Queen Anne Cherries

Cherry Benefits

Cherries Health Information

Queen Anne cherries are also known as Royal Ann cherries or Napoleon. They are usually used for commercial canning and for making maraschino cherries. These cherries are sweet and light colored. They can be eaten just as they are or used for cooking. They are mostly found in Michigan and Oregon. They are similar in taste and appearance to Rainer cherries and it is hard to tell them apart if they are not labeled.

Queen Anne cherries are usually on sale around the Christmas season despite the two seasons being far apart. Canned Royal Anne cherries may be easier to find than fresh ones. These cherries have yellow skin with pink flush while the flesh inside is white and firm. The Queen Anne cherry tree is highly productive and growers like it. However, its skin tends to crack and therefore buyers may shy away from buying them. In Britain, these cherries are referred to as white Napoleon due to their white flesh.

Maraschino Cherries

This is a name usually used to refer to preserved sweetened cherries. These cherries are usually light in color especially Queen Anne cherries and Rainer cherries. Before preserving the cherries, they are first soaked in Sulfur dioxide and calcium chloride to bleach them after which they are soaked in red or green food dye and sugar syrup. These cherries are then used for garnishing baked foods or as an ingredient in a cocktail.

Health and Nutritional Benefits

Cherries contain antioxidants that are useful in eliminating free radicals thus preventing damage to body cells. However, controversy has arisen between the food and drug administration and the cherry industry. Apparently, the cherry industry has been claiming that their products treat certain diseases e.g. gout. Numerous studies have been carried out on the health benefits of cherries. These studies have proven that cherries have a positive effect on the symptoms of gout and arthritis.

Queen Anne Cherries have low fat and calorie content. Thy also contain potassium, sodium, vitamin C and Vitamin B complex. Cherries also contain anthocyanins which have been proven to have anti-inflammatory properties. It is anthocyanins that give cherries their red color and therefore the darker the cherry, the higher the level of anthocyanins. The human body uses anthocyanins to produce essential amino acids.

Cherries also contain high levels of melatonin. Melatonin is an antioxidant that is usually produced naturally by the body in the dark and it helps to slow the process of aging and also fight fatigue. Melatonin is also a natural sleep aid which helps to regulate sleep and fight jet lag.

Cherries may also be used to control the symptoms of diabetes and to prevent colon cancer. They are also quite effective against pain and are therefore useful for muscle damage, gout and arthritis. This is because anthocyanins are able to inhibit the production of COX-2 enzymes. Despite the debate on the health benefits of cherries, all parties agree that there are numerous health benefits to be derived from cherries.