Cherry Health Benefits, Nutrition
Cherries are usually used to enhance the taste and appearance of pies, cakes, ice cream sundaes and other similar treats. This small stone fruit is packed with nutrition, which is why most health experts advise people to consume this fruit on a regular basis. The regular consumption of fresh cherries or cherry juice can have a positive impact on your overall health in many ways.
Given below are some of the common cherry health benefits:
- A substance known as anthocyanins, present in cherries, has anti-inflammatory properties. It also reduces the damage caused by free radicals in the body.
Anthocyanin is good for the brain too, as it helps improve memory.
- Research indicates that cherries are high in an antioxidant known as cyanidin, which destroys the free radicals in the body and reduces the risks of cancer.
- The body’s sleep cycles are regulated by a hormone called melatonin. Cherries increase the levels of melatonin in the body, thereby promoting better sleeping patterns.
- Weight watchers are usually advised to snack on cherries every day, as they are quite low in calories. One cup of raw cherries contains only 87 calories or so.
- Many digestive problems can be alleviated with the help of cherries, as they are high in dietary fiber.
- Gout, a chronic health problem caused by elevated levels of uric acid in the body can be controlled by eating a pound of wild cherries or drinking fresh cherry juice each day. Cherries are good for other forms of arthritis too, because they are said to contain anti-inflammatory properties.
Several health articles state that eating cherries could reduce the risks of diabetes and heart diseases. However, it is important that you consult your doctor, before you include cherries in your daily diet, especially if you are suffering from diabetes, pre-diabetes or any other medical condition. Also see health benefits of cherry juice
Nutrition From Cherry
Most of us regard cherries as a dessert-fruit; however, health experts usually refer to cherries as a “super-food”. This is because the fruit has one of the highest concentrations of antioxidants, as compared to most other natural foods. Even though cherry nutritional content is so high, the number of calories present in the fruit is relatively low. Given below are the cherry nutrition facts for one cup, with pits:
This food does not contain any saturated fat, sodium or cholesterol, but a large part of its calories come from sugar. This means that, cherries should be consumed in moderation, by those suffering from, or are at a high risk of diabetes.
- Calories: 87 cal
- Calories from fat: 2 cal
- Total Fat: 0 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
- Sodium: 0 mg
- Total Carbs: 22 g
- Dietary fiber: 3 g
- Sugar: 18 g
- Protein: 1 g
Nutrients in Cherry
This stone fruit contains a high amount of beta carotene (Vitamin A). Studies show that the content of beta carotene in cherries is almost 19 times higher, as compared to some of the other berries, such as strawberries or blueberries. In addition to Vitamin A, cherries are also a good source of Vitamin C, Vitamin E, dietary fiber, calcium, folate, iron, magnesium and potassium. A serving of cherries provides your body with smaller, but significant quantities of Vitamin K, thiamine, riboflavin, phosphorus, manganese and copper. The presence of micronutrients like antioxidants, flavonoids and phytonutrients also make cherries a valuable addition to any healthy diet.
Gout can be described as a painful condition caused by the increase in the levels of uric acid within the body. The main symptoms of this ailment include excruciating pain in the toe, joint tenderness, swelling and redness. The pain caused by a gout attack could last for days. In order to treat this condition, most people are advised to follow a low-purine diet and drink a lot of water.
Most doctors ask gout patients to consume a pound of wild cherries or black cherries on a daily basis. This speeds up the recovery process after a gout attack. The anthocyanins in cherries help to drastically reduce the levels of uric acid in the body. To increase your consumption of cherry for joint pain, you could also have a glass of fresh, homemade cherry juice each day.
Arthritis is a very common problem, affecting men and women who are mainly over the age of 40. There are more than 100 different types of arthritis, most of which occur when there is an inflammation in one or more joints. People suffering from arthritis suffer from a lot of pain and stiffness in the joints, which could restrict their mobility to a great extent. Unfortunately, there is no cure for arthritis, though its symptoms can be controlled to some extent, with the help of a healthy diet, exercise and home remedies. The Arthritis Foundation suggests that drinking a mixture of tart cherry juice and water, three times a day, could reduce the severity of arthritis symptoms. The anthocyanins present in cherries reduce inflammation in the joints, thereby alleviating arthritis symptoms.
It is a well-known fact that all women need to get an adequate amount of vitamins, minerals, protein, iron, calcium and other essential nutrients during pregnancy, so that their babies can grow and develop well. Pregnant women are advised to eat plenty of fruits each day. Cherries can make an excellent snack for pregnant women, since they contain vitamins, such as Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E and Vitamin K, as well as iron, magnesium, potassium and fiber.
The best type of cherry for pregnancy is the Balaton variety. This is because Balaton cherries are tart and contain up to seven times more anthocyanins, as compared to other types of cherries. Doctors claim that cherries for pregnant women should preferably be pitted. This is because cherry seeds contain certain compounds that could be harmful during pregnancy. It is also essential to ensure that the cherries are washed properly, before they are eaten.
During pregnancy, it is not uncommon for a woman to develop intolerances towards certain foods. There have been reports of pregnant women suffering from bloating, excessive gas and abdominal pain after consuming cherries. While this is not a major cause for concern, it is best to speak to a doctor in case this happens during any stage of the pregnancy.
In case you are diabetic, it is important that you control the levels of sugar in your blood. To do that, you need to stay away from foods that contain a high amount of simple sugars. Many people wonder about the feasibility of cherry for diabetes, since the fruit is a good source of vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients, but is also high in sugar. The American Diabetes Association states that diabetics are allowed to eat cherries but in moderation. In fact, diabetics can satisfy their sweet cravings with fresh or frozen cherries, instead of tucking into other types of desserts. However, canned or sweetened cherries should be strictly avoided at all times.
Acne is a very common skin problem, mainly affecting teenagers and young adults. Most instances of acne can be controlled with the help of a healthy diet, a skincare routine and other lifestyle habits. Cherry is one of the most widely used home remedies for acne treatment.
Cherries can be consumed in several different ways, right from a snack, to a dessert or even a beverage. Of course, it is best to avoid combining cherries with options like cream, ice cream or sweetened syrup. Instead, try eating a bowl of fresh fruit salad, to which a generous amount of cherries have been added.
Fresh cherry juice increases the alkaline content in your body, thereby neutralizing the acid waste in the blood. Blend a cup of pitted cherries with some crushed ice, till they reach the right consistency. Pour the drink into a chilled glass and drink it while it is still cold. Alternately, you could pour some cherry juice into an empty ice tray and freeze it. For a fun treat, suck on the iced cherry juice cube or, add it to another beverage.
Recent researches indicate that cherries contain high amounts of an antioxidant, known as cyanidin. This antioxidant helps the body to ward off cancer, as it destroys the free radicals in the body. Cyanidin also promotes cellular differentiation, which is a very important aspect in the body’s fight against the cancer cells. Cherries contain an anticancer agent known as queritin, along with a cancer-preventing compound called ellagic acid. Using cherry for cancer not only reduces the risks of the disease in people, but also keeps the cancer cells from spreading in those who are already infected.
Constipation is a common digestive problem that can easily be treated. Instead of opting for laxatives, enemas and medication, you could try increasing your intake of fiber. Many health experts taking cherries for constipation, as these fruits are rich in dietary fiber, along with vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. Make it a point to consume a cup of fresh, unsweetened cherries each day. Alternately, you could also add a handful of dried cherries to your bowl of cereal each morning.
Though there are several benefits associated with cherries, it is important to consult a doctor before adding them to your daily diet.