Now that I know I have chronically low levels, I need to work hard at home to get an adequate amount of potassium in my diet. Right off the bat, my doctor recommended V-8. Not exactly my favorite drink, but so far the most efficient, effective, and fastest acting form of potassium I have found. If I am having a random bout of tachycardia, the first remedy I try is V-8. It usually brings my pulse down significantly within minutes. Then there's Gatorade, which I will also drink on occasion to maintain my potassium levels throughout the day although I would not rely on it as a primary source.
Natural sources of potassium are usually found in fruits and veggies, although almonds have become a new favorite of mine that I can conveniently keep on hand in my purse. Almonds are good for three specific reasons: they are loaded with protein, salt, and potassium. I would say those are the three things my body demands most. Almonds are also a great food because they won't spike your blood sugar levels. My grandpa is a diabetic and almonds are one of his staple foods. Another one of my favorite natural sources of potassium is honeydew melon. It is sweet and easy to consume in large quantities (unlike V-8 that is, which can sometimes upset my stomach and trigger an acid reflux attack).
In terms of processed food potassium sources (lets face it, bagged foods are convenient), old- fashioned Lays potato chips take the cake. Not only are they delicious, they also have a high sodium content, which can help combat the low blood pressure many potsies suffer from. Potatoes contain potassium, therefore so do most potato chips. At 390 mg per serving, Lays contain the highest potassium content out of all the chips I've tried. I can honestly say one of the few perks of having POTS is being able to indulge in potato chips without the least bit of guilt!
For your convenience, here is a list of potassium-rich foods, borrowed from the USDA National Nutrient Database. If you are not taking any potassium supplements, eat as many of these foods as you would like. You can't go wrong with potassium-rich foods as they are usually high in fiber and vital nutrients as well.
|Potassium Rich Foods||Weight||Measure||Potassium Content|
|Raw, baby carrots||10||1 medium||24 mg|
|Raw Lettuce||10||1 leaf||19 mg|
|Raw Onions||14||1 slice||20 mg|
|Fresh Strawberries||12||1 strawberry||18 mg|
|Raw Garlic||3||1 clove||12 mg|
|Honey||21||1 tablespoon||11 mg|
|Raw Radishes||4.5||1 radish||10 mg|
|Raw Peppers||10||1 ring||18 mg|
|White Bread||23||1 slice||17 mg|
|Papayas||304||1 papaya||781 mg|
|Lima Beans||188||1 cup||955 mg|
|Plantains||179||1 medium||893 mg|
|Jerusalem Artichokes||150||1 cup||644 mg|
|Bananas||118||1 banana||422 mg|
|Oat Bran||94||1 cup||532 mg|
|Tomatoes||255||1 cup||528 mg|
|Cucumber||301||1 large||442 mg|
|Cantaloupe||160||1 cup||427 mg|
|Pears||275||1 pear||333 mg|
|Mangoes||207||1 mango||323 mg|