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Cherries, among other healthy foods might be good for us. We live in the times in which our health takes priority amid all the challenges that we are faced with one of them being the corona virus which has impacted the world in a way that is unprecedented.

If at any point we have taken our health for granted, we cannot afford to do that any longer since we are faced with this pandemic which might become a constant threat for as long as the solution is not yet developed.

In order to mitigate its effects; it will make sense if we start with a healthy lifestyle, among other protective measures that have been put in place.

Experts have long been advocating the benefits of eating fruits and vegetables as they are packed with nutrients and bioactive compounds.

These compounds are thought to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Cherries are one of those foods that contain the said plant compounds which are thought to have potential health benefits.

Whilst cherries may be good as purported, they are not a silver bullet as no one food is. Consuming variety of foods may supply us with the nutrients the body needs.

Stay tuned as we unpack whether cherries are good for you or not.

Sweet and Tart Cherries

Cherries are a type of stone fruit that belongs to genus prunes, a family of apricot, almond and plum, thanks to Wikipedia.

They are red in colour and have got their pigment from the anthocyanin a plant compound found in most plant based foods.

There are two types of cherries, the sweet and tart cherries. Sweet cherries are varied, the most common ones are the dark red sweet cherries, referred to as Bing in USA.

Tart cherries are referred to as Montmorency. It is a bit sour in taste and is used mostly for cooking and baking while the sweet cherries are eaten fresh.

They can also be frozen, juiced, brinned, canned or dried. Both sweet and tart cherries have the same nutritional content.

Melatonin and serotonin have an effect against oxidation, ageing, stress and have an important function as neuromodulator in the central  nervous system.

Cherries are cultivated in most countries such as Europe, North America, Iran etc. The European Union-27, is the largest cherry producer, followed by Turkey and United States taking the third place, according to Washington State University.

South Africa has only started growing cherries in 2017. The industry is growing fast and production has increased by 25% ever since.

Can Cherries Improve The Quality Of Sleep And Mood?

Cherries are nutrient dense. They are said to be rich in polyphenols, carotenoids, anthocyanin, vitamin C and other nutrients.

Tart cherries are a rich source of melatonin which is responsible for regulating the sleep and wake cycle in humans. Melatonin is a hormone produced by the pineal glands in the brain. It can also be found in plant based foods.

They are believed to posses serotonin as well. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter which is believed to regulate most of our behaviors, mood and memory.

A study was conducted in which 20 participants drank tart juice concentrate or a placebo for seven days.

The results suggested that “Consumption of a tart cherry juice concentrate provides an increase in exogenous melatonin that is beneficial in improving sleep duration and quality in healthy men and women and might be of benefit in managing a disturbed sleep –PUBMED

Can Cherries benefit Brain Health?

Cherries are thought to be packed with polyphenols which are deemed potent and may benefit brain health. Here are healthy foods for your brain

According to University of Delaware, the results of the study, suggest that older adults who consume tart cherry juice on a daily basis, may have improved cognitive function-neurosciencenews.com

The effects of tart cherry juice is attributed to the “polyphenols, anthocyanin, and melatonin present in them and the blood pressure lowering effects they possess, as the blood pressure can influence the flow of blood to the brain”

Can Cherries Reduce Muscle Pain After a strenuous Exercise?

According to the journal of the international society of sports nutrition, long-distance running can cause severe muscle damage resulting in acute inflammation.

Endurance athletes use non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, NSAIDs, during competition to prevent or reduce pain and it is thought to have adverse effects.

Research reveals that when tart cherry is ingested seven days before and during a strenuous running event can reduce post-run muscle pain.

The benefits of tart cherry are attributed to the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant capacity of cherries.

Do Cherries Have Side Effects Due To Sorbitol Content

Sorbitol is a sugar alcohol which the human body can metabolize slowly. It occurs naturally in pears and apples as well as stone fruits such as apricot and peaches. Cherries are among those fruits that contain sorbitol. Sorbitol can also be artificially produced.

Excessive ingestion of sorbitol can cause gastrointestinal issues such as mild to severe diarrhea, abdominal pain and flatulence in some persons as it is thought to have laxative effects. It is not fully absorbed in the small intestine.

How To Prepare Cherry Juice

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 3 Minutes

Serves: 2 servings

Ingredients:

  • 15 fresh and ripe cherries
  • 2 and half cups of diced water melon
  • 3 plums
  • 4 ice cubes

Directions:

1) Rinse cherries and plums and remove the seeds of cherries

2) Boil plums in hot water for two minutes and quickly immerse in cold water for a minute. If at all you like the tart taste you can leave the skin on or otherwise remove it.

3) Cut plums into halves and remove the stones.

4) Blend cherries, water melon and plums in a blender until smooth puree. Strain puree through sieve, collect juice in a bowel, and remove watermelon seeds.

5) Add the ice cubes in serving glasses and fill them up with fruitful and natural juice of red cherry.

Note: you can use a juicer instead of a blender if you like. For more information about blending versus juicing, click here.

This recipe is credited to Foodviva.com  (It is not the product of this site)

Take Away

There are two types of cherries, tart, and sweet cherries. Sweet cherries are varied, but the most common sweet cherries are dark red cherries, referred to as Bing in the USA.

Tart cherries are referred to as Montmorency. The USA is the third-largest producer of cherries, both sweet and tart, whilst the European Union-27 takes the lead and is followed by Turkey.

Cherries are one of those superfoods that are packed with plant compounds believed to have potential health benefits.

They are rich in melatonin which plays a role in regulating the sleep and wake cycle in humans and the serotonin which regulates our behaviors and moods.

Whilst cherries may be a superfood, it works synergistically with other food sources for optimal health. No one food can provide the body with all the nutrients needed or you’ll run the risk of nutrient deficiency.

Thank you for taking up the time to read this article, should you find it useful kindly leave your comment at the comment section below. Opinions and questions are most welcome.

Cheers

Maggie

22 Replies to “Are Cherries Good For You”

    1. Thank you Mohammed for taking the time to read this article and finding it useful. Yes, the juice is great, thanks to foodviva.com as I sourced this recipe from this side.

  1. Hi there great article on cherries. My child eats them all the time. As I was reading I was thinking that it’s really good for her to be eating all those cherries.

    And I also think I should maybe use them before the gym to help my muscle recovery.

    But, I was wondering, do you think my child shouldn’t eat them all the time if they can be bad for the stomach?

    Thanks,

    Alan

    1. Hey Alan

      It’s just a matter of moderation as too much of a thing may turn around and be bad for us. Again people differ, what works for one person may not work for another.

      Thank you for commenting.

  2. Hello Maggie! Very interesting and extremely informative! I don’t like cherries but I’m thinking about trying them again; that cherry juice sounds delicious!

  3. Fantastic article Maggie . the sorbitol situation actually just answered a question for me as my son , consumes many cherries and green apples and has had some gastrointestinal issues , i found your article as a whole though very interesting . Cant wait for cherry season in Australia !

  4. Hi Maggie,

    I really enjoyed reading this article and it was of particular interest to me for a couple of reasons.

    It was great to see you mention the source of melatonin in tart cherries. Melatonin being the hormone that is most associated with the sleep-wake cycle, something I have studied in-depth.

    Additionally, I often take part in obstacle races and running events, which involves a lot of training.

    So, trust me I know all about muscle pain. Therefore, anything with anti-inflammatory qualities gets a big thumbs up from me.

    Do you have a preference – sweet or tart?

    And keep up the great work.

    Cheers
    Partha

    1. Hey Partha

      Thank you for your comment and input. I prefer them both but if I observe the sugar content I would say the tart cherries are thought to be less caloric compared to the sweet ones. I’ll obviously select the tart cherries. The dark red sweet cherries are said to have 33g of sugar content in just one cup

  5. Hi Maggie,

    I’m so glad you posted this, thank you!

    Cherries are one of my favourite foods but because they’re often quite expensive I usually feel a bit guilty buying them, but knowing all the benefits I can now justify adding them to my shopping basket! I was especially pleased to read about their anti-inflammatory benefits.

    As a keen distance runner (with a less than ideal body type for running), I often find myself with muscular aches and pains due to training. I’m definitely going to add tart cherries to my diet to see if I can also reap their benefits. What a great reason to bake a cherry pie!

    Do you know if there are extra benefits related to fresh cherries over frozen? Its often a lot easier in England to get frozen cherries outside cherry season.

    Thanks again!
    Lisa

    1. Hey Lisa
      Cherry pie sound delicious. If you can’t find fresh cherries of course you can buy frozen ones when thy are out of season.

      Thank you for your comment. I do appreciate it.

  6. Cheery Juice yum!! I love that you posted that recipe. When I was a kid my father took me on a trip to Turkey and it was the first time I had ever had cherry juice. I drank it all of the time while over there and loved it. Don’t think I have ever had it again, that is about to change! 🙂 Thanks

    1. Hey Robb

      Thanks for commenting. Cherry juice is great. Turkey’s is the second largest cherry producer followed by USA. Cheeries must be cheaper that side.

  7. Hello Maggie, your post is very informative and impressive. And I really like the juice recipe you gave. I read and read, scroll down and down, suddenly, it seems as a surprising gift. Wow. As the cherry season is coming, i would like to try your recipe, that will be the first time i make cherry juice, cannot wait.

  8. This is a good article on cherries, i am not a fan of cherry but with this article am thinking of trying out the juice because of the benefits listed here

  9. Thanks Maggie, great article and very useful. I ride mountain bike at a challenging level and after a particularly strenuous ride, I often feel the pain in some muscles. Cherries grow freely around here so we will look at storing some this year; usually we eat while they are available. Great info as always. Stay safe. Steve

    1. Thank you Steve for finding this article useful. You are blessed to have cherries and many other fruits in abundance. That way, you can always store and keep them frozen for they’ll become handy when out of season. Thanks for stopping by.

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