Cherries have, for many years, been a part of American history. Featured in a number of desserts such as cherry pie and frequently used as compliments to chocolate desserts, cherries are a true American favorite.
Besides their great taste, cherries are good for your health in more ways than one. Cherries have emerged as "super-fruits" due to the numerous health benefits associated with them. Some of the health benefits include high antioxidant concentration which is believed to have a beneficial effect on inflammation-related illnesses such as gout and arthritis. Moreover, cherries have a low fat and calorie content. They also have a high water content which make them one of the best fruits for dieters.
Technically known by their scientific name, Prunus cerasus, cherries are split into a number of varieties which can be found all over the world. However, the two varieties which are commonly consumed are the sweet cherries and the sour cherry varieties. Of the two, sour cherries are easier to grow and as such, more popular with farmers along the American East Coast. Moreover, the sour cherry varieties have been identified to have a higher antioxidant concentration than the other varieties.
Sour cherries are also referred to as tart cherries. The antioxidants present in sour cherries are locked within the skin of the cherry . These antioxidants are responsible for the ruby red color of sour cherries. Comparison on antioxidant concentration between cherries and other fruits and vegetables have revealed that cherries have a much higher concentration than any other fruit or vegetable. Moreover, the health benefits gained from taking a single serving of cherries or a cherry concentrate is said to be equivalent to taking a number of portions of most other fruits.
The interest in cherries and their health benefits has prompted researchers to investigate further into the actual health benefits that can be drawn from their consumption of. Early studies have revealed that consumption of cherries can possibly reduce inflammation levels in the body to alleviate the symptoms associated with arthritis. Moreover, consumption of cherries has the added advantage of lowering the levels of uric acid in the body by 50%.
Cherries has also been known to reduce the risk of cardiovascular heart disease. Studies have shown that eating a serving of cherries each day or drinking its juice lowers the levels of cholesterol in the body reducing the risk of heart disease. Moreover, cherries have also been found to have high concentrations of melatonin. Melatonin is a naturally produced hormone secreted by the pituitary gland within the brain. Its role is to regulate sleep patterns. Thus, consuming cherries or a cherry product allows for more regular sleep patterns.
Of course cherries health benefits are not the main reason most people eat cherries. Their delicious taste is why cherries fly off the shelves when in season and are used in a huge number of recipes in their dried, frozen or canned form when out of season.