What are the benefits of cherries? Which diseases is it good for? How much should we eat? How do we make the most of its benefits? Are there any harm? You can find the answers to all these questions and much more below.
Are there any benefits of cherries?
In fact, the benefits of cherries are much more than they are known. Besides, who doesn’t love cherries? In addition to tasting really good, they also offer very good nutritional value.
Each cherry tree produces approximately 7000 cherries each harvest season. It is available in a variety of colors from yellow to black, but the most commonly consumed is red.
Cherries also grow in different shapes, round and heart-like. They can be eaten as a snack and are also used to make cherry pie or juice. As they are a source of nutrients and vitamins, they benefit us in many ways.
In addition, the benefits of cherries help to burn fat, but they do not show a serious loss in weight. Still, you can opt for cherries to reduce your daily calorie intake.
What are the benefits of cherries?
Here are the benefits of cherries, substance by substance:
1- Packed with Nutrients
Cherries are small stone-sized fruits that come in a variety of colors and flavors. There are two main varieties of cherries. Their names are:
- Prunus cerasus L.
- Prunus avium L.
Their color can vary from yellow to deep blackish red. All varieties are highly nutritious and packed with fiber, vitamins and minerals.
One cup (154 grams) of sweet, raw, pitted cherries contains:
|Vitamin C.||18% of the daily recommended amount|
|Potassium||10% of the daily recommended amount|
|Copper||5% of the daily recommended amount|
|Manganese||5% of the daily recommended amount|
These nutrients, especially fiber, vitamin C and potassium, are beneficial to health in many ways. Responsible for some of the benefits of cherries, vitamin C is essential for maintaining your immune system and skin health. Potassium, on the other hand, is essential for muscle contraction, nerve function, blood pressure regulation and many other critical bodily processes.
Cherries are a good source of fiber, which helps keep your digestive system healthy by feeding beneficial gut bacteria and promoting bowel regularity.
SUMMARY: Cherries are a good source of vitamin C, potassium, fiber and other nutrients your body needs to function optimally.
2- It has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects
The second ingredient among the benefits of cherries is their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. The high concentration of plant compounds in cherries may be responsible for the many health benefits of this fruit. While the amount and type can vary depending on the variety, all cherries are packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds.
This high antioxidant content may help fight oxidative stress, a condition linked to multiple chronic diseases and premature aging. In fact, one study showed that eating cherries effectively reduced inflammation in 11 out of 16 studies and improved symptoms of oxidative stress in 8 out of 10 studies.
Cherries are particularly high in polyphenols, a large group of plant chemicals that help fight cellular damage, reduce inflammation and promote overall health.
In fact, diets rich in polyphenols may protect against many chronic conditions, including heart disease, diabetes , confusion, and some types of cancer.
These berries contain carotenoid pigments such as beta-carotene and vitamin C, both of which have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
SUMMARY: Whole cherries are high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that may reduce the risk of chronic disease and promote overall health, which is a key consideration among the benefits of cherries.
3- Reduces exercise-related pain
The benefits of cherries also alleviate exercise-induced muscle pain. Research shows that the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds in cherries may help relieve exercise-induced muscle pain, damage, and inflammation.
Sour cherries and juice seem to be more effective than the sweet kind, but both can help athletes. Sour cherries juice and concentrate have been found to accelerate muscle recovery, reduce exercise-induced muscle soreness, and prevent power loss in elite athletes such as cyclists and marathon runners.
Also, some evidence shows that cherry products can improve exercise performance. A study of 27 endurance runners showed that those who consumed 480 mg of powdered sour cherries daily for 10 days before the marathon performed an average of 13% better.
While most studies investigating links between cherries and exercise have involved trained athletes, sour cherry juice may also benefit non-athletes.
One study in 20 active women noted that those who drank 2 ounces (60 ml) of sour cherry juice twice daily for 8 days recovered faster and had less muscle damage and soreness after completing repeated sprinting exercises compared to the placebo group.
While promising, these findings relate to concentrated cherry products such as juice and powder. It is still unclear how many fresh cherries you would need to eat to achieve similar results.
SUMMARY: Consuming sour cherry products, especially juices and powders, may improve athletic performance and reduce exercise-induced muscle damage and soreness.
4- Protects heart health
Among the benefits of cherries, besides being delicious, it can also significantly support heart health. Many studies show that diets rich in fruits are associated with a reduced risk of heart disease.
Cherries are particularly beneficial in this regard because they are rich in nutrients and compounds known to support heart health, including potassium and polyphenol antioxidants.
Just 1 cup (154 grams) of pitted sweet cherries provides 10% of the daily requirement for potassium, an essential mineral for keeping your heart healthy. It is necessary to maintain a regular heartbeat and, for that matter, cherry helps to remove excess sodium from your body, regulating your blood pressure.
Therefore, higher potassium intake has been associated with a reduced risk of heart disease and stroke.
What’s more, cherries are rich in powerful polyphenol antioxidants, including anthocyanins, flavonols, and catechins. This, in turn, can help keep your heart healthy by protecting against cellular damage and reducing inflammation.
In fact, a study in 84,158 people found that higher intakes of polyphenols, particularly anthocyanins, flavonols, and catechins, were associated with a significantly reduced risk of heart disease over 5 years.
SUMMARY: Cherries are packed with potassium and polyphenol antioxidants that have powerful heart-protecting properties.
5- Good for arthritis and gout symptoms
Another substance among the benefits of cherries is that it is good for arthritis and gout. Because of their powerful anti-inflammatory effects, cherries can reduce symptoms of arthritis and gout, which are caused by a buildup of uric acid in your joints that can cause excessive swelling, inflammation, and pain.
Many studies show that cherries help prevent oxidative stress and reduce inflammation by suppressing inflammatory proteins that can help reduce arthritis-related symptoms. They can also reduce uric acid levels in your body, making them especially beneficial for those with gout.
A study in 10 women found that after eating 2 servings (10 ounces or 280 grams) of sweet cherries, after rapidly lowering inflammatory marker C-reactive protein (CRP) levels overnight, they significantly reduced uric acid levels 5 hours later.
Another study of 633 people with gout showed that those who ate fresh cherries for 2 days had 35% fewer gout attacks than those who did not consume the fruit.
Additionally, the study revealed that when cherry intake was combined with gout medication, gout attacks were 75% fewer than when neither cherries nor medication were consumed.
SUMMARY: Research shows that the potent anti-inflammatory properties of cherries may benefit people with arthritis and gout.
6- Improves sleep quality
Eating cherries or drinking sour cherry juice can help improve your sleep quality. These sleep quality-enhancing benefits may be attributed to the fruit’s high concentration of plant compounds. Additionally, cherries contain melatonin, a substance that helps regulate your sleep-wake cycle.
A study in 20 people to examine the benefits of cherries showed that those who drank sour cherry juice concentrate for 7 days experienced significant increases in melatonin levels, sleep duration, and sleep quality compared to a placebo.
Similarly, a 2-week study in older adults with insomnia found that drinking 1 glass (240 ml) of sour cherry juice before bed increased sleep time by 84 minutes.
However, concentrated cherry products are used in these studies. It is unclear whether eating fresh cherries before bedtime has the same effect.
Ultimately, more studies are needed to better understand the sleep benefits of consuming cherries and cherry products.
Summary Cherries contain anti-inflammatory compounds and melatonin, which may help improve sleep quality in some people.
7- It is an easy fruit to add to meals.
The last ingredient among the benefits of cherries is that it can be a wonderful addition to our meals. Cherries are a versatile and incredibly delicious fruit. Both sweet and sour varieties pair well with many foods. Also, related products such as dried cherries, cherry powder, and cherry juice make interesting additions to many recipes.
Here are some ways to incorporate cherries into meals:
- You can enjoy it fresh as a sweet snack.
- You can get different flavors by mixing dried cherries with dark chocolate chips, unsweetened coconut flakes and salted almonds.
- You can make cherry compote from frozen sour cherries or sweet cherries and garnish on yogurt, oatmeal, or chia pudding.
- You can add cherries to a fruit salad.
- You can add dried cherries to baked goods for natural sweetness.
- You can add fresh or baked cherries to ice cream, pies and other desserts.
- You can make a homemade cherry barbecue sauce to use with meat dishes.
The possibilities of using cherries in your kitchen are endless, so don’t be afraid to experiment with cherries and their benefits.
SUMMARY: Cherries can be used in many ways in both sweet and savory recipes.
Are cherries harmful?
What are the benefits of cherries? What about the harms of cherries? Consuming large amounts of cherry or cherry juice can cause indigestion and diarrhea, and the calories and sugar found in cherries can be a problem for some people.
Also, cherries contain sorbitol, which can aggravate symptoms in people with conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome , small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, or fructose malabsorption.
If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, taking any medication, you can consult your doctor before consuming cherries.
Cherries are a highly nutritious fruit and offer a range of health benefits. Not only does it contain a number of powerful plant compounds that can help reduce inflammation, but they can also improve sleep quality, boost heart health and speed recovery after exercise. What’s more, both the sweet and sour varieties are absolutely delicious and can be used in a variety of recipes.