7 Amazing Benefits of Cherries

by Kiran Patil last updated -

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The health benefits of cherries include an improved vision, a stronger immune system, relief from infections, and improved digestion. They are rich in anti-aging and antioxidant properties, which help in preventing many disorders. Cherries may also help prevent cancer.

What are Cherries?

Cherries, which have the scientific name Prunus avium, are one of the most romantic fruits. They are eaten all around the world and are often a favorite flavor or ingredient. Predominantly a fruit of cold countries, cherries look and taste wonderful. Research conducted in the University of California, cherries have a vibrant color and tangy taste and they are indicators of the equally vibrant and magical health benefits these little fruits contain.

Nutrition Facts

According to USDA Nutrition Database, cherries provide a wide range of nutrients that include it is rich in potassium, calcium, energy, sugars, and vitamin C. It also contains magnesium, iron, zinc, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and vitamin E and B6.

Nutrition Facts

Cherries, sweet, raw
Serving Size :
Water [g]82.25
Energy [kcal]63
Protein [g]1.06
Total lipid (fat) [g]0.2
Carbohydrate, by difference [g]16.01
Fiber, total dietary [g]2.1
Sugars, total [g]12.82
Calcium, Ca [mg]13
Iron, Fe [mg]0.36
Magnesium, Mg [mg]11
Phosphorus, P [mg]21
Potassium, K [mg]222
Sodium, Na [mg]0
Zinc, Zn [mg]0.07
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid [mg]7
Thiamin [mg]0.03
Riboflavin [mg]0.03
Niacin [mg]0.15
Vitamin B-6 [mg]0.05
Folate, DFE [µg]4
Vitamin B-12 [µg]0
Vitamin A, RAE [µg]3
Vitamin A, IU [IU]64
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) [mg]0.07
Vitamin D (D2 + D3) [µg]0
Vitamin D [IU]0
Vitamin K (phylloquinone) [µg]2.1
Fatty acids, total saturated [g]0.04
Fatty acids, total monounsaturated [g]0.05
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated [g]0.05
Fatty acids, total trans [g]0
Cholesterol [mg]0
Caffeine [mg]0
Sources include : USDA

Health Benefits of Cherries

Cherries help in cancer prevention, reduce inflammation, lower blood sugar levels, protect your heart, and improve memory. The health benefits of these cute fruits include the following:

Anti-aging Properties

A research conducted by Ferretti G in the Polytechnic University of Marche, Italy, cherries are storehouses of antioxidants such as vitamin C, carotenoids, and flavonoids (anthocyanins). They effectively neutralize free radicals and protect us from all ailments associated with aging or the action of oxidants such as weakening of the heart and nervous system, loss of vision, macular degeneration, hair loss, wrinkling of skin, loss of libido, as well as colon and prostate cancer. This effect of cherries can also help with sleeplessness, nervous disorders, and many other mental discomforts.

Boost Immunity

Apart from protecting against the damage of free radicals, the antioxidants (vitamin C, carotenoids, and flavonoids) also boost immunity and protect us from bacterial, viral, and fungal infections, particularly those of the colon, urinary tract, intestines, and excretory system as well as coughs and colds. According to a study published in 2012, cherries are also effective against arthritis and inflammation. They are also very effective in giving protection against flu, fevers, and gout.

A basket of fresh cherries and a bottle filled with soaked cherries

May Help Prevent Cancer

A lot of in-vitro studies are ongoing to gauge the anticancer effects of cherries and the results are promising.

Research conducted at Michigan State University and published in the Cancer Letters journal suggests that tart cherries contain anthocyanins and cyanidin that may help lower your risk of colon cancer.

One more study on tart cherries shows a potential activity of apoptosis in human breast cancer cells. The results,  however, show a biphasic pattern and more studies are awaited.

Eye Care

Again, the antioxidants in cherries play a powerful role. They protect eyes against all damage done by free radicals and aging such as vision loss, macular degeneration, and dryness. They also help in soothing the eyes, reducing inflammation, and maintaining proper ocular pressure. They also protect eyes from common infections.

Improve Brain Function

Flavonoids and carotenoids are very effective in improving the efficiency of the brain, improving memory and keeping it active, which are otherwise reduced due to the action of free radicals as a nearly unavoidable part of aging. Those who are afraid of having a dull brain and a low memory capacity in their old age, start eating cherries! The antioxidant properties of these cherries also protect the nervous system from age-related disorders. Thus, they can be helpful in treating nervous disorders like Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, depression, disappointment, undue anxiety, and chronic stress.

Aid in Digestion

While the fiber in cherries helps relieve constipation, the acid in them aids digestion. Again, the antioxidants in cherries keep the digestive system in order. The flavonoids stimulate the digestive juices and bile while the vitamins help in the proper absorption of the nutrients.

Health benefits of cherry - infographic

Reduce Heart Diseases

The nutrients in cherries like vitamins, antioxidants (flavonoids and carotenoids), and minerals such as phosphorus are excellent cardio-protectors. They protect the heart from nearly all damage done by the oxidants. They help maintain proper heart rate, prevent blood vessels from hardening, and reduce cholesterol and blood pressure, thereby reducing the risk of heart attacks. They also strengthen the cardiac muscles.

Other Benefits

The darker the cherry is in color, the more healthy and beneficial it is because of richer antioxidant content. The fructose in cherries provides energy without harming diabetics. These little fruits prevent oral infections and keep away bad breath. The acids and flavonoids in cherries are good appetizers. They are even effective in protecting you from seasonal infections like a cough, cold, pox, mumps, and measles.

Tired of reading this black and white text? Soothe your eyes and refresh yourself with a few cherries. Or you can make some cherry cobbler and relish the dessert. The options for both health and ways to eat these powerful fruits are almost limitless, so enjoy!

About the Author

Kiran Patil is the founder of Organic Facts. He has a keen interest in health, nutrition, and organic living. He completed his B.Tech and M. Tech (Chemical Engineering) from IIT Bombay and has been actively writing about health and nutrition since over past 12 years. When not working he likes to trek and do gardening.

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