Properties and Benefits of Cherries: Cherries are the beloved fruit of our childhood and most of us will never forget how their sweet, juicy, fragrant flesh put smiles on our faces every summer. But what we didn’t know was that these small, round, bright red drupes were one of the healthiest foods on the planet. Not only do they add years to our life, but they can also protect against the most dreaded disease of the century: cancer.
Cherries are a powerful combination of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and special natural compounds with incredible health benefits. Up next we will see just how healthy and nutritious they really are. The sweet cherries we all know and love are a variety of wild cherries known as Prunus avium which date back to ancient Rome. Cherry trees were highly appreciated for their health benefits as well as for their beauty. If you have ever seen an orchard of gorgeous, pink-white cherry blossoms, then you have seen heaven.
But why are cherries so unbelievably good for us? First of all, they are believed to be able to prevent cancer. Cherries contain Queritrin, a flavonoid (or natural plant pigment) with incredible anticancer properties. A regular consumption of cherries can supply the body with enough Queritrin to destroy cancer cells and prevent their proliferation.
Queritrin is believed to be one of the most potent anticancer agents found in nature up to this point. In addition to this, cherries contain ellagic acid, a natural plant phenol with potent carcinopreventive properties. Ellagic acid can efficiently prevent the proliferation of certain carcinogens and thus inhibit the development of cancer. Both Queritrin and ellagic acid have amazing antioxidant properties.
Cherries, and berries in general, are an incredibly rich source of antioxidants. Eating them regularly can repair the damage caused by free radicals. According to the ‘free radical theory of aging’, in time, the damage caused by free radicals builds up and causes premature aging, as well as diseases related to old age: cancer, arthritis, Alzheimer’s and so on.
The antioxidants found in cherries, as well as blueberries, blackberries, red and yellow raspberries, prevent serious damage caused by oxidation and related health problems. This means that cherries can help us look young and fresh and add years to our life.
Even more, perillyl alcohol, a substance derived from cherry essential oil, has been shown to reduce cancer tumors in animals by inducing apoptosis (programmed cell death) in cancer cells. Although oncologists have not yet had success with human trials, it is believed that eating cherries may naturally offer protection against cancer.
Cherries list even more incredible health benefits. For instance, they are a wonderful natural remedy against arthritis and gout, two painful serious medical conditions. Special natural compounds found in the fruit are believed to help relieve pain and slow down the progression of both conditions.
COX or Cyclooxygenase is an enzyme found in several flavonoids, including those responsible for the beautiful, bright, red color of cherries. COX relieves pain by eliminating its cause: inflammation. This enzyme acts similarly to ibuprofen and aspirin, but without the side effects. This means cherries are a potent, natural anti-inflammatory and regular consumption helps manage both arthritis and gout.
In addition to all of these wonderful health benefits, cherries also supply our body with small quantities of all the important vitamins and minerals, notably vitamin C, potassium and manganese. Moreover, they contain about 2 g of dietary fiber, a great natural remedy against constipation. Eating foods rich in fiber such as walnuts, dry and fresh plums, almonds, sunflower seeds and cherries can help regulate bowel movements and maintain a healthy colon.
Overall, cherries boasts a myriad of incredible health benefits and regular consumption can do wonders for our health. Cherries can help prevent cancer, relieve gout and arthritis pain, reduce inflammation and offer great antioxidant protection as a result of their amazing phytochemical content. Although greatly underrated, they are actually one of the healthiest foods in the world. Planting a cherry tree in your back garden is a great investment for your family’s health.