Although the Food and Nutrition Board recommends that men and women should consume 4,700 milligrams of potassium each day, less than 2 percent of American adults fulfill this requirement, reported a 2012 study published in "The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition." The best way for you to get enough potassium is to follow a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, though not all produce is a significant source of the mineral. Dandelion greens, which can be eaten raw in salads or boiled, steamed or sauteed in the same manner as spinach, contain only a small amount of potassium.
A 1-cup, 55-gram serving of chopped, raw dandelion greens contains 218 milligrams of potassium. This amount fulfills 4.6 percent of the required daily intake of potassium for healthy adult men and women. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Nutrient Database, a cup of cooked dandelion greens provides slightly more potassium, at 244 milligrams. Neither, however, has a high enough potassium concentration to be considered a good source of the mineral. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration guidelines for labeling nutrient content state that a food is a good source of a nutrient only if it contains at least 10 percent of the RDA per serving.
Comparison to Other Foods
Dandelion greens have about as much potassium in every 1/2-cup serving as an ounce of dry-roasted sunflower seeds, a 1-cup serving of canned peaches or 3 ounces of cooked beef, pork or dark turkey meat. Compared to foods like spinach, wild rice, grapefruit, avocados, blueberries, tofu, eggplant, lettuce, chicken and nuts such as walnuts or macadamia nuts, dandelion greens have a higher potassium concentration per serving. If you want to increase your potassium intake with excellent sources of the mineral -- foods that provide 20 percent or more of the RDA in every serving -- choose potatoes, raisins, beet greens, dates, beans like white or lima beans and tomato products such as tomato puree.
Your body needs the potassium you get from foods like dandelion greens to trigger the activity of enzymes needed in carbohydrate metabolism and to help promote the growth, development and repair of your bones. Potassium also works with sodium to maintain the electrochemical balance across cell membranes that allows neurons to transmit impulses and muscles to contract. If your diet includes plenty of potassium-rich foods, you may be less likely to develop osteoporosis, stroke, high blood pressure or kidney stones.
A 2011 study conducted by researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that it is just as important for you to consume enough potassium regularly as it is for you to control your intake of sodium. The scientists reported that people who had a low-potassium, high-sodium diet were significantly more likely to develop heart disease and to die from every major chronic medical problem. Incorporate rich potassium sources into your daily meals and keep your sodium level in check by avoiding processed, canned, ready-made and prepackaged foods. Maximize the nutritional benefit you receive from dandelion greens by using herbs, spices or lemon juice instead of salt to add flavor.
- The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition: Sodium and Potassium Intakes Among US Adults: NHANES 2003-2008
- Linus Pauling Institute: Potassium
- USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference: Nutrient Data for 11207, Dandelion Greens, Raw
- USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference: Nutrient Data for 11208, Dandelion Greens, Cooked, Boiled, Drained, Without Salt
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration: 10. Appendix B: Additional Requirements for Nutrient Content Claims
- USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 16: Potassium, K (mg) Content of Selected Foods per Common Measure, Sorted by Nutrient Content
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Potassium
- Archives of Internal Medicine: Sodium and Potassium Intake and Mortality Among US Adults: Prospective Data from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey
- Mayo Clinic: Sodium - How to Tame Your Salt Habit Now
Michelle Kerns writes for a variety of print and online publications and specializes in literature and science topics. She has served as a book columnist since 2008 and is a member of the National Book Critics Circle. Kerns studied English literature and neurology at UC Davis.