Benefits Of Cherries – Gorgeous Red Fruits To Enhance Your Health!
As Red as a Cherry! The phrase says it all. I have only known cherries as scrumptious red fruits that are used to top most of the delicious black forest cakes. But, I started loading my shopping bag with these amazing stone fruits after I got enlightened with some surprising benefits of cherries!
Stone fruits are nothing but the ones that have pits in them. Cherries exactly belong to the category of other pitted fruits like lychees, nectarines, mangoes and peaches.
Cherries are as interesting and savoury as they appear and you cannot really resist yourself after having a single bite.
But, cherries are not of a single variety. So, how do you know which one to choose?
Cherries Are Both Sweet And Tart But The Tart Is The Smart!
The most commonly available cherries in the supermarket are the sweet ones! But, it is the tart and sour cherries that are much healthier with more number of antioxidants and nutrients.
That said, sweet cherries are not to be totally abandoned! They have their own potential benefits but if you have to choose, you can pick tart over the sweet!
Sweet cherries scientifically called Prunus avium are consumed fresh while tart cherries, on the other hand, are dried, frozen or juiced.
There are a wide range of sweet cherries that are available like Rainier cherries, lamberts, Royal Ann cherries, but the Bing cherries are the most popular ones that we get to eat.
Tart or sour cherries are scientifically called Prunus cerasus. Morello cherries, Amarelle cherries, and Montmorency cherries are its types!
Montmorency cherries are the popularly available ones among these but you may have to check the nutritional label before buying the tart ones!
These are often added with sugars and regular and the uncontrolled consumption of added sugars may increase the risk of obesity.
Health Benefits Of Cherries – What Are Cherries Good For?
Cherries can promote healthy sleep, reduce your joint pains, protect your heart, prevent Alzheimer and can also beautify your skin! Here is what more cherries can do.
1. Decrease The Risk Of Chronic Disorders
Our body undergoes oxidative stress which causes a gradual deterioration of healthy cells. This weakens our immune system, making us susceptible to chronic disorders as we age.
The only way to decrease the risk of chronic diseases is to reduce the process of oxidative stress which is the main culprit!
Cherries (both sweet and tart) contain certain plant compounds called polyphenols which exhibit antioxidant properties that can reduce the oxidative stress. 1
The major antioxidants present in cherries include melatonin, anthocyanin, serotonin, tryptophan, carotenoids and vitamin C.
What more? If you desire a disease free body, all you need is a handful of cherries every day to keep you fit and robust for the rest of your life.
2. Cherries May One Day Become A Part Of Diabetes Treatment
Surprising as it may seem, though many fruits like grapes, berries like blueberries, strawberries and most of the vegetables contain anthocyanin, it is the anthocyanin extract from cherries that was proved to have the best impact in treating diabetes.
Anthocyanin from cherries can boost the production of insulin, so much so that insulin production has almost doubled in the rats that were treated with anthocyanin extract. 2
Glycemic Index Of Cherries Is Just 22!
Glycemic index is the numerical representation of the food’s ability to increase glucose levels in the blood. So, the lesser is the glycemic index, more is the advantage for diabetics since it helps in controlling the glucose levels and keeping them stable!
On the whole, cherries should be a diabetic’s best friend since they can boost insulin production and also prevent blood sugar spikes because of their low glycemic index. 3
The only concern should be about consuming cherries which are fresh (with no added sugar) as this can worsen the already existing condition and increase the risk of obesity which is probably high for those suffering from diabetes.
3. Benefits Of Cherries For Arthritis Treatment
Joint pains, joint stiffness and inflammation are the major symptoms of arthritis which may not let you rest with ease!
Cherries apart from exhibiting anti-oxidant properties, also show anti-inflammatory properties which can ease the pain.
Tart cherry juice has especially proved to decrease the inflammation.
Experiments conducted on two groups of people, the control group on which the experiments were conducted and the placebo group proved that tart cherry juice has the potential to decrease inflammation.4
If you are suffering from diabetes, you can try experimenting with tart cherry juice but ensure that you are consuming the juice that is devoid of excess sugars since added sugars might worsen the joint pain and the inflammation.
4. Benefits Of Cherries For Brain Health
Our brain loses its cognitive ability as we age. Cognitive abilities are the skills that we require to carry out our daily tasks. These include learning, memorizing, analyzing, focusing and problem-solving.
Alzheimer is a common brain disorder in which the cognitive abilities of a person gradually begin to decline due to which the person may not be able to carry out his/her daily tasks.
Cherries (both sweet and tart) are rich in antioxidants, potassium and fibre which can reduce the risk of Alzheimer. 5
Moreover, tart cherry juice is known to improve the working memory and reduce chronic inflammation which is a major reason for the development of many neurodegenerative disorders. 6
Cherries Contain Nutrients That Are Essential For Brain
Though cherries do not contain brain-healthy nutrients in excess quantities, vitamin E, healthy fats and quercetin are present in minute quantities which can contribute to the improvement of brain health.
5. Cherries Promote Quality Sleep!
Is Your Sleep-Wake Cycle Disorganized?
Do you know that irregular sleep cycles can totally take a negative toll on your overall health? Not only are cherries known to disturb your thinking capabilities, focus, alertness and problem-solving efficiency, but they also increase the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.
Here’s How Cherries Can Promote A Healthy Sleep!
Consumption of tart cherry juice can benefit the sleep-wake cycles since it can control the production of the sleep hormone called “Melatonin.”
The concentration of melatonin is usually high during the night and it drops during the day! Investigations performed regarding the consumption of tart cherry juice have proved that it can boost the secretion of melatonin hormone naturally, thereby enhancing the sleep duration and quality in both young men and women. 7
6. Cherries And Their Role In Cancer Prevention
Cherries are a powerful pack of antioxidants! Anthocyanins are the major ones that are responsible for imparting the splendid red colour to the fruits!
Cyanidin is one of the prominent anthocyanins which is known to reduce the risk of some serious chronic disorders like arthritis, diabetes and cancer due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory property.
Anthocyanins are particularly known to inhibit the production of tumour cells in the intestine and the colon.
Cyanidin is also known to suppress the growth of prostate cancer cells. Ensure that you consume tart cherry juice on a daily basis so as to prevent the risk of colon cancer and prostate cancer. 8
According to the American Institute of cancer research, Hydroxycinnamic acid and perillyl alcohol are the prominent phytochemicals that impart antioxidant power to the cherries. 9
7. Cherries Can Reduce The Chances Of Gout Attacks
Gout is a kind of inflammatory arthritis that occurs due to an excessive accumulation of uric acid in the blood.
The acid then crystallizes in the joints causing severe pain, redness, inflammation which we refer to as gout attacks.
Foods and drinks that are high in purine can increase the levels of uric acid in the blood which is why one must totally avoid purine-rich foods.
An experimental study conducted on 633 members those who were suffering from gout has proved that the consumption of cherry juice for a period of two days has reduced the risk of gout by 35% when compared to those who did not consume cherries. 10
8. Cherries For Weight Loss
For someone who is looking for weight loss, keeping a check on calorie intake is essential! With cherries, you wouldn’t accumulate more than 70 calories for one cup of raw cherries (sour and 155 grams).
Also, cherries fill your stomach with good amounts of fibre (one cup which is around 155 grams meets 10% of your daily fibre requirement).
This can keep your stomach occupied so that you do not crave for unhealthy foods which may otherwise add up to your calories.
Consuming sweet cherries is of a superficial advantage since you get to gratify your sweet cravings which hold you back from consuming junk foods loaded with artificial sweetening agents.
Researchers conducted on a group of rats have proved that rats which were fed with cherries mixed into a diet that was high in fat did not gain weight when compared to other rats which did not consume cherries. 11
9. Cherries Can Reduce The Risk Of Strokes
An animal research study from the University of Michigan health system proved that a diet that is enriched with cherries is much more beneficial in controlling cardiovascular diseases when compared to the drugs that are prescribed to do the same.
Experiments conducted on rats comparing the effect of drugs and tart cherries proved the later to be much beneficial in reducing the systolic blood pressure and other parameters related to stroke.
However, the consumption of cherries along with the drugs was also proved to be beneficial. On the whole, it turns out that the inclusion of cherries whether individual or combined with drugs has a positive impact against strokes. 12
The credit again goes to anthocyanins which show antioxidant properties.
10. Promote A Healthy Digestion
Not all bacteria are essentially bad. There are certain bacteria called good bacteria or the beneficial bacteria which are essential for maintaining a healthy gut system.
Montmorency Tart cherries are known to produce beneficial bacteria in the gut by breaking down the polyphenols which are anthocyanins, flavonols and chlorogenic acid. 13 14
Good bacteria are essential for the enhancement of the overall gut health and prevention of digestive disorders.
Moreover, fibre in cherries can promote a clean and healthy gut.
11. Benefits Of Cherries For Skin
Vitamin C Helps In Anti-Aging!
Cherries are an excellent source of vitamin A and vitamin C and they possess vitamin E in rather minute quantities, all of which are needed for the maintenance of a soft and supple skin texture! 15
A skin that is aged or the one that has been damaged due to excessive exposure to ultraviolet radiation and pollutants is stripped of the natural content of vitamin C.
But, vitamin C can boost the production of collagen which is required for retaining the elasticity of the skin that we lose by passing years. You can regain your soft, glowing, smooth skin if you nourish your skin with enough amounts of vitamin C.
A natural boost of collagen can bring back your vibrant and youthful skin!
Vitamin A Removes Wrinkles And Fine Lines!
A cup of raw and sour cherries (155 grams) provides your body with 26% vitamin C.
Vitamin A is known to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and lines and consuming a cup (155 grams) of raw and sour cherries is known to provide 40% vitamin A.
Antioxidants Can Promote A Smooth Skin Texture!
The outstanding health benefits of cherries for skin are not only due to vitamin A and vitamin C but also due to the antioxidant properties of various polyphenols which can prevent the free radical damage so that a soft and healthy skin is regained even though your skin is prone to harmful ultraviolet radiations and other pollutants.
Nutritional Value Of Cherries
Dividing cherries nutrition into vitamins, minerals and other important elements, here is how it looks like!
Vitamins In Cherries
A cup of raw and sour cherries (155 grams) helps you meet 40% RDA of vitamin A and 26% RDA of vitamin C. Other vitamins present in minor quantities include vitamin E, Vitamin K, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, folate and pantothenic acid.
Minerals In Cherries
Cherries are a good source of potassium, manganese, copper (all of which meet 8% RDA) while other minerals present in cherries include calcium, Iron, magnesium, phosphorous and zinc.
Calories In Cherries
There are 77.5 calories in cherries (raw, sour) which weighs around 155 grams with 4% RDA.
Fibre In Cherries
The fibre in cherries is of great importance since it helps in an easy weight loss and also in promoting healthy digestion.
A cup of raw and sour cherries (155 grams) contains 2.5 grams of fibre with 10% RDA.
Proteins, Carbohydrates, And Fats!
There are 1.6 grams of proteins in one cup (155 grams of) of cherries and 18.9 grams of carbohydrates in the same quantity which fulfil 3% and 6% RDA respectively!
Total fats account to only 0.5 grams per same quantity out of which omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are 68.2 mg and 71.3 mg each!
Nutritional Value Of Cherries – A Detailed Chart!
One cup of cherries (155 grams) contains the following nutrients. Here is the exact quantity and daily percentage requirement that they meet.
|Vitamins||Grams||%DV (Percentage of daily requirement that it meets)|
|Vitamin C||15.5 mg||26%|
|Vitamin E||0.1 mg||1%|
|Vitamin K||3.3 mcg||4%|
|Vitamin B6||0.1 mg||3%|
|Pantothenic acid||0.2 mg||2%|
|Minerals||Grams||%DV (Percentage of daily requirement that it meets)|
|Other elements||Grams||%DV (Percentage of daily requirement that it meets)|
Cherries are not only used to top some sweet and lavish recipes! You can also consume sweet and tart cherries as a daily part of your diet and the result will be as astounding as the cherries appear!
Cherries can make your skin appear youthful and supple, they can reduce the chances of most of the chronic disorders like cancer, diabetes and strokes.
These red delicacies can help in the effective treatment of arthritis, diabetes and can even prevent the chances of gout attacks.
Cherries can promote healthy sleep, assist in weight loss and enhance your brain power!
Now you know everything about cherries! So, now is the time to make use of gorgeous looking fruits to appear glamorous, youthful and also to boost your overall health!
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