Having lots of vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients, cherries are more than a sweet fruit - they are powerful, health boosters. Available ripe and fresh, dried, frozen and in juice and concentrate forms, cherries are known to have a unique package of antioxidants and beneficial phytonutrients, that have encouraged many studies and research work on this fruit. Scientists continue to uncover new and important benefits of this fruit. Cherries are easily available all years round in different forms — canned, frozen, jams... but the health benefit is more in eating them fresh. Ripe and fresh cherries are found in summers .
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin A
- Ellagic acid
Health benefits of Cherries
Fresh cherries are nutritious, delicious, for their vital nutrients that are a perfect match for today's healthy lifestyles.
- Heart Disease; According to studies, a flavonoid found in cherries that has anticarcinogenic properties called quercetin can help to prevent heart disease. Cherries are considered a in important source of quercetin, containing large quantities per serving that surpass most fruits.
- Prevention of Cancer : A phenolic acid called amygdalin, also termed Vitamin B17 and laetrile, found in the kernels of cherries has been shown to reduce further spread of cancer and tumor size, as well as reduce the pains of the cancerous process, including preventing damaging lesions in the colon. Scientists believe that this fruit can be a powerful cancer prevention food.
- Pain Relief: Anthocyanins found in cherries also block inflammatory enzymes, reducing pain. In fact, 20 cherries are 10 times as effective as aspirin. If you are suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, muscle pain, or gout, eating cherries will help you immensely.
- Bone Health: Sweet cherries are also considered to be excellent sources of boron, which has been linked to increased bone health, together with calcium and magnesium .
- Boosting Immunity : Cherries are rich in vitamin C. So, a regular intake of cherries can help boost your immune system.
- Weight Loss: It is said that cherries are very low in fat and sodium and high in potassium. They also have a high percentage of water. So it can be considered as the ultimate weight loss fruit. Studies show that consuming fruits with high water content will help improve your metabolism and in turn help lose weight.
- Digestion: Cherries contain high amounts of pectin, a soluble fiber that aids in digestion and lowers bad cholesterol.
- Overall health: Cherries contain melatonin. This is a very powerful antioxidant and a natural hormone that helps regulate your body’s circadian rhythms which help you regulate your sleep patterns. It also helps neutralize the free radicals which do a lot of damage to your body. They are rich in iron, magnesium, folate, and fiber. A serving of fresh or frozen cherries every day or a few spoonfuls of its juice concentrate can improve your overall health.
How to Choose Cherries?
Look for cherries that are firm to touch. They should be without bruising or soft spots. Pick cherries with the stems on. The skin should be smooth, and free of tears, white spots or blemishes. Cherries damaged by heavy rain or hail may have cracks in the skin and should be avoided.
How to Store Cherries?
- Store cherries in the refrigerator. They can last for up to a week.
- Cherries ripen quickly and should be consumed as soon as possible upon ripening.
- Avoid keeping cherries near strong-smelling foods.
- Avoid washing cherries until you are ready to eat them.
- Remove rotten cherries from the bag or box in order to preserve the rest.
- Avoid placing cherries in direct sunlight.
- You can freeze most types of cherries by first rinsing and draining them thoroughly.