Tart Cherry Health Benefits
Looking At Tart Cherry Health Benefits
The cherry is a type of delicious fruit of the prunus family. Other fruits of this genus include plums, almonds, apricots and peaches. There are very many different varieties of cherries which are divided into two main groups, sweet cherries and tart or sour cherries. The cherry is well loved not only for its sweetness and numerous uses, but also for its nutritional and health benefits. Tart cherry health benefits are said to be more than those derived from the sweet cherry.
One of the most important tart cherry health benefits is its ability to prevent certain diseases and illnesses. Numerous studies have shown that the tart cherry is useful in the prevention of diseases such as stomach cancer, pancreatic cancer and cardiovascular diseases. This is because tart cherries are a very rich source of antioxidants. The antioxidants in tart cherries are called anthocyanins which are phenolic compounds.
Cherries are said to have the highest concentration of phenolic compounds. Antioxidants play a crucial role in disease prevention because they fight the free radicals that are formed during the oxidation process. The free radicals are dangerous because they cause cell destruction.
Tart cherry health benefits are also accrued because the tart cherry is a rich source of important vitamins, specifically Vitamins A, C and Vitamin K. Vitamin C is also a powerful antioxidant that is well known for its role in boosting the immune system. It also prevents premature aging as it helps in the making of collagen and prevents the disease scurvy. The tart cherry also contains beta-carotene which the body converts into Vitamin A which is essential in preventing macular degeneration.
Another one of the very important tart cherry health benefits is the role that it plays in fighting inflammation. This benefit is obtained from the fact that cherries are a rich source of antioxidants. Inflammation occurs when the body is fighting off pathogens and disease. As a result of the disease fighting mechanism, a large number of white blood cells are produced. These white blood cells may cause a chemical reaction that results in pain. Antioxidants act by stopping the occurrence of this chemical reaction. It is for this reason that tart cherries are recommended for arthritis, gout, allergies, urinary tract infections, chronic pain, high blood pressure and even diabetes.
Tart cherry health benefits can be gotten from eating the whole fruit fresh, dried, drinking tart cherry juice, including cherries in recipes and from tart cherry extracts. As much as possible, you should eat the cherry when it is in season and therefore fresh to achieve the maximum tart cherry health benefits. This is because cooking may result in the loss of some of the nutrients found in cherries.
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