Health Benefits Of Cherries
Viewing the Health Benefits of Cherries
For many of us all we know about cherries is that they're a great fruit topping on our sundae. Or, from time to time, we may have heard the old adage, "Life is just a bowl of cherries." Now we have a lot more information. Scientific findings within the last few years have found several chemical properties within cherries such as anthocyanins, melatonin, and oxygen radical absorbance capacity factors. So what does all of this mean for you and me? Actually, it means a great deal more than large words. It means the health benefits of cherries are more far reaching that everyone previously thought. Let's take a new look at this age old superfood and find out what healthy compounds there are in cherries:
Anthocyanins—the red pigment in berries. Anthocyanins have been shown to reduce pain and inflammation. The American Chemical Society has indicated that eating 20 tart cherries a day can give the same affects as ibuprofen or aspirin in reducing pain. If cherries are not in season, you can get the same equivalent from juice concentrate. Anthocyanins are also loaded with antioxidants. According to a study presented at the Experimental Biology Meeting in 2008 in San Diego, it was noted that rats fed a whole tart cherry powder mixed with a high-fat diet did not gain as much body fat. Significantly, inflammation indicators in the blood for heart disease and diabetes were lower. The rats also showed lower levels of triglycerides and cholesterol. But the health benefits of cherries does not stop there.
In addition, the United Stated Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported in their clinical case reports that compounds in cherries may inhibit inflammation and reduce attacks of gouty arthritis. Of course different types of cherries may need to be consumed for different cherry health benefits.
Melatonin—a natural hormone in all living creatures, plant and animal, including cherries. Eating tart cherries can increase melatonin levels. Melatonin is a factor in anti-aging and is also a powerful antioxidant. With the world's production of cherries in 2007 at 2 million tons, there certainly is no shortage of melatonin or the health benefits of cherries.
Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) unit—as defined by the National Institute of Health, is a method of measuring the antioxidant capacity of different food products and chemical substances. It is thought that foods higher on the ORAC scale are more effective in neutralizing free radicals. Researchers believe that by slowing down free radicals, or eliminating them, may contribute to a reduction in age-related and degenerative diseases. Patrick Holford, a British nutritionist, indicated that the longest-living people in the world have very high intakes of antioxidants, measured as over 6,000 ORAC units a day. One glass of Montmorency cherry juice (made from American Montmorency cherries) contains 8,260 units. However, the British and European varieties only contain 20% of the antioxidant of the American Montmorency cherry.
If you want to save time, you might find this fact very interesting. According to researchers, having a daily glass of cherry juice is the equivalent of getting the same health benefits from 23 portions of fruits and vegetables. It should be noted, however, that the cherry juice would need to come from the very potent Montmorency cherry. You may however drink a larger portion of your favorite cherry juice to further add to the health benefits of cherries. Since it is sweeter, some individuals like the health benefits of bing cherries and the juice that comes from them.
If you are a cherry lover, our website has a world of information about cherries, their health benefits and much more. We even include a few special recipes.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF CHERRIES - 2013
Long before the massive marketing strategy concerning Super Fruits and Super Foods, the health benefits of cherries had been known about for centuries. Still, today it is freely referred as a Super Fruit, an arbitrary distinction making claims to its extraordinary nutritional value. To be a Super Fruit, the fruit in question must have superior rankings in nutritional and antioxidant value as well as high appeal to the general public, the latter quality being of the utmost importance. It is not a problem placing the cherry in this super group, however, for the cherry does indeed have many health benefits. It has always been a recognized and good nutritional choice even before the marketing strategy and the coining of the catchy phrase “Super Fruit”.
Cherries are an extraordinary fruit in part because of the wide spectrum of health benefits of cherries. Some of the health benefits may be obvious, while others are a bit more obscure. For instance, did you know that cherries have been known to ease the discomforts caused by arthritis and even gout? Studies have shown that eating cherries lowers the uric acid levels in a person’s blood and it is the elevation of uric acid that is associated with gout. Also, studies have found that the anthocyanins found in cherries can provide an anti inflammatory effect, thus easing the pains of dreaded conditions such as arthritis. These anthocyanins found in cherries are an antioxidant compound which also aid in reducing pain and discomfort from exercise. On a side note, anthocyanins are what give cherries their intense red color!
The cherry is also capable of reducing a person’s chances of developing heart disease. This is a lofty claim but a cherry enriched diet has been credited for lowering body fat, specifically “belly” fat, and this concentration of “belly” fat is a major risk factor for heart disease. The health benefits of cherries has also been documented with controlling inflammation and cholesterol, two more causes of heart disease.
As an added bonus, it is believed that cherries can even help a person get a good night’s sleep; cherries contain melatonin, a hormone secreted by the pineal gland that helps to regulate our circadian rhythm or the body’s natural sleep rhythm. Additionally, we have the choice to eat or drink this super fruit.
Cherries can be enjoyed fresh, dried, or as a juice. Either way, the health benefits they possess will be realized. Cherries can be consumed year round as a juice or as a frozen berry. The recommendation is to consume one to two servings a day to enjoy the health benefits of cherries. A single serving of cherries would include 1 cup of frozen or fresh cherries or 1 cup of cherry juice. This intake will provide a person with the health benefits previously mentioned along with the intake and absorption of beta carotene, vitamin C, magnesium, iron, fiber, and foliate.
Cherries health benefits are such that it would be a smart choice to make cherries a part of your “5 to 9 a day plan”. They are low calorie, low fat and no cholesterol. You can't go wrong there.
If you are interested in the subject and would like more information about health benefits of cherries and what they can do for you as well as your taste buds, you should really bookmark our site.