For a long time, many people have believed the cherry to have numerous health benefits. In fact, for many centuries in ancient China, numerous herbal practitioners have been exploiting the various cherry benefits to help individuals suffering from connective tissue diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes. While there has been a long standing debate as to the actual cherry benefits, further research on the topic has led researchers to believe that the cherry could have many more uses than was previously theorized.
A study on cherry benefits carried out by researchers at John Hopkins University found that anthocyanins, which are present in the skin of cherries, effectively reduced the amount of inflammation and pain suffered by individuals. The study also found that anthocyanins were more effective in reducing inflammation than the anti-inflammatory drug, indomethacin. Researchers believe that anthocyanins have anti-inflammatory properties due to their ability to reduce oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is one of the major causes of autoimmune diseases.
More recent studies indicate that cherries may help prevent muscle related pain in individuals who are engaged in vigorous, physical activity. The study showed that young men who incorporated a healthy portion of cherries into their daily diet were less likely to suffer from muscle damage due to their heavy physical activity.
A number of studies on other cherry benefits indicate that cherries may be effective in preventing individuals from developing gout. Gout is a painful inflammatory condition that is caused when uric acid crystals flood the joints.
When talking about cherry benefits, it is important to note that researchers believe that the numerous benefits to be gained from eating cherries are the result of a synergistic effect of the different phytochemicals contained within cherries as opposed to one specific anthocyanin. As the skin of the cherry holds the largest concentration of essential antioxidants, one is advised to eat fresh cherries whole.
Cherries are known to be the only natural source of the hormone melatonin. Melatonin is a powerful antioxidant that serves several functions in the body. One major function lies in its ability to regulate sleep patterns. Research on cherry benefits has revealed that incorporating cherries into one’s diet could help individuals suffering from insomnia. Moreover, researchers also believe that a healthy portion of cherries each day could help individuals fight off jet lag.
Cherries are also known to have phenolic compounds which help prevent the onset of neurodegenerative illnesses. Moreover, the cherry is a great source of vitamin C and is rich in fiber as well as potassium.
Cherry benefits can be gained from eating cherries whole or in the form of cherry concentrate. If you can’t get cherries when they are in season, then cherry juice concentrate is one of the best affordable options available.