Many of us associate cherries with sweets like pies and ice cream, but did you know that cherries have more antioxidants than most other fruits and vegetables. Antioxidants are naturally occurring compounds found in many foods, particularly in fruits and vegetables, such as cherries. Antioxidants have been extensively studied and found to be helpful in guarding your body against free radicals. So, not only are cherries tasty, they are very good for your health.
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- Low in calories and contain no fat
- High in potassium, vitamin C, B complex and minerals
In addition to being rich in potassium, vitamin C, and B complex, research has shown that cherry consumption can help the body prevent heart disease and cancer, as well as provide pain relief and improved bone health. These health benefits are possible due to the antioxidants found in cherries, the most vital of which are the flavonoids anthocyanins and quercetin, and the phenolic acid amygdalin.
Heart Disease Prevention
According to researchers, a flavonoid found in cherries that has anticarcinogenic properties called quercetin can help to prevent heart disease. Cherries are considered a nutritionally significant source of quercetin, containing large quantities per serving that surpass most fruits.
A phenolic acid called amygdalin, also termed Vitamin B17 and laetrile, found in the kernels of cherries and other fruits, has been shown to reduce tumor size and further spread of cancer, as well as to alleviate the pains of the cancerous process. Populations such as the Hunza in Pakistan that have always incorporated amygdalin into their diets have remained cancer free, leading scientists to believe that its consumption could also be a powerful cancer prevention food.
Anthocyanins found in cherries also block inflammatory enzymes, reducing pain. In fact, 20 cherries are 10 times as potent as aspirin and have positive effects on gout and arthritis pain.
Sweet cherries are also considered to be excellent sources of boron, providing 396 ug/100g. Boron consumption, coupled with calcium and magnesium has been linked to increased bone health.
Source: NW Cherry Commission