Cherries belong to the same family of fruit as peaches, plums, apricots, and almonds. They are often used for desserts and in pies, or garnish, used in cocktails. Cherries are classified as superfruits’, a class of nutrient rich fruits that are proven to have natural compounds that help to fight diseases.
There are two main varieties of cherries, Sweet cherries and Sour cherries or Tart Cherries.
Cherries have therapeutic benefits to health, and are full of compounds that promote good health.
5 Benefits of Cherries That You Need To Know
Help Fight Cancer and Disease
Cherries are a rich source of antioxidants like anthocyanins and cyanidin. They help prevent or repair the damage that is done to the body’s cells by free radicals. Antioxidants replace free radicals in the body before they can cause any damage.
Cherries are rich in Quercitrin.
This is a flavonoid that is one of the most powerful anticancer agents. Quercitrin helps to fight cancerous cells in the body.
Ellagic acid, an anti-carcinogenic/anti-mutagenic compound, is a naturally occurring plant phenolic found in cherry. It is a compound that is effective in prevention of cancer. Perillyl alcohol is a compound that is fund in cherries and it plays an important role in stopping the growth of cancerous cells by depriving them of the essential proteins they need for growth.
Support Healthy Sleep (Melatonin)
Cherries contain a natural compound called Melatonin, an antioxidant that helps the body’s natural sleep patterns. Melatonin lowers body temperatures and this makes us sleepy. It helps to reduce the excess inflammation and associated oxidative stress. This helps in regeneration of the body and aids in good sleep. Taking tart cherry juice may be an alternative to melatonin supplements.
They prevent muscle damage
Taking a glass of tart cherry juice after a heavy workout helps in preventing muscle ache and damage. Sore muscles are a sign of a proper workout but sometimes it brings pain in the muscles. Cherries are full of anthocyanins. These are anti-inflammatory antioxidants that help to soothe muscles the ache in muscles. In a study, a group of marathon runners took tart cherry juice two times in a day, before their exercise, while another group did not take the cherry juice. The marathoners who took the juice reported less muscle soreness and pain. The antioxidants in tart cherries protect the body against attack by radicals which are induced by workouts and can bring painful inflammation.
Blood pressure and heart health.
Cherries provide cardiovascular health benefits. Compounds abundant in these super fruits regulate fat and glucose our bodies. They are a rich source of potassium, which plays a big role in lowering blood pressure. Having cherries in a diet gives the body a rich source of potassium, which is important in getting excess sodium out of the body. This ensures a good sodium and potassium balance which prevents hypertension. Potassium regulates the heart beat rate.
Phytosterols is a compound found in cherries and it keeps the body’s cholesterol levels in check, reducing heart illnesses. A study from the University of Michigan found that tart cherries can help reduce the risk of stroke, and can be taken with prescribed medication.
A report published from a study of men aged between 65 and 84 by the National Institute of Public Health and Environmental Protection in Holland found that an increase in the intake of Flavonoids which can be found in cherry, reduced the rates of coronary diseases.
Gout is a form of arthritis that is caused by the presence of too much uric acid in the blood. It occurs due to the failure of metabolic processes that are essential in controlling the amount of uric acid in the body. It is characterized by inflammation and swelling. Both sour and sweet cherries have been found to fight gout. These fruits have two compounds, bioflavonoids and anthocyanins that make the enzyme Cyclo-oxyygenase-1 and 2. This relieves and prevents the occurrence of arthritis in the body.
For many years, arthritis patients have used cherries as a way to soothe their symptoms. At first, the only evidence of cherry benefits was anecdotal.
Today however, science has backed up the claim of arthritis fighting capabilities of cherries.
Gianna Ferretti 1,*, Tiziana Bacchetti 1, Alberto Belleggia 2 and Davide Neri 2. Cherry Antioxidants: From Farm to Table
The Cherry Marketing Institute (CMI). The red report. The science behind tart cherries
Leelanau Peninsula, Michigan. In the Cherry Capital of the World