Health Benefits of Sour Cherries
Tart cherries, commonly referred to as sour cherries are known for their rich taste and ruby red color. However, according to new research, tart cherries are now known for much more than just that. There are numerous health benefits associated with the eating of sour cherries. Some of the health benefits of sour cherries include inflammation reducing properties. Moreover, research on the health benefits of sour cherries has led researchers to believe that the cherries may have potential benefits in reducing heart disease factors.
Sour cherries are typically classified as red fruits due to their color. More importantly, the cause of their ruby red color lies in an antioxidant class that is present within the skin of such cherries. This antioxidant class is known as anthocyanins. Antioxidants are also present in other fruits and vegetables and are responsible for their healthy, colorful hues. Studies on the effects of anthocyanins has revealed that these phytochemicals are responsible for proper nerve function and healthy circulation within the body.
One of the health benefits of sour cherries that is still being investigated by top researchers all over the world is the cancer fighting properties that sour cherries are believed to have. Sour cherries are known to have three cancer fighting chemicals within them. Perillyl alcohol, limonene and ellagic acid are the three chemicals responsible for halting the cell transformation process which ultimately results in cancer. Only cherries have been noted to have a combination of all three of these chemicals.
Consumption of sour cherries and their effect against cancer formation in the human cells is still being documented. However, researchers believe that the chemicals listed above are particularly effective in the prevention of cancer of the liver, colon, breast as well as intestinal cancer.
As already mentioned, one of the well-known health benefits of sour cherries is its anti-inflammatory effect. Due to the presence of quercetin, a powerful antioxidant as well as anthocyanins, sour cherries have an anti-inflammatory effect that is particularly useful to individuals who suffer from gout and arthritis as well as those who have asthma symptoms.
Moreover, the action of quercetin on preventing oxidative damage reduces the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Oxidative damage is the direct result of free radicals oxidizing LDL cholesterol which proceeds to adhere to the arterial walls causing one of the two problems.
All the health benefits of sour cherries are available whether you take the cherries whole or as part of cherry juice concentrate. As cherries are known to be seasonal fruits, the latter option may be the best for individuals who would like to take cherry products on a daily basis for health reasons.