Cherries are good source of minerals, nutrients and vitamins that are beneficial in combating several diseases. They are very delicious, strikingly attractive and quite easy to consume in the form of snack. Health benefits of cherries are many to those who can eat regularly and in different ways.
There are several types of cherries, of which many are associated with the subgenus Cerasus family. Cherries grows for a very limited time, mostly in summer season. In West Indian cherry is also termed as aserola. It is rich in vitamin-C and also in vitamin-A.
Health Benefits of Cherries
Cherries has low saturated fat, sodium and cholesterol content but high percentage of vitamins (Vitamin C) and dietary fiber. Some of the most promising health benefits of cherries include:
Acts as Antioxidant : Cherries are packed with pigmentation which is termed anthocyanin glycosides. The red, blue and purple pigments are rich in Anthocyanins which is also present in some other vegetable and fruits, particularly limited to the skin of the fruits. These anthocyanins are termed as excellent anti-oxidant, which good for our health.
Work as Anti-inflammatory Agent : After scientific research and clinical experiments it has been indicated that anthocyanins in cherries also work as powerful anti-inflammatory agents and eliminates the activities of enzymes of cycloxygenase-1 and 2. Hence its anti-inflammatory property is also one of the health benefits of cherries that alleviate the chronicle pains of fibromyalgia, injury and gout arthritis. Cherries have been known to provide relief in gout and arthritis symptoms. Uric acid levels are closely associated with disease such as gout.
Studies have proved that drinking cherry juice or having an healthy cherry serving have controlled uric acid levels and relief in gout. These benefits have been seen with arthritis patients too. As per the Arthritis Foundation, consuming juice of cherry blend with water thrice a day may prove to be advantageous for patients suffering with arthritis.
Fight against Cancer, Aging and Pre-diabetes Conditions : Scientists have indicated that one more health benefits of cherries are that it has been instrumental in combating cancers, neurological disorders, aging and pre-diabetes phase. It is primarily because of presence of anti-oxidants which offer protection against scavengers – the deadly free radicals and oxygen species (ROS) that are basically responsible for cancers, aging, and some other medical conditions.
This fruit, particularly tart cherries, are great source of lutein, flavonoid poly phenolic, zeaxanthin and beta carotene. Scientists have discovered that sweet cherries carries high content of an antioxidant – cyaniding, which eliminates free radical scavenger and advocates cellular differentiation – a necessary technique in that fight against cancerous cells.
Heart benefits and Blood Pressure Control : According to research including Cherry in regular diet reduces levels of C-reactive protein and other inflammatory substances and lowers levels of cholesterol in body. These have been found particularly beneficial for inflammation reduction at belly, and heart. These fruits are also rich source of iron, zinc, potassium, manganese, and copper. All these, especially potassium, are healthy minerals for healthy heart and it sustains the right blood rate and blood pressure.
Workout Recovery and pain relief benefits : Cherries have been found very useful for people doing heavy workouts such as athletes. It helps in reducing muscle and joint soreness. It also helps them to recover faster in case of a muscle damage. It also helps in reducing pain related to heavy exercises.
Some other Health Benefits of Cherries
- University of Michigan discovered after study that health benefits of cherries are also associated with consumption of good quantity of cherries in regular diet that can reduce all the risks associated with heart, fat, inflammation and cholesterol.
- Anthocyanin, found in cherries, are also considered to be great nutrients for brain that enhances the memory power.
- Cherries are rich in beta carotene, which is 19 times more compared to strawberries and blueberries.
- It is also a great source of melatonin, a hormone that pays an important role in maintaining the sleep cycles in human body.
- Melatonin is considered to be a soothing agent effecting brain neuron and calming the irritability caused due to headache and insomnia. This melatonin is found in abundance in cherries.
- Cherries contain fiber, which catapults digestive system of human body aiding the overall health of human being along with many disorders associated with indigestion.
- Cherries are considered as great dessert option and helps in maintaining the right weight of the body.
How to Select and Storage
Cherry fruits are available between May end to August in US. It has limited self life. You should select those cherries that have shiny and bright skin aptly associated with the top of the cherries. You should store the cherries in some cold place, like refrigerator. To eat, rinse the cherries using lukewarm water to discard dust and allow it to come to room temperature and now it is ready to be consumed not without softly pat drying the fruit using some clean cloth.
Adding cherries to your daily diet:
- Add cherries to your breakfast. You can also add them in your pancakes, yogurt, cereal etc.
- Taking cherry juice anytime of the day is refreshing, especially helpful before hitting a gym.
- And of course, you can always enjoy the delicious taste of raw cherries!
Precautions and Warnings Using Cherries
Tart cherries have the potential to develop allergy as it is normally witnessed with any plant food. Hay fever sufferers may develop allergy on consuming tart cherries. The signs could be itchiness in mouth and throat, which can engulf your ears and lips too. Take advice of your physician prior to eating tart cherry if you are sensitive to some other foods, like peaches, apples, plums, hazelnuts and bananas.
Juice of tart cherry has acidic properties and may lead to upset stomach if taken juice containing extract of 45 to 50 cherries regularly. Drinking excessive of tart cherry juice regularly may result in diarrhea. It manifests heartburn sign, so be careful and don’t get too greedy in drinking tart cherry juice.
During Pregnancy and Breast-feeding
It is said that sweet cherries are safe during pregnancy and nursing women if taken in limited amount with regular diet. Greater medicinal amounts should always be avoided until otherwise prescribed.
Safe Cherry Dosage Per Day
As cherries are termed as food and further clinical tests and researches are required to establish exact dosage of this bright good looking fruit. If the statement of The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center is to be believed, consumption of 24 oz. of tart cherry juice on regular basis can be enough to get the health benefits of cherries. Of course your physician would be in a better position to advise you about the exact dosage of cherry given your current health and medical condition.
Eating the sweet fruit of bright cherry is quite safe for majority of adults, if it is eaten as food. It has not been established whether sweet cherry is good and recommended for medicinal purpose and conditions. It may also lead to some kind of allergy in some highly sensitive people but otherwise it is a great source of nutrients packed with other health benefits as well. So have a regular eater of this fruit to avail the maximum health benefits of cherries.