While filling up half of your plate with fruits and veggies will help you lower your heart disease and cancer risk, you'll probably need to eat other types of food as well to meet your phosphorus needs. Vegetables provide you with a lot of different vitamins and minerals, but only a few are good sources of phosphorus.
Phosphorus is one of the essential minerals. You need it for building strong bones, forming DNA, helping your kidneys get rid of waste and storing energy. Getting enough phosphorus also helps you recover more quickly from sore muscles after a hard workout. Without phosphorus, you wouldn't be able to make new cells and keep your heart beating regularly. Try to consume at least 700 milligrams per day, which is the recommended dietary allowance for phosphorus.
Vegetables Highest in Phosphorus
Soybeans have the most phosphorus of all vegetables, with each cup of boiled soybeans containing 421 milligrams, but other beans are also good sources of phosphorus. A cup of lentils has 356 milligrams, a cup of great northern beans provides 292 milligrams and a cup of navy beans contains 286 milligrams. Artichokes are another good vegetable source of phosphorus, with 144 milligrams per cup, as are mushrooms, with 136 milligrams in the same serving size. Peas, corn, parsnips, potatoes, broccoli, spinach, rutabaga, brussels sprouts and okra all contain at least 10 percent of the RDA for phosphorus per cup.
Increasing Your Phosphorus Intake
You can get more phosphorus in your diet from vegetables by having an omelet filled with cheese, mushrooms and spinach for breakfast. For lunch, add beans and mushrooms to salads or soup. Between meals, snack on broccoli dipped in hummus. Have roasted root vegetables for dinner alongside a fish, poultry or meat entree.
Most people don't need to take phosphorus supplements, since it's easy to get plenty from food. Consuming too much phosphorus can be harmful to your health, especially if you don't eat a lot of calcium-rich foods. Your body tries to maintain a balance of phosphorus and calcium, so it pulls calcium from your bones if you consume too much phosphorus, potentially increasing your risk for osteoporosis later in life.
- USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 16: Phosphorus, P (mg) Content of Selected Foods per Common Measure, Sorted by Nutrient Content
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Phosphorus
- MedlinePlus: Phosphorus
- Linus Pauling Institute: Phosphorus
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Fruits and Vegetables
Based in Massachusetts, Jessica Bruso has been writing since 2008. She holds a master of science degree in food policy and applied nutrition and a bachelor of arts degree in international relations, both from Tufts University.