Cherries: What are they?
The cherry ( Prunus avium ) is the fruit of the cherry tree, a tree of the Rosaceae family. The origin of cherries is not known precisely, but it is believed that they come from the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea. (1) The term cherry comes from the Greek term kinases.
The Greeks were the first civilization to use the medicinal properties of this fruit. The cherry is a fruit approximately 2 cm in diameter, with a sweet and slightly acid flavor.
The color of the cherry depends on its type, these range from light red to dark purple. It is a fruit of an approximate size of 2 cm in diameter with a sweet and slightly acid taste. The main properties of cherries derive from their high content of antioxidants such as polyphenols and vitamin C.
The following article aims to detail the nutritional properties of cherries and what are their benefits in terms of nutrition. As well as providing a table with its nutritional value.
Properties and benefits of cherries
The cherry is a nutritious fruit and has numerous health benefits. The consumption of 150 grams of cherries can cover the daily dose of vitamin C in the body. The properties and uses of cherries are:
- Have anti-inflammatory compounds
Cherries are a fruit with a high content of polyphenols and vitamin C. Both compounds are directly related to anti-inflammatory properties. Eating cherries regularly is effective in preventing inflammation-related diseases such as arthritis. (1)
- It is a fruit suitable for type 2 diabetics
Due to its low glycemic index, a value of 25 units. Cherries are one of the fruits allowed in a diet for type 2 diabetics. Limiting excess sugar is essential for people with a tendency to diabetes. Regular consumption of cherries is a simple and effective solution.
- The high content of natural antioxidants
Anthocyanins are a unique component with antioxidant effects in cherries. These compounds are also found in other berries like blueberries in similar concentrations. They are also fruits with a high content of lutein and zeaxanthin, two potent antioxidants that act synergistically. (2)
- lowers cortisol levels
One of the properties of vitamin C is to reduce stress hormone levels: cortisol. (1) In a study rich in fruits with vitamin C, participants reported improving mood and reduced anxiety symptoms. Regular consumption of cherries can be effective in regulating stress levels.
5. Muscle recovery
In 8 of 9 investigations where the effects of eating cherries in athletes were studied, It has been confirmed that one of the properties of cherries is to improve muscle recovery processes. Participants in these studies were supplemented with cherry-based products with 50 to 270 units of cherries. (1)
- Improve the quality of sleep
There is sufficient evidence that eating cherries regularly improves sleep quality and cognitive functions. (1) (3) Apparently, cherries can balance the levels of the sleep hormone melatonin. The scientists determined a 5-7% increase in the SET factor (Sleeping Efficiency Total), which translates as good sleep or better sleep quality. (3)
7. High fiber content
Cherries contain about 2 grams of fiber per 100 grams of the product. Fiber foods are essential to improve the digestion process and improve nutrient absorption.
Are cherries fattening?
Weight gain is achieved with a positive calorie balance and an imbalance in macronutrients: proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. Cherries by themselves are not fattening, which is true that they provide primarily simple carbohydrates. WHO recommends limiting your intake to 10% of total calories. (4)
Avoiding cherries in their dehydrated form with high added sugar is essential to avoid gaining weight. We recommend eating cherries and avoiding them in their dried fruit form or candies. Fresh cherries can be combined with whole-grain yogurts and nuts in snacks to avoid bakery products and all kinds of diseases that these products cause.
How to buy cherries?
Cherries can be purchased at most chain supermarkets, local fairs, and organic food stores. We recommend buying cherries of organic origin.
Organic food does not include any synthetic product in its preparation or production. International organizations such as the FAO consider this type of production to solve the current problems of ecology and sustainability. (5)
- Cherries are the fruit of the cherry tree whose medicinal uses date back to the time of the Greeks.
- The main properties of cherries proven by science are their high content of antioxidants: vitamin C, catechins, and polyphenols. They are directly related to reducing oxidative processes in the body.
- Another of the properties of cherries is to reduce muscle fatigue and improve the quality of sleep.
- Cherries by themselves are not fattening. To gain weight, your total calorie balance must be positive.
- We recommend buying organic cherries from local producers. This is a way to avoid using and consuming pesticides and fertilizers.