Currently the fruit and veg market here in the Algarve is full of sun-ripened cherries. Not only is it incredibly cheap,it is also very easy to prepare…..I mean wash. I mean let´s face it, we don´t want to spend ages peeling fruit or cleaning up afterwards and that´s traditionally why apples and Bananas are favoured over oranges. However, we have to ensure a good intake of a variety of seasonal fruit which right now include cherries. I recently introduced my son to them and he absolutely loves them. It is also well-known that cherry juice has been used for decades to treat arthritis and gout pain.
The healing properties of cherries, especially tart cherries, can be ascribed to the high flavonoid content in particular anthocyanins 1 & 2 as well as high phenolic compounds including gallic-acid,quercetin, p-coumaric acid and kaempferol. Evidence has shown that the anthocyanins block enzymes in the body called cyclooxygenase 1 and 2 (Cox-1 and Cox-2) which have been associated with inflammation and ultimately pain. Other fruits with similar composition include Pomegranates, grapes and strawberries.
Other proven health benefits include;
- Heart health due to the phenolic compounds which may protect against heart disease and stroke and reduce inflammation
- Brain health by improving learning and memory
- Anti-cancer properties
- Anti-Diabetic properties
- Improved circadian rhythms and natural sleep patterns due to the high Melatonin content
Studies have indicated that the intake should be about a handful of cherries per day to reap the benefits.
Nutrigenomics studies the effect of foods on our genes or gene expression. With evidence of polyphenols reducing the activity of pro-inflammatory cytokines, we will no doubt be prescribing foods like cherries to reduce inflammatory symptoms. It is also well known that the bioavailability of polyphenols are not great, however a regular intake of a combination of polyphenols may counteract this effect.
To read the full report visit http://www.choosecherries.com/
Well I´m off to soak up some sun and buy some more cherries! have a cherry filled day!
Burkhardt S, Tan DX, Manchester LC, Hardeland R, Reiter RJ.Detection and quantification of the antioxidant melatonin in
Montmorency and Balaton tart cherries (Prunus cerasus).Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 2001;49:4898-4902.