Potassium-rich Beans for Healthy Bones

Keeping bones strong requires more than calcium and vitamin D. A host of vitamins and minerals are involved in building bones and preventing them from weakening. One of these is the mineral potassium. It’s especially important because studies of American habits suggest that many people don’t consume nearly enough potassium.

Eating more fruits and vegetables is one way to increase potassium intake. Eating more beans can help, too. Beans are unique among good sources of potassium because they also provide plenty of high-quality protein. Not surprisingly, in the Adventist Health Study-2, a large epidemiologic study involving more than 33,000 people, those who ate the most beans and foods made from plant proteins were the least likely to suffer a hip fracture.

The combination of protein and potassium in beans makes them an important part of a diet aimed at protecting bones throughout the lifecycle.

Potassium Content of Selected Beans, Fruits and Vegetables

Food Potassium in milligrams (Daily recommendation is 4700 milligrams)
1 medium banana422
1/2 cup spinach443
1/2 cup pinto beans394
1/2 cup cooked kidney beans379
1/2 cup cranberry beans362
1/2 cup black beans323
1 medium peach285
1/2 cup cooked potato270
1/2 cup cooked broccoli241
1 medium orange237
1/2 cup diced cantaloupe220