Health benefits of cherry fruit
Cherries are one of the very low calorie fruits; yet are rich source of nutrients, vitamins and minerals. Both sweet as well as tart Cherries are packed with numerous health benefiting compounds that are essential for wellbeing.
Cherries are pigment rich fruits. These pigments are in fact polyphenolic flavonoid compounds known as anthocyanin glycosides. Anthocyanins are red, purple or blue pigments found in many fruits and vegetables, especially concentrated in their skin, known to have powerful anti-oxidant properties.
Scientific studies have shown that anthocyanins in the cherries are found to act like anti-inflammatory agents by blocking the actions of cycloxygenase-1 and 2 enzymes. Thus consumption of cherries has potential health effects against chronic painful episodes such as gout arthritis, fibromyalgia (painful muscle condition) and sports injuries.
Research studies also suggest that tart cherries are help body to fight against cancers, aging and neurological diseases and pre-diabetes.
Cherry fruits are very rich in stable anti-oxidant melatonin. Melatonin can cross the blood-brain barrier easily and produces soothing effects on the brain neurons, calming down nervous system irritability which helps relieve neurosis, insomnia and headache conditions.
They are also good source of minerals such as potassium, iron, zinc, copper and manganese. Potassium is a heart-healthy mineral; an important component of cell and body fluids that helps control heart rate and blood pressure.
The fruits, especially tart cherries are exceptionally rich in many health promoting flavonoid poly phenolic anti-oxidants such as lutein, zeaxanthin and beta carotene. These compounds act as protective scavengers against harmful free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS) that play a role in aging, cancers and various disease process.
Cherries’ anti-inflammatory functions, effective in reducing heart disease risk factors by scavenging action against free radicals.
Acerola or West Indian cherry has exceptionally very high levels of vitamin-C (1677.6 mg per 100 g or 2796 % of RDA) and vitamin-A (767 IU per 100 g).
See the table below for in depth analysis:
|Principle||Nutrient Value per 100g||Percentage of RDA|
|Energy||63 cal 50 Kcal||3% 2.5%|
|Carbohydrates||16.1 g 12.18 g||12% 9%|
|Protein||1.06 g 1.00 g||2% 2%|
|Total Fat||0.2 g 0.3 g||1% 1.5%|
|Cholesterol||0 g 0 g||0% 0%|
|Dietary Fiber||2.1 g 1.6 g||5.5% 4%|
|Folates||4 mcg 8 mcg||1% 2%|
|Niacin||0.154 mg 0.400 mg||1% 2.5%|
|Pantothenic acid||0.199 mg 0.143 mg||4% 3%|
|Pyridoxine||0.049 mg 0.044 mg||4% 3.5%|
|Riboflavin||0.033 mg 0.040 mg||2.5% 3%|
|Thiamin||0.027 mg 0.030 mg||2% 2.5%|
|Vitamin C||7 mg 10 mg||11% 17%|
|Vitamin A||640IU 1283 IU||21% 43%|
|Vitamin E||0.07 mg 0.07 mg||0.5% 0.5%|
|Vitamin K||2.1 mcg 2.1 mcg||2% 2%|
|Sodium||0 mg 3mg||0% 0%|
|Potassium||222 mg 179mg||5% 4%|
|Calcium||13 mg 16 mg||1.3% 1.6%|
|Copper||0.060 mg 0.104 mg||7% 11.5%|
|Iron||0.36 mg 0.32 mg||4.5% 4%|
|Magnesium||11 mg 9mg||3% 2%|
|Manganese||0.070 mg 0.112mg||3% 5%|
|Phosphorus||21 mg 15 mg||3% 2%|
|Zinc||0.07 mg 0.10 mg||0.5% 0.1%|
|Carotene, alpha||0 mcg 0 mcg||--|
|Carotene, beta||38 mcg 770 mcg||--|
|Crypto-xanthin, ß||0 mcg 0 mcg||--|
|Lutein-zeaxanthin||85 mcg 85 mcg||--|
(Source: USDA Nutrient database)
Selection and storage
Cherry fruit season lasts from May end till August in the United States. Fresh ripe cherries have short shelf life. In the store, choose cherries that have bright, shiny skin with green stalk firmly attached to the top of the fruit.
Keep fresh cherries in the refrigerator. When you want eat them just rinse cherries in lukewarm water to remove dust and to bring them to room temperature. Then, gently pat dry with soft cloth to remove moisture.
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