Cherries are sweet and tart tasty fruits. They are filled with very good nutritional values. They are available in different colors ranging from yellow to black. Most appealing cherries are deep red in color. The size of these round shapes cherries and their flavor can vary. Sweet cherries are eaten raw or in the juice form and the tart tasting cherries are used in cooking. Cherries offer multiple health benefits as they are rich in antioxidants and vitamins.
Cherries belong to the same fruit family as peaches, plums and apricots.
Nutritional Contents of Cherries
- The antioxidants anthocyanins in cherries protects your body from free radicals
- They are only 100 calories per cup making it healthy snack for weight loss.
- The alkaline nature of cherries help balance body pH
- High amount of melatonin in the cherries helps to cure insomnia.
- High melatonin also helps to reduce jet lag symptoms
- They are rich in vitamins and minerals
Health Benefits of Cherries
Cherries offer multiple benefits to improve and maintain your health. Following are the top 7 benefits of cherries.
1. Cherries Reduce Risks of Gout
Cherries significantly reduces probabilities if getting gout. A scientific study found that people eating a cup of cherries have 50% less chance of getting gout attacks than those who didn't eat cherries.
- Cherries reduce uric acid formation which is the main cause of Gout
- It lowers nitric oxide formation helping reduced occurrence of Gout
- Consume juice of tart cherries to lower uric acid formation
2. Cherries Provide Arthritis Pain Relief
If you are suffering from arthritis then tart cherries are your saviors.
- They contain many anti-inflammatory compounds
- Tart cherries fight inflammations.
- Relieve you from the pain of osteoarthritis.
- Drink tart cherry juice twice a day for a month to significantly lower your arthritis pain
3. Reduce Post Workout Muscle Pain
Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of cherries help you to reduce pain after doing strenuous physical work.
- Drink tart cherry juice before starting strenuous work such as exercise
- This will reduce muscle damage
- You will gain strength and inflammatory pain will reduce
4. Protect You from Cancer
Tart cherries are more powerful than the sweet cherries, but both will reduce your probabilities of getting cancer
- Tart cherries contain powerful antioxidants anthocyanins and cyanidin.
- Sweat cherries also contain the same antioxidants but in lesser quantities.
- Sweat cherries contain quercetin which is powerful antioxidant
- All these antioxidants which fight against oxidative stresses and fiber and vitamin C together helps in cancer prevention
- Research done on human cancer cells have shown positive results in cancer inhibiting properties
5. Protect against Strokes
- The fat and glucose metabolism is efficiently managed by cherries
- Tart cherries activate peroxisome proliferator activating receptors (PPAR) in your body tissues which helps in stroke prevention
- Drink tart cherry juice regularly
6. Help in Sleeping Well
- Very high level of natural melatonin in cherries helps you to calm down.
- Excess inflammation and associated oxidative stresses are reduced by melatonin providing better quality sleep
- Insomnia patients can significantly benefit within a week of consuming 15-20 cherries daily before going to sleep.
- Consuming tart cherry juice will produce faster results than eating sweet cherries
7. Reduce Belly Fat
Since cherries are low calorie fruits snacking with them helps to reduce weight in the long term
- Tart cherry juice can lower triglycerides and help in lowering weight
- Research has found that drinking tart cherry juice with high fat food doesn't increase as much weight as it would without the tart cherry juice
- A study done on rates feeding them with high fat food with tart cherry powder didn't increase their weight
Selection and Storage of cherries
Cherries are delicate fruits. If you select the fruit in right conditions and store it well then you can enjoy the taste as well as get the maximum health benefits. Take following precautions to choose sweet cherries for eating
- Make sure that they are firm with glossy surface
- Dark cherries are sweeter
- Cherries without stems may stake fast, so pick cherries with their stems intact
- Consume them within 2 days if you store then in room temperature.
- Store them in the refrigerator to extend firmness for a week
- Wash them before eating
Tart cherries are widely used in pies and cocktails. Tart cherry powder is available throughout the year as compared to fresh cherries which are generally available from may to August. Eat them, drink their juice or consume them in cooking for the benefiting from it's nutrients.