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The #1 Best Food to Eat for Potassium, Says Science

Surprise! It's not bananas.
FACT CHECKED BY Kiersten Hickman

When you're thinking of potassium-rich foods, the first one to come to mind is almost always bananas. You wouldn't be wrong for thinking that, as the handheld, fruit contains 422 milligrams of potassium in one medium-sized banana according to the United States Department of Agriculture. That's just over 9% of the potassium you'd need in a day, according to the National Institutes of Health, and while that is a great amount in each banana, there are foods that can give you more.

Watermelons, while primarily known for their high water content and keeping you hydrated, are also extremely high in potassium. Two wedges of watermelon, or about one-eighth of the entire melon, packs a whopping 640 milligrams of potassium, or about 18% of your daily total. That's double the amount you would get from a banana!

The potassium-filled fruit is a summer staple, and it's bound to end up across your plate at least once throughout the season. Whether it's just a slice of the fruit to go along with a summer barbeque, whipped up in a salad with tomatoes, or eaten fresh off the grill. Take a look at our story with 25 watermelon-specific recipes for more summer inspiration.

RELATED: Here are the 100 Easiest Recipes You Can Make.

In addition to being a great source of potassium, watermelon also helps improve digestion issues, as it has such a high water content, according to the USDA. It also contains vitamin C, vitamin B6 and is a great source of magnesium.

Making a delicious snack isn't the only thing that potassium-rich foods are good for. Potassium is incredibly useful in the body for a multitude of reasons, including that it's good for helping you prevent high blood pressure.

When high blood pressure is left untreated it can lead to heart disease or stroke, so it's important to maintain blood pressure at a healthy level. One easy way to lower blood pressure is by eating foods that are rich in potassium, according to a study from Purdue University. The study also concludes that potassium has a "broad range of health benefits" for the heart and kidneys, and it plays a vital role in helping preserve good bone health. So if you want strong, healthy bones, make sure to not only stock up on sources of calcium like milk and cheese, but also potassium-rich foods as well.

According to the National Institutes of Health, not eating enough potassium can lead to increased blood pressure, risk of developing kidney stones, as well as a salt sensitivity, so don't hesitate in chowing down on some watermelon to add more potassium to your diet.

Check out what other foods are also packed with potassium to make a heart-healthy dining choice. Then, be sure to sign up for our newsletter for even more healthy eating tips!

Erin Yarnall
Erin Yarnall is a freelance reporter from the Chicago area. Read more about Erin
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