Cherries are one of the most delicious and nutritious fruits present around us. It is loaded with vitamins and antioxidants, especially Vitamin C. They are one of the few foods which have no fat and cholesterol thus considered as one of the best foods for weight loss across the globe by doctors. They have a very short growing season and grow in temperate latitudes. In the northern hemisphere, cherry peak blooming occurs in April whereas in the Southern hemisphere its peak time is December.
Different types of Cherries:
There are wide varieties of cherries available in the market and the commercial cherries which we consume are mainly cultivars of different species like Prunus avium and Prunus cerasus. Cultivars are types of plants that humans breed for desired traits with the help of methods like grafting, tissue culture, etc. The aim of these methods include improved production, flavor, better color, taste, texture, resistance to disease etc.
Classification of Cherries on the basis of buds in axil in the Cherry plant:
1. True Cherries:
They are defined as the Prunus subgenus Cerasus, which contains species which are termed as true cherries and is characterized by the presence of a single winter bud per axil. Examples are Clove Cherry (Prunus apetala), Sweet Cherry or Wild Cherry (Prunus avium), Sour Cherry (Prunus cerasus), Dwarf Cherry (Prunus fruticosa), Himalayan Cherry (Prunus rufa), etc.
2. Bush Cherries:
These are characterized by the presence of three winter buds per axil. They belong to the Prunus subgenus prunus. Bush cherries examples : Mountain cherry (Prunus prostrata) , Chinese bush cherry or Nanking cherry (Prunus tomentosa).
3. Racemose Cherries:
They belong to Prunus subgenus Padus; include Bird Racemose Cherries and Cherry laurels. Examples are African cherry (Prunus africana), Laurel Cherry (Prunus caroliniana), Himalayan Bird Cherry (Prunus cornuta), Bird Cherry (Prunus padus), Black Cherry (Prunus serotina), Hokkaido Bird Cherry (Prunus ssiori) etc.
Health benefits of eating Cherries:
There are many health benefits of eating cherries on a regular basis within limited quantities. As they are low in calories, have zero fat and cholesterol, and rich in vitamins, minerals and fiber.
The main health benefits of eating cherries includes:
1. Anti Inflammatory and Antioxidant Effects Of Cherries
The high level of antioxidants in the cherries helps in decreasing oxidative stress. They contain polyphenols which help in reducing inflammation and promoting cellular growth. As polyphenols protect body from many chronic diseases like heart disorders, cancers, etc. Beta -carotene present in cherries also plays a crucial role in its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
2. Sleep Promoting Effects Of Cherries
The sleep promoting benefits of cherries comes from the specific substance called Melatonin, which helps in regulation of sleep cycle in many human beings. Although many studies are still going on to study this benefit.
3. Benefits Of Eating Cherries In Arthritis and Gout
Gout and arthritis are diseases related to the joints and the main symptom is pain. This happens when inflammation occurs in joints and in gout due to the deposition of Uric acid in joints. Cherries are packed with anti-inflammatory compounds and therefore decrease levels of Uric acid in gout especially. Thus helps in relieving symptoms in gout and arthritis.
4. Benefits Of Cherries In Skin Health
Cherries are rich in Vitamin C, A, B and E and all of them promote healthy skin w.r.t skin color, pigmentation and rejuvenation too. Cherries are rich in Anthocyanins which are antioxidants that help in removing free radicals, which are responsible for aging effects and wrinkles.
5. Eating Cherries Helps In Weight Loss
Well as we know they do not contain any fat and cholesterol with ample dietary fiber, therefore recommended by doctors all over the world. But on the contrary many dietitians don’t recommend it during weight loss because of its high sugar content . Not only this due to zero cholesterol in them they help in lowering blood cholesterol.
Benefits of Cherry fruit:
Well, cherries can be consumed in different ways like in the form of juices, shakes, cakes, cookies, salads, desserts, etc. In these methods the nutrients are lost and other added things add extra calories too. But the most effective way to get the nutrition from them is to eat them fresh as a fruit in salads and as such. This way a person can enjoy unaltered richness and benefits of the cherry fruit . Fresh Cherry fruit helps in weight loss, lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels too.
Also Read – What Are The Health Benefits Of Kiwi?
Cherries are a super source of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and fiber thus help in maintaining health with direct consumption. It is a simple way to add good nutrients and health in our daily routine and keep our skin, joints, blood pressure and sleep in check with regular and limited consumption.