Cherries, the small, dark red colored bunches of fresh fruits, are considered to be the storehouse of nutrition. They easily catch your attention amongst other fruits. They have a magnificent sweet or sour taste. Though cherries are very small to look at, they provide exceptionally high amount of pain-killing compounds. The health benefits of cherries have been known long before the advent of technology and have been used for centuries for curing various diseases. Many of these treatments contain cherry extract or cherry juice. The polynutrients and anthocyanins in cherries give them the rich reddish purple colour.
They are a great addition to meals and complement with almost any sweet. Now-a-days cherries are available in the form of juice, dried, canned and powder in all the supermarkets. Like fresh cherries they too offer to provide important benefits for those suffering in pain.
Cherries are versatile enough to be included in any dish. You can add dried cherries to your oat meal, cereal, cookies, yoghurt or frozen cherries to smoothies, oatmeal cookies instead of raisins and enjoy the health benefits of cherries.
Experts suggest one or two servings of cherries daily can help provide the health benefits mentioned above and are extremely beneficial to individuals.
THEY HAVE NUMEROUS HEALTH BENEFITS
■ Recent researches on these fruits have found that they are very high in antioxidants and have powerful anti-inflammatory properties, that help reduce the risk of cancer, inflammatory problems and heart disease. The deeper the colour the higher the level of anti-oxidants.
■ Stress causes melatonin levels to drop causing poor sleep and insomnia. Melatonin is a natural hormone that is produced in the pineal gland located at the base of the brain. It triggers sleepiness during the night hours. Melatonin has been found to decrease with the age. That is why elderly people have trouble in sleeping at night. Cherries also contain melatonin that helps slow down the aging process and regulate sleeping patterns. They are one of the few foods that contain melatonin. That is why they are referred to be as brain food aiding in brain health and prevention in memory loss. Cherries can be obtained in concentrate form and can be taken at night to get quality resting time.
■ Cherries are great snack choice for weight maintenance. Consumption of cherries will also boost metabolism.
■ They are an excellent source of anti-oxidants (Vitamin A), these antioxidants present in cherries help in flushing out free radicals that are responsible for cell damage in the body.
■ High levels of Potassium in cherries aid in controlling water retention treat connective tissue diseases and auto immune neuro- degenerative ailments.
■ Because of their powerful anti-inflammatory benefits cherries are said to reduce pain and soreness for runners and athletes after their workouts. So grab some 100 per cent cherry juice or fill water bottle with diluted cherry juice concentrate each morning before you hit the gym to help aid in muscle recovery.
■ Cherries are an excellent health-promoting fruits that benefit the joints and even prevent the growth of a tumor.
■ Cherries are well known to help reverse gout—a condition caused by too much of uric acid circulating in the blood.
■ Cherries reduce body fat and cholesterol.
■ Cherries contain powerful anti-oxidants and anthocyanins, that can reduce the symptoms of inflammation, and arthritis.
■ They are a good source of dietary fiber which is important for digestive health. One cup of cherries provides 2.7g of dietary fiber, which also helps reduce the risk of diabetes and heart disease. Because fiber cannot be digested, you absorb fewer calories when you eat it.
■ Eating cherries lowers blood sugar levels and thus reduces the risk of diabetes.
By Nibhanapudi Suguna