Calcium and potassium are both essential nutrients for the human body. They promote healthy hearts and strong bones, and are found in many foods. Most of these foods are fruits, vegetables and dairy products. However, there are other foods, such as certain nuts, roots, plants and seeds, that also provide high doses of calcium and potassium, which means that even the pickiest eaters should have ample opportunities to eat a diet rich in these nutrients.


Function

Potassium is a mineral that is good for the heart. Individuals who are taking medication for high blood pressure are typically recommended to eat a diet that is rich in potassium-based foods. Calcium is a metal that supports bone growth and wards off osteoporosis and other bone diseases.

Significance

Eating foods that have a high level of potassium and calcium can lower blood pressure and contribute to an overall healthy diet, especially if those foods are low in fat and sodium.

Types

The most potassium-rich foods are fruits and vegetables, including bananas, grapefruits, apricots, kiwis, oranges, peaches, cantaloupes, spinach, broccoli, sweet potatoes and dark, leafy greens. The most calcium-rich foods are dairy products, including yogurt, milk, cheese and frozen yogurt. Foods rich in both calcium and potassium include broccoli and dark, leafy vegetables.

Identification

There are many types of uncommon and exotic foods that are high in calcium and potassium, including mayhaw fruit, maca root, wheat germ, sunflower seeds, hulled barley, palmaria, fennel and pistachios.

Considerations

The DASH diet, which stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, emphasizes that followers should eat a diet high in potassium and calcium. According to the National Institutes of Health, following the DASH diet has been shown to lower an individual’s blood pressure in less than two weeks. In addition to potassium and calcium, the diet consists of a variety of fruits, vegetables, dairy products that are low in fat and whole grains.

References and Resources

The DASH Diet