While most people get too much sodium in their diets, they don’t get enough potassium. An adequate amount of potassium each day is 2,600 milligrams for women and 3,400 milligrams for men. A single banana has 375 milligrams of potassium. Sodium and potassium play complementary roles in the body. Sodium increases blood pressure, and potassium relaxes blood vessels. Sodium regulates the fluid outside your cells while potassium manages fluid levels inside your cells (per Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health). A high-sodium, low-potassium diet is linked to an increased risk of death.
However, you don’t want to go bananas over bananas if you’re trying to shed extra body weight. While bananas are great sources of potassium, they also have 18 grams of sugar. Eating too many bananas might be a problem for people with diabetes or people who are on diets to control their sugar intake, according to the American Heart Association. A cup of acorn squash gives you almost 900 milligrams of potassium, and a baked potato with skin or a cup of spinach can help you meet your potassium needs without the excess sugar (per Mayo Clinic).