: Turkey, fish, beef
  • Fresh juices: Orange
  • Canned juices: Grapefruit, prune, apricot

Courtesy of the American Heart Association