fun fact: Cherries are best paired with herbs like sage, chives, and verbena; dairy products like sweet cream and ricotta cheese; and with meats like pork and beef especially when black pepper is added
Very delicious and nutritious, cherries are fruits that originated from Asia Minor regions and Eastern Europe. They belong in the expansive family of Rosaceae which are tree fruits in small size in the genus, Prunus. Cherries are of the same family with apricots, peaches and plums and are classified to be wild cherry which are sweet (Prunusavium) and tart cherry which are sour (Prunuscerasus).
Cherries are known as drupe or stone fruits because it has a stony- hard seed in the center and is encapsulated by a delicious fleshy fruit which is about two centimeters in diameter. It has a very thin and shiny red or purplish colored peel. Both the sweet and tart cherries have very low calorie content and are good source for nutrients, minerals and vitamins.
Cherries are fruits that are very rich in pigments. Polyphenolic flavonoid compounds like anthocyanin glycosides are purple, blue and red pigments found in cherries are known to have high anti-oxidant contents.
Melanin, which is also found in cherry fruits,is a type of antioxidant that can easily traverse the blood-brain barrier and can produce calming effects on the neurons that prevents irritability and can soothe insomnia, headaches and neurosis.
Cherry fruits also contain antioxidants like beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin that help prevent cancers and other diseases and also acts as scavengers that removes reactive oxygen species (ROS) and free radicals which are harmful in our body and hastens aging.
A serving of cherries can contain more or less 25 grams of carbohydrates, 20 grams of sugar and 97 calories. It also has fiber which is good in preventing constipation, helps in oozing weight, and it helps in the promotion of good digestion. Cherries have at least 3 grams of fiber which provide the 13 percent needed by the body.
About 10.8 mg of Vitamin C which is necessary in bone and collagen formation and iron absorption is found in cherries as well as other vitamins such as Vitamin K, Vitamin B6 and Vitamin A. A certain cultivar of cherry found in West India which is known as Acerola has a higher vitamin C and A content.
Cherries also contain high amount of potassium which is 342 mg per serving or at least 10% of the recommended daily potassium intake. Minerals like magnesium, calcium, copper, zinc, manganese and phosphorous are also found in cherries as well as the phytosterols that helps in lowering the bad cholesterol.
Improves Quality of Sleep
Falling asleep is a challenge for a huge portion of the population of this generation. Sometimes, no matter how tired and exhausted you are with your day, you find it very difficult to have a good night’s rest. The significance of sleep cannot be underestimated. It affects our performance and productivity in our daily duties and responsibilities at home, at work, at school, or any other activities we engage in. It also greatly affects the proper functioning of our body. To avoid sleeping disorders and to improve quality of sleep, intake of cherries is of great help. This is because cherries are great sources of sleeping hormones called melatonin. Drinking cherry juice before starting or ending the day would make you sleep better at night. This will give you an energetic, fresh, and productive day ahead.
Cherries are great sources of a powerful antioxidant called anthocyanin. Anthocynanin provides the body with so many health benefits including its ability to regulate blood sugar levels. Aside from its anthocyanin content that is very effective in lowering blood sugar levels, cherries also have very low glycemic index. Despite its sweet and delightful taste, it only has a glycemix index of 22. This will make a healthy and safe treat for the diabetics or those who are highly exposed to risks of diabetes. If your blood sugar is spiking from time to time, replacing the sweets you are used to eating with cherries will thwart off or alleviate diabetes. To avoid frequent blood sugar fluctuations, make sure to add cherries to your low sugar diet.
Shreds Excessive Body Fats
Obesity is one of the most common health problems all over the world today. Once you are obese, you are highly exposed to so many types of disease and illnesses. Obesity is the stepping stone to being unhealthy. Consuming cherries is known to help in keeping body fats normal. Fats are needed by the body because they are generally our sources of energy. But it is important to keep your fats in the normal level because too much of them cause weight gain. Studies proved that intake of cherries can lead to weight loss through shredding off excessive fats in the body. Plus it is also very low in calories and rich in fiber so its consumption will not contribute to weight gain.
Boosts Neurological Functions
Consumption of cherries boosts and protects the neurons for their optimal functioning. This can result to an improved memory as well as improved motor and cognitive skills. Eating cherries or drinking its juice can also prevent neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Diseases. If you want to keep a longer memory and proper brain functioning even as you grow old, make sure to associate cherries in your diet. This is of much help in keeping mental health stable and sound.
Supports Heart Health
It has been found that cherries can improve overall heart health. First and foremost, cherries are concentrated with strong antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that protect the heart from irregularities that can lead to sickness. Its anthocyanins stimulate metabolism of glucose and reduce cholesterol levels which are both very good for the heart. It is important that cholesterols are maintained low because excessive cholesterol induces oxidation that can weaken the linings of arteries and thicken blood thus encouraging blood clots. Blood clots trigger stroke or worst heart attack. To keep your heart healthy and protected from malfunction and various ailments, consuming cherries is of great help.
Keeps the Skin Youthful
Ageing is inevitable. No matter how much you want not to age, there will come a time that ageing becomes visible especially in the skin. Adding cherries to your diet helps slow down effects of ageing because of its antioxidant properties. Its antioxidants keep the skin cells and tissues protected from damage and repaired when needed. Its consumption also protects your skin from the harsh UV radiations. Consuming cherries will not only make your skin beautiful and youthful from the outside but also healthy on a cellular level.
Because of the anti-inflammatory compounds that cherries contain, it is able to reduce risks of having gout. Those who suffer from arthritis, rheumatism, and extreme pain of gout, associating cherries in your regular meals can help relieve your condition. Studies concluded that those who consume cherries daily are less likely exposed to gout attacks up to about 40%. This is because they proved that out of all types of fruits and vegetables, cherries contain the highest amount of anti-inflammatory compounds.
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