Cherries are storehouses of antioxidants and they offer much more than their great sweet and sour taste. If you eat these red colored fruits more often, they can help prevent or cure so many diseases and degenerative conditions.
Cherries are considered great foods for heart disease, hypertension, high cholesterol levels, Alzheimer’s and even cataracts. The nutrients in cherries help target free radicals and neutralize them. It is also known to help improve urinary tract health.
Low Calorie Food
Even though cherries are sweet, they have simple sugars that can be readily turned into energy by your body. This is why anyone can eat them, even those who are serious about their calorie count.
Rich in Dietary Fiber
Cherries contain more insoluble dietary fiber that helps in improving your digestive health. It helps in bulking up stool and enables easier bowel movement. It can not only help in preventing constipation, cherries can also protect your gut health.
Main Health Benefits
The main health benefits of cherries are listed as following:
1. Cancer Fighting Properties
Cherries get their peculiar deep red colors from flavonoids. Flavonoids are potent antioxidants that eliminate free radicals.
A special type of flavonoid called cyanidin (anthocyanin group), has been found to inhibit cancerous cell growth. Eat more sweet cherries having deep pigment. The crimson deep cherries are considered richest in this antioxidant.
2. Lower Blood Sugar Levels
Anthocyanins also have natural benefits for diabetics. According to lab-based studies involving animal pancreatic cells showed that these flavonoids helped boost insulin production by up to 50%. The study was conducted at the Michigan State University, East Lansing and published in the Science Daily.
3. Improve Hypertension
Cherries are rich in potassium, which is well known for helping lower blood pressure. It works by reducing excess of sodium in the body.
When you eat the fruit, it helps maintain a balance between the two minerals. This helps in preventing and improving hypertension if you already have it.
4. Anti-Inflammatory Properties: Great for Arthritis
The antioxidants in cherry help in reducing nitric oxide levels. This compound has been linked to rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.
A Boston University study involved 633 participants and studied their cherry intake in relation to the risk of gout. The subjects were studied for 12 months.
The researchers found that taking cherry for 2 days helped in reducing their risk of gout attacks by up to 35% (against those who didnt take the fruit).
The fruit has high ORAC value. This helps in lowering circulating factors casing inflammation. C-reactive protein is one such factor which is produced in the liver.
Gout is a type of arthritis that is caused due to high uric acid levels in the blood. This compound is produced in the liver, but in some cases there is overproduction.
They form like crystals in the joints and can cause inflammation and pain.
Cherries have both anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants because of a unique compound called cyanidin. It helps in inhibiting an enzyme activity that causes uric acid formation.
If you have gout or other arthritic problems, you should take at least a cup of fresh cherries daily as part of your treatment. It can help in a big way in lowering you uric acid levels.
5. Protect Your Heart
According to research, eating cherries regularly can help in reducing some blood markers associated with heart disease. The fruit has a compound called quercetin, which his claimed to be the reason behind its positive benefits for your heart health.
6. Weight Loss Benefits
Research studies have shown that tart cherries can help in regulating weight in animals. They also help in reducing belly fat.
One study involving rats shows that when the animals were given whole tart cherry powder and high-fat diet, there was not much weight gain compared to the no-cherry group that received the same high-fat diet.
The researchers also found significantly low levels of inflammation markers associated with heart disease and other conditions including diabetes.