Montmorency Cherries

Cherry Benefits

Cherries Health Information

The Montmorency cherry is a sour or tart cherry grown in the United States, Canada and France. The tree was named after the Montmorency Valley in France and the fruit produced is a deep rich red color. The cherries were first cultivated in the USA on Old Mission Peninsula near Traverse City, Michigan in the mid 1800s and today the state produces over 70% of the sour cherries grown in the United States with Traverse City being recognized as the cherry capital of the World.

Montmorency cherries have long been a favorite for pies and jams but also contains powerful antioxidants and nutrients, the benefits of which first came to light when scientific research showed that sour cherries could possibly offer relief from gout.

Ongoing research indicates that Montmorency cherries may also be linked to a myriad of other health benefits.

Montmorency cherries contain a type of antioxidant known as anthocyanins. These are believed to help block two enzymes COX-1 and COX-2 which play a role in producing substances called prostaglandins which are known to cause inflammation.

Flavonoids, which are also found in the fruit, may well assist in reducing the levels of uric acid in the blood stream. It has been proven that excessive quantities of uric acid present can lead to a build up in joints and tissue causing a condition called Gout.

Quercetin; chorogenic acid; gallic acid and p-coumaric acid are all further powerful antioxidants found in sour cherries which can be credited with helping to maintain a healthy cardiovascular system.

Tart cherries such as Montmorency are also one of a rare number of foods known to contain another antioxidant called melatonin. This is a substance produced naturally in the body by the pineal gland which is believed to assist in regulating the sleep-wake cycle.

If you are using fresh Montmorency cherries, the most effective way to store them is in a plastic bag in the refrigerator where they can be kept up to 3 days. If you intend to use them in pies or other baked dishes you should ideally pit the fruit with a cherry pitter or a small sharp knife. A cherry pitter operates like a hole punch and by putting a stemmed cherry in to the pitter and squeezing the handle you end up with the pit removed while the fruit remains whole.

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