Potassium In Peppers: The Fact And Fiction

Potassium is an essential mineral that your body uses in many ways. You need it for your cells to function and to regulate your heartbeat as well as to keep your blood pressure within a healthy range. You need at least 2,500 mg and 3,400 mg of it daily. Peppers are highly nutritious and contain high levels of some important nutrients, but are they good sources of potassium? Do some peppers contain more of it than others? We will answer those questions and more below.

How much potassium is there typically in peppers?

Peppers are not great sources of potassium but they can provide a significant amount if you are willing to eat larger servings. For most people, this will be easier to do with large sweet peppers than with smaller hot ones. A 100 g serving of the typical pepper will contain between 5 and 8 percent of your daily requirement for potassium. Keep in mind that 100 g is a very large serving for hot peppers.

Do some pepper varieties contain more potassium than others?

Some peppers do contain more potassium than others, but not a lot more. As mentioned above, peppers aren’t exactly potassium powerhouses. That said, you can get 305 mg of it from serrano peppers if you are willing to eat 100 g (a little less than a cup) of them. For men, 305 mg is about 9 percent of the daily required intake for potassium and about 11 percent for women. Banana peppers offer a little less potassium with 256 mg per 100 g, while jalapeños have 215 mg. Green bell peppers are at the bottom of the pile with 175 mg in each 100 g portion.

How do peppers compare to foods known to be rich/poor in potassium?

Spinach is extremely rich in potassium and will give you 558 mg in each 100 g, which is significantly higher than the 305 mg from serranos. Avocados are another food with a reputation for a high level of potassium. A 100 g serving of avocados will give you 485 mg of potassium. Potatoes are good sources of potassium as well and can provide you with 379 mg of it in each 100 g. Bananas are well-known as a source of potassium, but they are not significantly richer sources of it than peppers since they provide 358 mg of it per 100 g.

Peppers have more potassium than strawberries, which contain only 153 mg of the mineral per 100g. Pineapples are an even worse potassium source with 109 mg per 100 g.

Do ripe peppers have more potassium than unripe ones?

Ripe bell peppers do sometimes contain more potassium than unripe ones but the results are mixed. A ripe bell pepper will give you 211 mg per 100 g while an unripe one contains 175 mg. On the other hand, peppers classified as red hot chilies by the USDA contain less potassium than peppers classified as hot green chilies. The red chilies contain 322 mg compared to the 340 mg seen in the green variety.

Do dried peppers lose potassium?

Dehydration does not significantly affect the potassium content of peppers. The removal of moisture in foods concentrates some nutrients so that you get more of them per gram. As a result, 100 g of dried peppers will contain much more potassium than fresh ones. Ancho peppers are poblano chilies that have been dried and they contain 2411 mg of potassium compared to the 175 mg in poblanos.

UPDATE NOTICE: This post was updated on February 6, 2020 to include new content.
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