Foods to Counter Hypokalemia

by Owen Pearson ; Updated August 14, 2017

Hypokalemia is a condition characterized by a deficiency of potassium in your body. This condition can cause symptoms such as fatigue, degradation of muscle tissue, irregular heart rhythms and muscle weakness. Untreated hypokalemia may lead to paralysis or death. Although you may need potassium supplements or injections to counter hypokalemia, adding certain foods to your diet may help restore potassium levels in your body.

The recommended daily intake of potassium is 2,000 mg for adults, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. However, your doctor may recommend a higher dose to reverse hypokalemia.


Several fruits can add potassium to your diet, which may help prevent or reverse hypokalemia. Papayas and prunes are among the richest sources of potassium;-a papaya contains 781 mg of potassium, and a 1 cup serving of prune juice contains 707 mg, according to Bananas are also abundant sources of this mineral; a small banana provides about 467 mg. Other fruits high in potassium include mangoes, avocados, tomatoes, kiwi fruit, pears, cantaloupe and raisins.

Legumes and Legume Products

Pinto beans are legumes that offer a wealth of potassium; a 1/2 cup serving contains about 400 mg of this mineral. The same-sized serving of lentils provides about 365 mg. Peanuts, which are often thought of as nuts, are legumes that provide potassium that may help prevent hypokalemia; a 1 oz. serving contains about 187 mg, and a 2 tbsp. serving of peanut butter provides about 214 mg. A 1 cup serving of soy milk contains about 345 mg of potassium.


Adding certain vegetables to your diet can add potassium and may help counter hypokalemia. A medium artichoke contains about 343 mg of potassium, according to the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University. A 1/2 cup serving of cooked spinach provides about 420 mg, and a medium potato with the skin contains about 920 mg.

Meats and Dairy Products

Some types of meat contain potassium. A 3 oz. serving of salmon provides about 319 mg of this mineral, according to The same-sized serving of lean beef contains about 224 mg, and a 3 oz. serving of dark-meat turkey provides about 259 mg. Dairy products can also help boost your potassium intake. A 1 cup serving of 2-percent milk contains about 377 mg of potassium, and a 6 oz. serving of yogurt provides about 398 mg.


Talk to your doctor before adding foods to your diet to address hypokalemia. This potentially life-threatening condition requires the supervision of a medical professional. A diet high in potassium may cause hyperkalemia, a condition that causes symptoms similar to hypokalemia.

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About the Author

Owen Pearson is a freelance writer who began writing professionally in 2001, focusing on nutritional and health topics. After selling abstract art online for five years, Pearson published a nonfiction book detailing the process of building a successful online art business. Pearson obtained a bachelor's degree in art from the University of Rio Grande in 1997.