Red cherries, especially the ‘tart’ variety is a superfruit, high in photochemical known as anthocyanins and in common with other fruits and vegetables red in colour, it has been shown to be of benefit to individuals who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes. It has the ability to reduce pain and inflammation and contains two of the most potent anti-carcinogenic properties, isoquercitrin and queritrin.
Cherries are native to Asia and are related to the plum, peach, apricot, and almonds to name a few, the wild variety of which is known to be poisonous. It is high in Vitamin A, C, pectin and potassium which play a significant part in the prevention of heart disease. It also helps to reduce high blood pressure, lowers LDL cholesterol and is effective in reducing belly fat. It also protects the walls of the arteries and retards the sticky build-up of plaque within them.
In scientific studies, red cherry extract has shown to be as effective as non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs with none of the associated side effects. It also has the ability to reduce the pains associated with muscle aches and strains after undertaking strenuous physical exercises and the pain and inflammation which occur in cases of gout and other joint pains caused by the accumulation of urate crystals in the synovial fluid (joint fluid).
The deep red colour of the cherry contains flavanols which not only protect the plants from disease, but research has shown that when ingested in sufficient quantities it also protects the human body from disease. Flavanols have high levels of antioxidants which help to neutralize free radicals. In recent years, cherry juice has hotly rivalled the very popular carrot juice for its healing and disease prevention properties. Recent research has uncovered evidence to suggest that red cherries also contain melatonin which is a naturally occurring enzyme, necessary to maintain the body’s sleep pattern.
Twenty cherries contain sufficient anthocyanins to neutralise the enzymes which cause tissue inflammation. However, health experts recommend a daily dose of two tablespoons of concentrated cherry juice, equivalent of 50 to 60 cherries diluted in 250ml of water. The fruit can be preserved and eaten in many ways, dried, candied, juiced, tinned, glazed, frozen or fresh and can be used in both sweet and savoury dishes.
There are over eighty million Americans living with heart disease, the red cherry which is a versatile fruit can be purchased at any time of the year which can be an important addition to their daily diet in their efforts to combat the effects of free radicals.