The cherry is a fruit of the Prunus genus. There are two known types of cherries. These include species that come from Prunus avium (sweet or wild cherry) and Prunus cerasus (sour cherry).
These edible cherries are characterized by their tufts of smooth flowers and fruits. They are native to the temperate regions of the northern hemisphere, with two species in America, three in Europe, and the rest in Asia.
Watering, fumigation, labor, and the tendency to be damaged by rain and hail make cherries relatively expensive, but the fruits are still high. The high season for cherries is the summer months. They are among the first ripe tree fruits in many parts of North America, while cherries are often associated with Christmas in Australia and New Zealand, as they peak in late December.
In the United States, most sweet cherries are grown in Washington, California, Oregon, Wisconsin, and Michigan. Sour cherries are grown in Michigan, New York, Utah, and Washington.
8 Benefits of Cherries
1. Promote Weight Loss
Cherries are not only low in calories, but research suggests that they also help lower blood fat levels.
In a study published in the Journal of Medical Food in 2009, rats given whole cherry powder for 90 days mixed with a high-fat diet did not gain as much weight or accumulate as much body fat. then the rats that didn’t no cherries received. The consumption of cherry pie was associated with a reduced blood fat concentration, a reduced body fat percentage, and a reduced belly weight.
Rat blood showed much lower inflammation rates associated with diseases such as heart disease and diabetes. By eating sour cherry juice or a cherry supplement, you reduce inflammation and blood lipids, which leads to heart problems and weight gain.
2. Boost Heart Health
Antioxidants in cherries are known to improve cardiovascular health. Research at the University of Michigan suggests that cherries offer cardiovascular benefits and can reduce the risk of stroke. The study showed that sour cherries activate isoforms of the peroxisome proliferator activator receptor (PPAR) in many tissues of the body.
PPARs regulate genes involved in fat and glucose metabolism and, when changed, can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. There are prescription drugs that do the same thing but have serious side effects like heart attack and stroke.
Research also suggests that anthocyanins and fiber in cherries contribute to heart health by reducing metabolic risk factors, improving LDL cholesterol, and improving glucose metabolism.
3. High Source of Antioxidants
Anthocyanins and cyanidin are two components of cherries that provide powerful antioxidants. Its presence helps cherries to be a food that is high in antioxidants. In fact, a study published in the Journal of Natural Products found that anthocyanins and cyanidin isolated from sour cherries showed better anti-inflammatory effects than aspirin.
It has been shown that hot cherry anthocyanins not only have strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities but also inhibit tumor development in mice and the growth of human colon cancer cell lines. The body uses antioxidants to prevent damage from oxygen, which plays an important role in current diseases and has been linked to health problems such as cancer, heart disease, and dementia.
Another advantage of cherries is that they fight free radicals that damage the eyes. Macular degeneration and glaucoma are caused by free radicals and oxidative stress. Macular degeneration is age-related vision loss and blurred vision that is associated with damage to the macula or eye center. Ultimately, it can affect your ability to read and perform many daily tasks.
Glaucoma is caused by a build-up of fluid in the eye that puts pressure on the optic nerve, retina, and lens. The pressure can permanently damage the eye if it is not treated. Cherries serve as a natural treatment for macular degeneration and natural treatment for glaucoma due to their powerful antioxidants that prevent eye damage.
Since cherries are high in vitamin C, they can improve the health of your skin. The benefits of cherries for the skin include the ability to reduce inflammatory conditions that affect your skin, improve elasticity, and reduce signs of aging.
4. Treat Gout
Gout is a painful arthritic disease that mainly affects the big toe. Excess uric acid makes the big toe stiff, inflamed, and painful. This leads to crystals that form in the joints. These high uric acid levels are called hyperuricemia, and the pain is caused by the body’s natural anti-inflammatory response to the crystals. High levels of uric acid can lead to more serious health problems such as diabetes, kidney disease, and heart disease.
A study published in Arthritis & Rheumatism examined 633 people with gout who were treated with cherry extract for a period of two days. This cherry treatment was associated with a 35% reduced risk of gout attacks. When cherry consumption was combined with allopurinol, a prescription medicine for gout and kidney stones, the risk of gout attacks was 75% lower. Therefore, you may want to add cherries to your gout diet for immediate relief.
5. Reduce Inflammation
Cherries are one of the most important anti-inflammatory foods. A study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition examined the ability of cherries to reduce muscle damage and pain during strenuous exercise. In the study, 54 healthy runners covered an average of 16 miles over a 24-hour period. The participants drank 355-milliliter bottles of sour cherry juice or a placebo cherry drink twice a day seven days before the event and on race day.
While both groups reported an increase in pain after running, the cherry juice group reported a significantly smaller increase in pain compared to the placebo group. This is believed to be due to the anti-inflammatory properties of sour cherries. Muscle pain after the run was minimized as the cherries reduced inflammation.
Another study published in the Journal of Nutrition evaluated 10 healthy women aged 22 to 40. After one night of fasting, the women consumed two servings of sweet cherries. Blood and urine samples taken before and after the cherry dose indicate that cherries reduced inflammation, inhibited inflammatory pathways, and reduced plasma urate. Plasma urate is the salt obtained from uric acid.
6. High in Potassium
A cup of cherries is about 9 percent of your recommended daily potassium. By eating this delicious potassium-rich food, you are giving your body a mineral that is required for the functioning of various organs. Potassium is important for the heart, kidneys, brain, and muscle tissue.
Potassium reduces the risk of stroke, relieves hypertension, and high blood pressure, reduces muscle spasms, and improves muscle strength.
In addition, cherries are beneficial during pregnancy because they provide potassium, which is needed to maintain water and chemical balance as blood volume increases.
7. Treat Osteoarthritis
The most common arthritis affecting 33 million American adults is osteoarthritis or degenerative joint disease. It happens when the cartilage between the bones and the joint is worn out. This allows the bones to rub against each other instead of offering them the protection and protection of the cartilage.
A study by the Osteoarthritis Research Center examined 58 non-diabetic osteoarthritis patients who drank two 8-ounce bottles of sour cherry juice daily for six weeks. As a result of the study, the McMaster Osteoarthritis Index of Western Ontario (known as WOMAC) dropped significantly after treatment with cherry juice cake. The high sensitivity values also decreased after the cherry treatment. This suggests that sour cherry juice relieves symptoms in osteoarthritis patients.
A study published in 2015 in Cell Stress & Chaperones found that 20 osteoarthritis patients who were given an acidic topical cherry stone extract, which is an important protection against oxidative stress, had significantly less joint pain.
8. Help Sleep Cycle
Sour cherry juice contains a high proportion of phytochemicals, including melatonin, a molecule that is essential for regulating the sleep-wake cycle. In a study published in the European Journal of Nutrition, 20 volunteers consumed a placebo or a spicy cherry juice concentrate for seven days. As a result of this treatment, the total melatonin content in the cherry juice group increased significantly.
Melatonin is a hormone that is produced by the pineal gland, a small gland in the brain. Helps control sleep and wake cycles. Cherry cake treatment also resulted in a significant increase in bedtime, total sleep time, and sleep efficiency. These data suggest that sour cherry juice or supplements can improve sleep patterns and help people with sleep disorders or those who cannot sleep.
Cherry Nutrition Facts
One of the benefits of cherries is that they’re a nutrient-dense food that’s rich in anthocyanins, quercetin, hydroxycinnamates, potassium, carotenoids, and melatonin.
- 87 calories
- 22 grams carbohydrates
- 1.5 grams protein
- 0.3 gram fat
- 3 grams of dietary fiber
- 10 milligrams vitamin C (16 percent DV)
- 306 milligrams potassium (9 percent DV)
- 0.1 milligram manganese (5 percent DV)
- 2.9 micrograms vitamin K (4 percent)
- 0.1 milligram copper (4 percent DV)
- 15.2 milligrams magnesium (4 percent DV)
- 0.1 milligram vitamin B6 (3 percent DV)
- 0.5 milligram iron (3 percent DV)
- 0.3 milligram pantothenic acid (3 percent DV)
- 29 milligrams phosphorus (3 percent DV)
- 17.9 milligrams calcium (2 percent DV)
- 88 international units vitamin A (2 percent DV)