Cherry berries are the fruits of plants from the genus prunus. Cherries grow in temperate regions and produce high yields during summer. The most widely cultivated cherry is the wild cherry. This cherry is mostly used for cooking. Unopened canned cherries can last up to one year. When opened they can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Fresh cherries should be stored unwashed in the refrigerator for 2-4 days. However, one should remember to wash them before eating. On removing fresh cherries from the refrigerator, one should leave them on the counter as they are sweeter at room temperature. Cherries can also be frozen in 40% syrup and citrus juice. Before freezing cherries, it is necessary to pit them to prevent them from taking on an almond flavor from the pit. Cherries do stain clothes and one should be careful when pitting and picking cherries.
The recommended serving of cherries for one person is 1 cup. One cup of cherries contains 100 calories, 3g of fiber, 1.5g of fat, 2g of protein and vitamin C. However, cherries can be quite expensive. This is due to the labor cots required to cultivate the cherries. The demand for cherries has also gone up due to increased knowledge on the health benefits of cherries.
Types of Cherries
There are various types of cherries available in the market. Most popular among them is bing. Other types include maraschinos, brooks, lamberts, mascaras, vans and many more.
Cherries are available in canned, frozen or juice forms. When buying cherry berries, there are various things to consider. One should definitely not buy moldy and mushy cherries. One should buy fresh, firm, plump cherries with unbroken skin and with light colored stems.
Cherries are Healthy
Cherry berries are nutritious and they contain vitamin and minerals. They contain lots of antioxidants which help to get rid of free radicals in the human body. Free radicals have been shown to damage body cells. Some of the vitamins contained in the cherry include Vitamin A and C, Bioflavonoids, melatonin, perrillyl, Ellagic acid and anthocyanins. Some of the health benefits that may be derived from the cherry include decreased risk of cancer, reduced risk of heart disease, relief from symptoms of fibromyalgia syndrome, gout and arthritis.
According to a research by scientists at John Hopkins University, anthocyanins are responsible for reducing painful inflammation. This enables tart cherries to offer relief for symptoms of gout and arthritis. Cherries are especially effective on colon and breast cancer. Although both tart and sweet cherries contain anthocyanins, tart cherries are a richer source. Darker cherries have higher anthocyanin content. Most of the antioxidants available in the cherry are held in the skin.
Cherries and Weight Loss
Cherry berries have a high water content and low fat content. It is advisable to consume fruits with high water content when trying to lose weight. Water helps to increase metabolism and therefore enhance weight loss. Cherries also have a high content of sodium and potassium which helps to reduce water retention and therefore enhance loss of water weight.