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 used as an ingredient in cooking. Predominantly a fruit of cold countries, cherries look and taste wonderful. Research conducted from the University of California shows that cherries are a nutrient-dense fruit that is low in calories and comes in both sweet and tart flavors.
According to the USDA Nutrition Database, cherries provide a wide range of rich nutrients that include it is rich in potassium, calcium, fiber, , and vitamin C. The fruit also contains magnesium, iron, zinc, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and vitamin E and B6.
Serving Size : Nutrient Value 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
A research conducted by Ferretti G in the Polytechnic University of Marche, Italy, report that cherries are storehouses of antioxidants such as vitamin C, carotenoids, and flavonoids ( ). They effectively neutralize free radicals and protect us from ailments associated with aging. They also prevent the negative effects of oxidants such as weakening of the heart and nervous system, loss of vision, macular degeneration, hair loss, wrinkling of the skin, loss of libido, as well as colon and prostate cancer.
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. According to a study published in 2012, cherries are also effective in helping to prevent arthritis and inflammation. They are also very effective against flu, fevers, and gout.
May Help Prevent Cancer
According to the American Institute of Cancer Research (AICR), cherries rich in nutrients and dietary fiber may help in getting rid of the excess body fat which is linked to a higher risk of developing cancer.
Research conducted at Michigan State University and published in the Cancer Letters journal suggests that tart cherries contain anthocyanins and cyanidin, properties that may help lower your risk of colon cancer.
The antioxidants in cherries can play a powerful role in maintaining healthy eyes. They can protect eyes against 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.
Improve Brain Function
Flavonoids and carotenoids are effective as a nearly unavoidable part of aging. The antioxidant properties of these cherries may also protect the nervous system from age-related disorders. Thus, they may be helpful in giving relief from nervous disorders, depression, anxiety, and chronic stress.that improve the efficiency of the brain, memory, and cognitive function, which are otherwise reduced due to the action of free radicals
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 gastric juices for the break down of food particles and bile, which then helps break down fats and fat-soluble vitamins for better absorption and usage.
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 damage done by the oxidants. They help maintain proper heart rate, prevent blood vessels from stiffening or hardening (atherosclerosis), and reduce and , thereby reducing the risk of heart attacks. They also can strengthen the cardiac muscles.
Improve Sleep Quality
Cherries also contain a high amount of melatonin, or a hormone that helps to regulate the sleep cycle, and is released from the pineal gland in the brain. In a pilot study from the Journal of Medicinal Food, can possibly improve sleep in older adults that experience insomnia. Although the study had limitations, further studies of the sleep-promoting benefits of cherries continue to be conducted.
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 ways to eat these powerful fruits are almost limitless, so enjoy!