Sweet cherries originated in Asia Minor, a fertile region between the Black and Caspian Seas. What is most surprising is that they were brought to Europe by birds. Originally cultivated by the Greeks, the cherry’s production increased and expanded under the Romans. The cherry fruit works as both- food and medicine.
The benefits of cherries are plenty. For example, sweet cherries can prevent cancer, reduce the risk of heart disease, and treat osteoarthritis and gout. In addition, sweet cherries improve
food as a flavouring or garnishing agent. Although one calls them “cherries”, there are more than 1,000 varieties of cherries worldwide.
Each type has a unique taste and serves as a healthy snack or a topping. Some of the common cherries are Bing Cherries, Rainier Cherries, Queen Anne Cherries, Montmorency Cherries and Morello Cherries. The most popular variety of sweet cherries is the Bing cherry, known for its heart shape and sweet lingering taste. Cherries are a natural choice for the ones with a sweet tooth.
Nutritional Value of Cherries
Despite a high sugar content, cherries are a great source of vitamin C and phytonutrients.
- Protein – 1.4 g
- Calories – 87 calories
- Carbs – 22g
- Fibre – 3 g
- Fat -0.3 g
- Vitamin C – 16%
- Vitamin A – 2%
- Iron – 3%
- Calcium – 2%
- Saturated fat – 0g
Health Benefits of Cherries
Apart from being a delicious fruit, there are a lot of health benefits that cherries provide.
1. Cherry Reduces inflammation
When inflammation occurs, chemicals from white blood cells enter your blood or tissues for protection. As a result, the blood flow rises to the area of injury or infection and causes redness and warmth.
The antioxidant compounds in cherries effectively treat inflammatory conditions such as arthritis and gout. They inhibit oxidative stress and decrease inflammation by suppressing inflammatory proteins. They also contain plant compounds called anthocyanins and cyanidin, which provide anti-inflammatory benefits.
According to a study, tart cherry juice works better on inflammation and oxidative stress in older adults.
2. Cherry Aids Weight Loss
Weight loss works wonders for an individual. A healthy weight lowers cholesterol, blood sugar levels and blood pressure. It also reduces stress on bones and joints.
According to research, cherries are an excellent weight-loss food. It is low calorie, has a high vitamin and high water content that helps flush out toxins from the body. The vitamins present in cherries help to strengthen metabolism. In addition, it has a moderate water content that helps detox the body.
3. Cherry is a Brain booster
A brain has to work throughout your life to control your body’s functions. It also helps you understand and interact with the world around you.
According to research, anthocyanins in cherries can boost cognitive function, prevent memory loss, and even help prevent Alzheimer’s. Polyphenols help your brain and body communicate more effectively. It helps to improve communication between our brain and the rest of our organs.
4. Cherry Improves Sleep Quality
A night of good sleep allows your body and mind to recharge. It leaves you refreshed and alert when you wake up. It also helps the body remain healthy and fights off diseases. But, on the other hand, your brain functioning is negatively affected if you don’t get a good night’s sleep.
As per a study, among other nutrients and benefits of cherries, the phytochemicals in cherries improve sleep quality. Melatonin is one such ingredient. However, there is no conclusive evidence. What is important is the fact that specific positive correlations have emerged. Melatonin can facilitate peaceful sleep because it is naturally present in cherries. The pineal gland synthesises it in the brain, which controls your sleep and wake cycles.
5. Cherries Support Good Skin
As per research, The antioxidants found in cherries fight the free radicals that can cause the skin to look dull. In addition, the antioxidants in cherries can help remove the brown spots on your skin. These spots are usually the result of sun damage. For instant brightening, squeeze out some cherry juice and add a pinch of turmeric and a tsp of honey. Then, apply the face pack and wash it off after 10 minutes. This pack is ideal for reducing pigmentation and improving your skin tone.
6. Cherries Lower Hypertension
High blood pressure or hypertension is the high long-term force of the blood against your artery walls.
According to a study, berry foods contain a good amount of potassium. So they aid in eliminating excess sodium from the body and balancing the levels of potassium and sodium, which naturally decreases the risk of hypertension.
7. Cherries are Important During Pregnancy
Research shows that it is safe to consume cherries throughout pregnancy. Even the pits don’t affect the baby or the mother when swallowed. In addition to being rich in vitamin C, which serves as an antioxidant, it boosts the immune system of pregnant women.
Benefits of cherries while expecting a baby :
- It helps blood flow to the placenta
- Cherries help in controlling nausea
- Cherries are a rich source of iron. Hence, it helps keep anaemia at bay.
- Improves blood-related problems
8. Cherries Improve the Immune System
A healthy immune system protects us by creating a barrier to stop invaders or antigens from invading the body.
Cherry juice and other fruits and vegetables contain powerful antioxidants and antiviral compounds. Flavonoids, a type of antioxidant found in cherry juice, are produced by plants to fight infection. Research shows that these chemicals may impact the immune system positively.
9. Cherries for healthy hair
Vitamin C present in cherries helps strengthen hair follicles.It also prevents breakage from the roots. Hair gets the best nourishment and is less likely to split.It reduces the frizz by providing a hydrating effect.
10. Cherries Boost Exercise Recovery
Exercise recovery allows your muscles to repair themselves and engage sore muscles from your workout.
There are two factors to consider concerning the post-workout recovery potential of cherries. First, among many other benefits of cherries, they are also are rich in natural sugars. Research shows combining a protein with a carbohydrate facilitates exercise recovery and muscle growth better than just a protein alone. After a workout, carbohydrates replenish glycogen stores and promote muscle repair.
11. Cherries Improve Your Heart Health
A healthy heart is central to overall good health. A healthy lifestyle at any age prevents heart disease and lowers the risk.
Cherry helps reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke because it contains antioxidants called anthocyanins. In addition, they lower bad cholesterol levels, regulate blood pressure and fight free radicals that may cause inflammation.
12. Cherries help those with gout
There have been various studies that show the benefits of cherries in treating gout.
The results of one study showed that consuming cherries and cherry juice over a two-day period reduces the risk of acute gout attacks while the results of another study suggest that cherry juice consumption needs to be sustained for at least four months to reduce acute attacks.Further research suggests that drinking cherry juice lowers the blood uric acid levels especially in people with no other diseases. We need more research before we can say that cherry juice prevents or eases gout, however. The results of this study have not yet been replicated in a large-scale study of participants with gout.
Healthy Cherries Recipes
1. Cherry Juice
Preparation time:10 minutes
Number of servings: 2
- Fresh Cherries: 3 cups
- Water: ½ cup
- Cut the stem from the fresh cherries and transfer them to the blender.
- Add 1/2cup water to the blender.
- Keep in mind not to over blend it. Instead, pulse on low-medium until cherries are finely blended.
- Place a strainer over a bowl with a clean cloth lining the strainer.
- Gently pour the mixture into the strainer. Squeeze the cloth to collect the extra juice.
- The healthy cherry juice is now all set to drink.
We can also store it in an airtight jar and refrigerate it for a maximum of 3 days.
Benefits of Consuming Cherry Juice
- Cherry juice may help in recovery post-exercise.
- Helps in fighting inflammation and arthritis pain.
- Reduces swelling.
- It Boosts immunity.
- It regulates metabolism.
- Increases sleep quality
- Blocks the growth of cancer cells
2. Cherry Energy Shots
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Number of servings: 2
- 2 cups nuts ( ½ cup of pecans, ½ cup walnuts, and a cup of almonds)
- 1 cup dates, pitted
- 1 cup dried sour cherries
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- In a food processor, combine all ingredients. Blend until the nuts are well chopped, and the “dough” is formed, about a couple of minutes.
- Remove the blade from the food processor after the ingredients are well incorporated.
- Take a tablespoon of the “dough” and roll it into a ball in between your hands.
- Repeat with remaining dough. Keep the balls in the fridge for a week or more.
The yummy and healthy snack is handy to satisfy a snack craving.
3. Cherry Choco Bars
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Number of servings: 48
- 2 ½ cups unsweetened puffed wheat cereal
- ½ cup pecan halves,
- ¼ cup dried cherries
- 1 cup fresh-baked cherries
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
- 1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds
- ½ cup honey
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 300°c and place a baking tray with parchment paper.
- Toss in the nuts and seeds that are sesame seeds, flax seeds, pecan and dried cherries.
- Combine honey, vanilla and salt in a small saucepan. Heat it until salt dissolves in honey.
- Pour the honey mixture over the dry ingredients and keep folding until they combine. Set it for 5 minutes.
- Add in the chopped chocolate chips until evenly distributed. Then transfer this to the preheated oven.
- And also, add the roasted dry ingredients. Finally, cover it with parchment paper.
After cooling, cut it into slices, cool it, and fix your sweet craving.
Things to remember
Would cherries make one gain weight?
Even though it is said that cherry contains a relatively high sugar content, it doesn’t make one fat. Instead, it helps in weight loss. A lot of studies prove that. So, a person looking to reduce weight can add cherries to their diet.
When to consume cherry?
Several studies show cherries are a natural source of melatonin, a chemical important for regulating sleep and controlling the body’s clock. Research shows cherries should be consumed about an hour before bedtime to help you sleep better.
Diluting the substances found in cherries can lessen their harsh effects. Eating them with other foods, such as part of a meal, would serve much more benefits than on an empty stomach.
High in sugar
The sugar level in cherries gets countered by other essential vitamins such as vitamin C and vitamin A. So people who have diabetes can rely on Cherry, as it would help keep diabetes at bay. It also provides potassium and fibre.
Despite their popularity, cherries aren’t for everyone as some are allergic to this fruit. It can be a primary allergy, allergic only to this fruit, or a secondary allergy when you are allergic to pollen from plants of the same family. The latter occurs due to reactivity. For instance, Cherry allergies may occur alongside other fruit allergies such as apples, plums and peaches if you are allergic to birch pollen.
- Cherries contain dietary fibre, and excess consumption of this fruit can cause gastrointestinal problems.
- Excessive consumption can cause intestinal gas, bloating and cramps
- Sweet cherries can occasionally cause allergies in people who are sensitive to certain conditions.
In a nutshell, Cherries are highly nutritious. Moreover, they have an array of health benefits. They contain compounds like antioxidants. These can help reduce inflammation, but eating them may improve sleep, boost heart health, and speed recovery after exercise. Thus, it is undeniable that they have more benefits than drawbacks.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q. What do cherries do for your body?
A. Cherries are low in calories and are full of fibre, vitamins, minerals, nutrients and other health-promoting components. For example, melatonin in cherries helps regulate your body clock. They also bring antioxidants, like beta-carotene and the essential nutrient choline.
Q. Is it good to eat cherries every day?
A. Yes, cherries are a highly nutritious food with a wide range of healthy benefits.
Q. What do cherries do for the female body?
A. Cherries are rich in antioxidants. These are natural chemicals that can help your body deal with day-to-day damage to your cells.
Q. Do cherries help you lose belly fat?
A. It hasn’t been proven directly yet that Cherries reduce belly fat. Still, they can be part of your diet to lose weight.
Q. Is it bad to eat cherries at night?
A. Research has shown that cherries are one of the few foods that contain melatonin, which controls the body’s internal clock and helps regulate sleep. Therefore, to achieve a sound sleep, one must have cherries half an hour before bed.
Q. Are cherries good for skin?
A. Cherries make your skin look younger and healthier. They remove dark spots from your skin that develop due to sun damage. They also contain antioxidants that combat free radicals, which remove dull skin.
Q. Are cherries high in sugar?
A. A cup of cherries might have nearly 20 grams of sugar. Cherries also have numerous health benefits, from antioxidants to anti-inflammatory compounds.
Q. Is cherry a Superfood?
A. Cherry is a superfood as it is low in calories and contains fibre, vitamins, minerals, nutrients and other health-promoting components. For example, melatonin in cherries helps regulate your body clock. It also brings antioxidants, like beta-carotene and the essential nutrient choline.
Q. Will cherries make me gain weight?
A. No, Cherries are a good source of fibre, and high-fibre diets lead to weight loss.
Q. Can babies have cherries pureed?
A. For babies who have just started semi-solids. For infants, you can cut them into thin strips and give them as finger food.
Q. How many calories are in 100g of cherries?
A. There are approximately 50 calories in 100g of cherries.
Q. How many calories are in one cherry?
A. There are approximately five calories in one cherry.
Q. Are cherries good for weight loss?
A. Besides being low in calories and rich in vitamins, cherries are also low in toxins and can flush toxins out of your body. So adding Cherries to your diet effectively helps people trying to lose weight.
Q. Are cherries high in calories?
A. Despite their low-calorie content, cherries are full of fibre, vitamins, minerals and nutrients.
Q. Is it ok to drink water after eating cherries?
A.You can certainly drink water after eating cherries if you are thirsty. At worst, you might get an unpleasant gastric rumble if you have eaten too many cherries or have a sensitive stomach anyway. It could indeed be the acid in the fruit causing the reaction.
Q. Is cherry Good for hemoglobin?
A.Iron-rich foods include the popular summer fruit cherry.This tasty and refreshing fruit is not only rich in iron but also a good source of vitamin C. This aids in better iron absorption and in turn enhances the level of haemoglobin in the blood.
Q. Why do cherries cause stomach aches?
A.Residual yeast fungi on the cherry’s skin would be able to reproduce almost unhindered and generate a lot of carbon dioxide, leading to chronic intestinal problems like flatulence and stomach pain.