Cherries, Are They Good For You? Vitamins, Minerals, Antioxidants and Delicious Fruit

Sweet Cherries!

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Ooh, doesn’t everyone love cherries? Maybe it’s just something about the (very) short cherry season that makes us yearn after something we can’t have (or at least not very often, anyway, or at great expense). But honestly, they’re just so delicious! The fruit belongs to the Prunus genus, like the plum and the peach, and the tree produces absolutely gorgeous clouds of blossom that the Japanese are just crazy about.

It's not hard to think off the top of your head of a dozen different delicious culinary uses for the cherry: cherry pie (hello Twin peaks!), cherry jam, cherry turnovers, preserved cherries in a sundae... I'm hungry just thinking about it!

But what, exactly, do cherries have to offer us on a nutritional and health basis? Of course, as every governmental body seems to tell us on a near-daily basis, we all need our five a day... ten a day... whatever, depending on what government is currently nannying you into submission. We get the general picture, we all need a whole lot of fruit and vegetables! And cherries are surely a delicious, refreshing way to help to accomplish that end goal. It's no hardship to snack down on them! And to appreciate the contribution fruits in general can make to our health and well-being.

(Maybe it's not always easy to get your five a day consumed, each and every day. But cherries sure make it easier!)

Cheap Cheerful Cherry Products On Amazon!

But what, exactly, do cherries have to offer us on a nutritional and health basis? Of course, as every governmental body seems to tell us on a near-daily basis, we all need our five a day... ten a day... whatever, depending on what government is currently nannying you into submission. We get the general picture, we all need a whole lot of fruit and vegetables! And cherries are surely a delicious, refreshing way to help to accomplish that end goal. It's no hardship to snack down on them! And to appreciate the contribution fruits in general can make to our health and well-being.

But what about cherries specifically? In a nutritional sense, raw sweet cherries have a satisfactory fat content of zero grams per one hundred and thirty-eight gram portion, for those of us seeking to lose weight due to obesity or even a slight weight problem. The fiber content may also be potentially helpful at three grams per 138 gram serving (twelve per cent of daily value), if you're looking to up the fiber content of your diet or have problems with regularity. (One of the sugars in cherries, fructose, is also reported as having a laxative effect in some individuals).[4] In terms of vitamins and minerals, raw sweet cherries are a valuable source of Vitamin C, as well as containing calcium, iron and Vitamin A precursors. They may also be useful for their low saturated fat and salt content.[5]

How about other phytonutrients that cherries might be notable for? One study looking at the antioxidant content of sour cherries found flavonoids called cyanidin derivatives to be the main factor of their antioxidant content, sturdily resisting food processing to maintain their activity within commercially sold products.[1] And judging by the eyecream ads, those antioxidants are good stuff!

Certainly cherries can be an expensive treat, especially out of season. (Tip: search them out in your local market, not in tiny overpriced packs in the supermarket). But with so much to offer, isn't it worth searching some out for yourself – maybe even today?

References.

[1] Kirakosyan, A. Seymoura, E.M., Urcuyo Llanesa, D.E., Kaufmana, P.B., Bollinga, S.F. 'Chemical profile and antioxidant capacities of tart cherry products'. Food Chemistry. 115;1: 1 July 2009, pp. 20-25

[2] Liebreich, K., Wagner, J., Wendland, A. 'The Family Kitchen Garden'. London: Frances Lincoln Ltd.;2009, p. 170

[3] Fabčiča, J., Štampara, F., Usenik, V. 'Sugars, organic acids, phenolic composition and antioxidant activity of sweet cherry (Prunus avium L.)'. Food Chemistry. 107:1; 1 March 2008, pp. 185-192

[4] Grodner, M., Long, S., DeYoung, S. 'Foundations and clinical applications of nutrition: a nursing approach'. Mosby; 2000, p. 91

[5] Nutritiondata. 'Sweet cherries, raw'. Nutritiondata website. 2009. Available at <http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/fruits-and-fruit-juices/1867/2>. Accessed on 18/10/2010.

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