Hello my dear readers,
Last week we have discovered cherries origins, cultivation, how to choose and store them and how to use them in delicious sweet or savoury dishes, now let’s see their health benefits.
Cherries are the sweet fruit typical of the spring season, they contain numerous substances that confer important anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties.
Let’s now take a look at the nutritional values of cherries.
To begin with, cherries are rich in vitamins C and A which help protect eyesight and contribute to the proper functioning of the immune system.
They also contain folic acid, calcium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus and flavonoids, important substances for the fight against free radicals.
Cherry has a thirst-quenching, diuretic, anti-uric, moderately laxative action; it is also particularly suitable for those who need to increase the alkaline reserve.
In cosmetics, the fruit pulp is used as a refreshing and astringent on irritated skin and with dilated capillaries.
The decoction of peduncles is used in the preparation of soothing lotions for chapped skin.
They even help tan the skin and prevent its aging.
Great for celiac disease as eaten fresh do not contain gluten.
Cherries are low in calories. 38 Kcal for 100 g of cherries.
They have significant therapeutic uses, because they protect the heart and have pain-relieving effects thanks to salts that would have the same pain-relieving action as aspirin but without side effects.
Cherries are also useful in reducing hypertension, in facilitating intestinal functions and in promoting diuresis.
Cherry is rich in tannin and mineral salts such as calcium, phosphorus, potassium and iron and contains many vitamins, especially of group A and C.
These characteristics make this fruit an excellent food for any diet.
Purifying, detoxifying, diuretic and antirheumatic, cherries are rich in beneficial properties that are important for our health and beauty.
Lose weight with cherries: not only is it possible, but it is also a very healthy solution, considering all the benefits that this fruit brings, and it is really simple. With only a few, around 25-30 cherries a day, fasting and with a certain continuity, are enough and the diet is done. At the same time, thanks to the cherries, you will have purified the blood, drained the liver and improved the functionality of your joints.
That fruits are good for our body is now a fact but perhaps few know that innumerable important properties for our health are hidden in cherries.
Purifying, detoxifying, diuretic and antirheumatic, cherries also help prevent numerous diseases such as arteriosclerosis, kidney dysfunction and cellular ageing.
Cherries are also a type of fruit that is definitely not wasteful: with the peduncles it is in fact possible to make decoctions and herbal teas useful for purifying the kidneys and calming cystitis. Just bring a liter of water to a boil and then immerse in a handful of dried cherry stalks. Leave to infuse for about 10 minutes and then drink the herbal tea.
Cherries as allied for our beauty
But cherries are not only perfect allies of our health but also of our beauty. Thanks to the presence of carotenes and mineral salts, they are in fact the ideal fruit to protect the skin from the sun and obtain a natural and homogeneous tan.
Their pulp is also an excellent revitaliser for facial skin especially if irritated.
If, on the other hand, your skin is oily, try this cherry mask, rich in vitamins, healthy and low cost: take some cherries, remove the core and then crush them and spread them on the face and neck.
Almost calorie-free, cherries can also be consumed in the context of low-calorie diets and in the diet of diabetics.
As anticipated, according to the indications of the US Department of Agriculture, 100 gr of cherries contain significant quantities of a few micronutrients: vitamin C (about 7% of the recommended daily dose), magnesium (just under 5% of the recommended dose), potassium (about 6%) and copper (just under 7%).
However, these fruits contain high quantities of some carotenoids, polyphenols and anthocyanins and in particular lutein + zeaxanthin (85 ug), cyanidin (30.21 mgr), catechins and quercitin (2.3 mgr).
Let’s now see the properties of these substances.
Vitamin C: with its antioxidant function, it is essential for our immune system, it is also involved in the synthesis of collagen and is important for the assimilation of iron by red blood cells;
Magnesium: mineral with multiple properties, essential for the well-being of the nervous system, for the construction of the skeleton and for the metabolism of fats;
Potassium: cherries are fairly rich in this mineral, implicated in various physiological processes such as muscle contraction, the maintenance of a correct hydro-saline balance and the regulation of blood pressure;
Copper: involved in various cellular reactions and part of some important proteins, it is also a molecule with oxidoreductive activity. It is also a fundamental mineral for the formation of erythrocytes and for the well-being of our bones;
Cyanidin: anthocyanin with a red colour, responsible for the colouring of the fruits and the important anti-inflammatory properties;
Catechins: a set of substances with antioxidant activity;
Quercitin: this flavonoid present in cherries has been found to interact with various cellular enzymes involved in inflammation and cell proliferation. It is also a powerful antioxidant capable of eliminating free radicals and protecting cells;
Lutein: belonging to the carotenoid group, this molecule has a strong antioxidant property. It is concentrated mainly in the eyes and retina and is fundamental for the health of the visual apparatus;
Zeaxanthin: it too belongs to the carotenoid family and performs an action very similar to that of lutein.
The most represented components give cherries properties that are of particular interest in the medical field, thanks above all to their anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant action, useful in various pathologies such as cardiovascular, diabetes, tumor pathologies, arthritis and ageing.
In fact, these particular properties have made it possible to propose these fruits as a natural alternative to the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
Furthermore, attention has recently focused on the use of cherries in muscle problems and in optimizing post-workout recovery.
Cherries are also mainly composed of water and therefore moisturizing, as well as diuretic.
Finally, remember that they contain melatonin, a substance that promotes sleep.
Let’s now see in detail the benefits of cherries
- Muscle function
Excessive training, numerous repeated exercises or power exercises can lead to damage to the structure of the muscle, with subsequent activation of the inflammatory cascade and muscle pain.
A 2006 study of a fairly small sample showed that cherry juice supplementation was able to speed up post-workout recovery times.
Even recently, other studies have confirmed these conclusions following the evaluation of blood creatine kinase: an enzyme that our body normally produces following a stress such as training.
In a 2011 study, the values of this enzyme were higher in the placebo group and therefore cherry juice was not administered.
However, it should be mentioned that the results did not reach statistical significance and therefore this topic will need to be further investigated.
- Anti-oxidant properties
Thanks to the high content of polyphenols and antioxidant molecules, the consumption of cherries is an aid in the fight against free radicals, thus helping to maintain the oxidative balance of the cells and therefore their health.
However, the mechanism of action of cherry juice on oxidative stress is not yet known and will be the subject of further research.
- Anti-inflammatory properties
It has been shown that the use of cherries inhibits the activity of an enzyme activated specifically in the presence of inflammatory processes (COX2), thus exerting an action very similar to that of common anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen.
- Benefits for cardiovascular health
Cherries are rich in levulose, a sugar with a low glycemic index, which is therefore absorbed more gradually by the body.
Thanks to their composition, moreover, it seems that they help to maintain normal blood cholesterol levels.
For the richness of soluble fiber, they have a high satiety index compared to a limited caloric power and can therefore constitute an excellent snack for those who need to lose a few pounds. Maintaining normal body weight is another very important factor for cardiovascular health.
- Cherries for liver health
Cherries contain malic acid, a substance capable of stimulating liver activity. Thanks to their composition, cherries are purifying, draining and detoxifying.
- Cherries for skin beauty
Cherries contain carotenes and stimulate the production of collagen, two substances which, in a different way, promote well-being and beauty of the skin. Their pulp, in fact, is often used also in the preparation of face creams and masks.
The activities described above make cherries (and their juice) useful in the treatment of various pathological conditions closely associated with inflammation, pain and oxidation.
Cherries have been proposed, for example, as a functional food in the case of pathologies characterized by chronic inflammations such as osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis.
Finally, they have been studied in case of hyperuricemia: although the results have not reached statistical significance, they seem to be encouraging.
Cherries: contraindications and potential negative effects
There are no particular contraindications to the consumption of cherries, however they could cause colic or worsen the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. In these cases their consumption should be as limited as possible.
Furthermore, cherries have laxative properties and, especially for the little ones, their consumption should be limited as they can cause diarrhea.
Do you like cherries? I love them but I prefer the ones that I can pick myself 😉 so from when I’m in Singapore I can’t pick them so I buy them very rarely because since are imported from Europe or USA, they need to pick them when they are not ripen so are tasteless. But I always enjoy them when I’m going back home in spring time 🌸
Thank you all for reading.