Red Cherries & Potassium

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There are two types of red cherries, the larger, slightly darker-colored red cherry, which is sweeter and commonly eaten raw, and the sour cherry, which is a little lighter colored but still red. Both sweet and sour cherries are rich in potassium, although one serving does not provide you with all the potassium you require.

Potassium in Sweet and Sour Cherries

A 1-cup serving of pitted sour cherries has 268 milligrams of potassium. In turn, a 1-cup serving of pitted sweet cherries has 342 milligrams of potassium per serving. However, sweet cherries have more calories, 97, than sour cherries do, 78, per 1-cup serving.

Function of Potassium

Potassium is an essential mineral in your body, helping with the breakdown of carbohydrates, the building of proteins and muscles, and maintaining overall healthy body development. As an electrolyte, potassium controls your heart's electrical activity, and it helps maintain your body’s acid-base balance. The recommended dietary intake of potassium is 4,700 milligrams for adult men and women, rising to 5,100 milligrams for women who are nursing or pregnant.

Insufficient Amounts of Potassium

Do not rely on sweet or sour cherries to help you meet your daily potassium requirement. If you don't consume enough potassium, you can develop hypokalemia, or low potassium levels in your body. Hypokalemia can lead to a weakened state, abnormal heart palpitations and an increase in your blood pressure. Low potassium levels can also be the result of kidney or adrenal gland complications.

Other Sources of Potassium

Potassium is abundant in a range of foods, including other fruits, such as citrus fruits, kiwis, prunes, cataloupe and bananas. Apricots are also a good source of potassium, although dried apricots contain more potassium than fresh ones. All meats and poultry have a lot of potassium per serving, as do fish such as salmon, sardines and cod. Soy protein products are also a good source of potassium. Eat a range of foods -- fruit, vegetables and proteins -- to meet your daily potassium requirements.