Unsweetened Dried Cherries
Unsweetened Dried Cherries
Cherries are one of the healthiest fruit available. Popularly referred to as a 'super fruit', cherries are known for their nutrients as well as antioxidants. Unfortunately, cherries are seasonal fruits hence, they are not found all year round. Still, you can enjoy all the health benefits to be gained from cherries by eating unsweetened dried cherries. Unsweetened dried cherries are so named as they do not need any additional sugar as the dehydration process concentrates the natural sugars within the cherries.
There are a number of benefits to be gained from consuming unsweetened dried cherries. These include opportunities to lower cholesterol and one's weight as well as reducing risk factors associated with cardiovascular heart disease and diabetes.
Unsweetened dried cherries are known to be rich in Vitamins C and A. Moreover, the cherries are known to be great sources of minerals such as iron and phosphorous as well as calcium and potassium. Unsweetened dried cherries have a low calorie count as well as low levels of sodium, cholesterol and saturated fat. Furthermore, the cherries contain more than 20 antioxidants. When comparing the nutrient levels in unsweetened dried cherries with those in fresh cherries, one will find that the levels are slightly lower. The processing of cherries to make dried cherries lowers the nutrient levels.
Unsweetened dried cherries may appeal more to individuals who are seeking a healthier way of living. Studies on the cherries have revealed that of all the fruits and vegetables, dried cherries have the highest concentration of antioxidants. Antioxidants play a key role in helping the body fight off disease. Research shows that dried cherries have 19 times more beta carotene than strawberries. Moreover, they are known to have flavonoids, specifically quercetin which reduces the risk of one developing heart disease. Flavonoids have also been linked to diabetes risk reduction.
Other studies on cherries have revealed that they have phenolic compounds such as amygdalin, which is known to reduce tumor size as well as the pain associated with cancer.
Other health benefits of unsweetened dried cherries include the presence of anthocyanins which play an important role in cell protection and repair as well as reducing inflammation markers associated with illnesses such as gout and arthritis. Cherries are also a natural source of melatonin, a compound which helps regulate sleep patterns. Moreover, melatonin has also been linked to longevity as well as improved memory function.
An excellent choice for a snack, dried cherries can also be mixed with almonds or cereal. Moreover, unsweetened dried cherries can be used as an alternative to raisins and cranberries. These tart treats are also great compliments for salads and treats.