The Amarelle cherry is a type of sour or tart cherry with bright red skin and little color to the pulp and juice. All varieties of sour cherry that fall into this definition are typically called Amarelle cherries. The health benefits of Amarelle cherries are the health benefits of sour cherries in general, with a few exceptions given the differences in pigmentation which account for differences in nutrition and antioxidant profile and drive differences in biological activities. This being said, eating Amarelle cherries and drinking Amarelle cherry juice can provide benefits for gout and arthritis joint pain by reducing inflammation markers in the body, improve sleep, digestion and promote healthy weight loss, among other excellent health benefits.
What are Amarelle cherries?
All the sour cherry tree varieties presently in cultivation are divided into two main subgroups: the Morello cherry variety and the Amarelle cherry variety. Both the Amarelle and Morello belong to the larger sour or tart cherry group, also known as Prunus cerasus. Amarelle cherries are essentially sour cherries that look a certain way. The typical appearance of an Amarelle cherry is that of a brighter, lighter-colored tart red cherry fruit with more color to the skin than the fruit pulp and juice. By comparison, Morello cherries are darker red, mahogany red to purple red, with lots of color to the skin and the pulp, and the resulting juice.
What do Amarelle cherries look like?
Amarelle cherries can vary in size depending on the cultivar, and may also slightly differ in color. A defining characteristic of Amarelle cherries is their generally bright red color, lighter or paler compared to other red cherries. Vs Amarelle, Morello cherries are darker red in color. Just as important, Amarelle cherries concentrate their pigmentation in the skin, with little to no color in the pulp or flesh of the fruit and fruit juice. So if you’re eating a bright colored, but paler red tart cherry and it has a cream-colored pulp, then it’s likely an Amarelle cherry (see the pictures below). Otherwise the fruit look like regular tart cherries, plump and slightly heart-shaped, with a smooth skin and juicy pulp and one hard-shelled, brown pit in the center of the fruit with a white seed inside.
What do Amarelle cherries taste like?
Because there is more than one variety, the exact taste of Amarelle cherries may vary slightly depending on the cultivar. Overall, Amarelle cherries are acidic and so they will taste sour or tart and sharp. The extent of their sourness or tartness will depend on the fruit cultivar, ripening stage or fruit maturity, growing conditions etc. Unriper fruit tend to be more acidic, while overripe fruit have a more mellow flavor. But despite their sometimes exceedingly sour, acidic taste, Amarelle cherries are delicious, with sharp, but fresh flavor notes and a weak sweetness that does however contribute to the taste in an appealing manner. The smell is also fresh and tangy, but inviting. Nevertheless, the characteristic tartness of the fruit is the main reason why many people don’t appreciate the taste of Amarelle cherries fresh and choose to eat them cooked (the same is true for sour or tart cherries in general).
Amarelle cherries nutrition information
Because Amarelle cherry is a sort of general term used to refer to all light red sour or tart cherry varieties, naturally there will be nutritional differences between the different types of Amarelle cherries. There are quite a few Amarelle cherry varieties in cultivation in the different parts of the world that accommodate cherry production. But overall, the nutrition profile of Amarelle cherries is that of sour cherries in general, with a few exceptions. The nutritional differences are generally minor, and they also exist between fruits of the exact same variety seen that agronomic factors such as soil quality, choice of agricultural practices, climate etc. directly and significantly impact fruit nutrition.
Nutrition facts of Amarelle cherries per 100 g (average estimated values)
- Energetic value: 50 kilocalories (kcal)
- Fat: 0.3 g
- Protein: 1 g
- Carbohydrates: 12+ g
- Sugars: 8.5 g
- Dietary fiber: 1.6 g – 2.1 g
- Vitamins in Amarelle cherries:
- Vitamin A: 64 mcg (micrograms)
- Vitamin B1: 0.03 mg
- Vitamin B2: 0.04 mg
- Vitamin B3: 0.4 mg
- Vitamin B5: 0.143 mg
- Vitamin B6: 0.044 mg
- Choline: 6.1 mg
- Vitamin B9: 8 mcg (micrograms)
- Vitamin B12: 0 mcg
- Vitamin C: 10 mg
- Vitamin D: 0 mcg
- Vitamin E: 0.07 mg (trace amounts)
- Vitamin K: 2.1 mcg
- Minerals in Amarelle cherries:
- Calcium: 16 mg
- Copper: 0.104 mg
- Iron: 0.32 mg
- Magnesium: 9 mg
- Manganese: 0.112 mg
- Phosphorus: 15 mg
- Potassium: 173 mg
- Selenium: 0 mcg
- Sodium: 3 mg
- Zinc: 0.07 mg
While otherwise modestly nutritious, Amarelle and sour cherries in general provide more than 100% of the daily requirements of copper for a healthy adult in just 100 g of fruit. Amarelle cherries further provide good amounts of vitamins C and A, manganese and potassium as well as dietary fiber, and small amounts of vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9, choline, calcium, iron, magnesium and phosphorus. They are also almost sodium-free with only 3 mg/milligrams of sodium per 100 g of fruit (to compare, the daily recommended intake of sodium for healthy adults is 2300 g/grams). Overall, Amarelle cherries are an important source of organic acids, including ascorbic acid or vitamin C, which account for the sharp, acidic taste and characteristic organoleptic properties.
Antioxidants in Amarelle cherries
Amarelle cherries are rich in anthocyanins, red (and blue, purple and black) pigmented antioxidants with scientifically-proven anti-inflammatory activity. They are further an important source of carotenoid antioxidants beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin, yellow-orange pigmented antioxidants with benefits for eyesight and skin. Other antioxidants in Amarelle cherries include vitamin C, vitamin A (a plant-based form of vitamin A from carotenoid antioxidant beta-carotene), trace amounts of vitamin E, the minerals copper, iron, manganese which are cofactors for the superoxide dismutase enzyme (an innate antioxidant defense system of the body).
Other polyphenols in Amarelle cherries with important antioxidant activities include queritrin, neochlorogenic acid, p-coumaroylquinic acid, flavonols and flavan-3-ols such as catechin, epicatechin, quercetin 3-glucoside, quercetin 3-rutinoside, kaempferol 3-rutinoside, cyanidin 3-glucoside, cyanidin 3-rutinoside, cyanidin 3-sophoroside, pelargonidin 3-glucoside, pelargonidin 3-rutinoside, 3-glucoside, and peonidin 3-rutinoside etc.
Benefits of Amarelle cherries
- Benefits for sleep. Studies show Amarelle cherries and cherry juice and tart cherries in general help with sleep problems. Consumption of the fresh fruit or fruit juice can help improve sleep quality and increase total sleep time. Find out more about the benefits of cherries and cherry juice for sleep.
- Anti-inflammatory action. Studies have shown tart cherries, both Amarelle and Morello, lower levels of several inflammation markers in the body, including Interleukin 6, Interleukin 8, tumor necrosis factor alpha and the cyclooxygenase-1 and cyclooxygenase-2 inflammatory enzymes (source). Anthocyanin antioxidants are behind the strong anti-inflammatory properties of the fruit.
- Benefits for muscle damage. Anti-inflammatory agents in tart cherries such as Amarelle and their juice are good for muscle soreness and help speed muscle recovery following intense physical activity. Consuming the fruit or the juice after working out helps reduce muscle damage and strength loss and improves symptoms such as muscle cramps.
- Benefits for arthritis pain. Tart cherries and cherry juice, including Amarelle varieties, inhibit multiple inflammation markers in the body that have been linked to joint swelling and joint pain in arthritis. Find out more about the benefits of cherries and cherry juice for arthritis pain.
- Benefits for gout. Amarelle tart cherries and tart cherry juice help lower uric acid levels in the blood and reduce inflammation markers associated with gout and gout flareups. Consumption of tart cherries and tart cherry juice helps prevent and reduce the incidence of gout attacks by 35% to 75%. Find out more about the benefits of cherries and cherry juice for gout.
- Benefits for eyesight. Beta-carotene in Amarelle cherries (fruit skin) is converted into vitamin A in the body and contributes to good vision, especially color vision and low-light vision (seeing in low light). Zeaxanthin and lutein in Amarelle cherry (fruit skin) are physically part of the retina and macula lutea areas of the eye and are absorbed into them, contributing to good vision in general and good color vision in particular.
- Good source of melatonin. Melatonin is a compound occurring naturally in Amarelle and Morello tart cherries. It holds benefits for sleep, anti-inflammatory benefits and benefits for the immune system. A study shows the melatonin levels in the Montmorency variety of Amarelle cherries to be 6 times higher than in the Balaton variety of Morello cherries.
- Great source of copper. A single serving of 100 g of sour cherries such as Amarelle provides more than 100% of the daily recommended intake of copper for the average adult (there are 104 micrograms of copper per 100 g of Amarelle cherries and an adult needs 900 micrograms of copper a day). Copper has antiaging, antioxidant and immuno-modulating properties.
- Benefits for digestion. Amarelle cherries are a good source of dietary fiber and have prebiotic properties, feeding good gut bacteria and promoting a healthier gut environment and the health of the digestive tract.
- Benefits for constipation. A good source of dietary fiber and high in water, Amarelle cherries have mild laxative properties and help improve transit time, relieving constipation.
- Benefits for teeth and gums. Thanks to vitamin C which promotes gum health and prevents teeth loss.
- Good food for diabetes type 2. Lower in sugar compared to sweet cherries and a good source of dietary fiber to regulate absorption of sugar in the blood, Amarelle cherries do not raise blood sugar levels too much too fast and help with the management of type 2 diabetes, when consumed reasonably.
- Antiaging benefits. Antioxidants in the fruit and its juice help prevent and repair cell damage caused by oxidative stress and delay premature aging, exerting antiaging benefits. Vitamin C further supports collagen production for better skin elasticity and a more youthful looking skin.
- Minor benefits for blood pressure. Eating Amarelle and other cherries and drinking their juice provides potassium and magnesium which help lower blood pressure numbers.
- Benefits for weight loss. Low in calories, fat and sugar, but a varied source of essential micronutrients, Amarelle cherries are a great food for healthy weight loss and can be considered as a substitute for unhealthier snacks.
Side effects of Amarelle cherries
- Allergic reaction. It is possible to experience an allergic reaction after eating Amarelle cherries or other sour or sweet cherries. Cherries contain allergenic proteins known as Pathogenesis-related proteins that can trigger an excessive immune system response and cause allergic reactions with anaphylactic shock. Find out more about cherry allergy causes, symptoms and treatment.
- Teeth sensitivity. Eating Amarelle or other tart cherries can cause sensitive teeth due to the high content of organic acids in the fruit. To prevent tooth sensitivity, you can cook Amarelle cherries, but that will cause them to lose their nutritional properties.
- Diarrhea. It’s somewhat common to experience loose stools or diarrhea if you eat too many sweet or tart cherries at once. People who are not used to eating fresh fruit or vegetables are more likely to experience diarrhea because of the increase in fiber intake. Other possible causes for cherry diarrhea include a sensitivity or intolerance to compounds occurring naturally in the fruit such as sugar alcohols (e.g. mannitol, sorbitol) or, more rarely, an allergic reaction.
- Digestive upset. If you have acid reflux disease, gastritis or a stomach ulcer, it is possible to experience digestive upset if you eat too many Amarelle or other sour cherries. Symptoms may include acid reflux due to regurgitation of stomach juices, heartburn, burping, hiccups and stomach pain. If you have IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), you may experience bloating, burping, loose stools or diarrhea.
This post was updated on Sunday / July 26th, 2020 at 10:31 PM