Potassium-rich foods include winter squash, sweet potato, beans, banana, pure orange juice and yogurt. Whole grains, fish and dairy products also contain a good amount of potassium. Fruits and vegetables and foods that are not processed contain the most potassium. The method of preparation also determines how much potassium vegetables and meats retain, with raw food having the most potassium.
Potassium protects blood vessels, helps muscles move and aids in proper kidney function. Although potassium does not prevent heart disease, studies suggest that increasing potassium intake and decreasing sodium intake can reduce the risk of stroke by 21 percent, Health.com explains. Increased potassium intake benefits the heart by maintaining good blood pressure levels and preventing heart rhythm problems.
The USDA suggests that adults eat 4,700 milligrams of potassium each day. Before taking potassium supplements, people should speak to their doctor to determine any risks or precautions. Those who are taking drugs that raise potassium levels, such as spironolactone, Bactrim or some ACE inhibitors, should check with their doctor before using a potassium supplement. People who take diuretics may need to increase the amount of potassium in their diet, because these medications, used to treat high blood pressure, enhance depletion of potassium in the body.
Potassium is best obtained by eating foods rich it in rather than taking potassium supplements. Some people with certain medical conditions or taking medications may need higher or lower amounts of potassium on a daily basis. This should be discussed with the patient's doctor.