Cherries are nature’s testament to the popular adage, “all good things come in small packages.” Apart from being a delicacy and a prominent fixture in most deserts and sweet meats, the benefits of cherries far extend those of savoring its unique sweet and tart flavor at the dining table. Loaded with a mixed bag of nutrients including calcium, vitamin C, riboflavin, phosphorus, iron, vitamin A, vitamin B and carbohydrates, cherries merit numerous health benefits. The high content of antioxidants in cherries combats free radicals in the body and even prevents the onset of cancer. Cherries are also known to be a very effective treatment for diabetes as they help in lowering blood sugar levels. The anti-inflammatory properties of cherries make it a natural placebo in the treatment of gout and arthritis and as prevention against heart diseases and strokes. Let us explore some of the key health benefits of cherries more vividly.
Cherries are one of the few fruits, which chronic diabetics can safely enjoy. This is due to the fact that cherries have a very low glycemic index (GI). Foods with a low glycemic index release glucose at a more gradual rate into the bloodstream. This results in a steady and moderate rise of blood glucose levels and help to increase the body’s response and absorption of glucose. Due to its low GI content, cherries are very beneficial for diabetics and can even prevent the risk of developing type-2 diabetes.
You might have noticed the bright red coloring in cherries. This is due to the high content of a pigment known as anthocyanins. These antioxidants are used to produce amino acids in the body. Anthocyanins prevent the cells of the body from the harmful effects of nitrogen, oxygen and UV radiation. Anthocyanins restrict the production of COZ-2 enzymes in the same way as over the counter pain relievers and provide much needed pain relief from gout and arthritis.
Constant exposure to artificial lightning such as the ones present at home and in the work place, have been found to deplete melatonin levels in the body. Melatonin is a chemical, which ensures that your body gets adequate sleep. Reductions in melatonin levels create distorted sleep cycles and result in insomnia. Cherries are a rich source of melatonin for the body and are an effective natural treatment for sleep disorders such as insomnia.
Cherries have long been established as a natural ward against cancer. Cherries have a high content of antioxidants, which break down and flush out the cancer causing free radicals in the body. Researchers are of the view that consuming cherries on a daily basis could bolster the body’s immune system against the development of several organ cancers.
Prevents heart diseases and strokes
The presence of high low density lipoprotein (LDL) levels in the body place one at an increased risk of developing heart diseases and strokes. Cherries have been found to prevent heart diseases as it significantly reduces the LDL levels, while promoting the rise of good cholesterol or HDL in the body. According to a recent study, men with high LDL levels showed a dramatic decrease in the same after 4 weeks of including cherries in their daily diet. The high content of anthocyanins in cherries help repair blood vessel walls and prevent the build up of cholesterol and plaque, thus keeping the heart and circulatory system healthy.
In retrospect, cherries are a delicious and healthy way to ensure that most of your nutrient and vitamin requirements are met. They can be consumed in their natural form or as juices and whole food supplements. Buy a can of cherries today and reap the health benefits from one of nature’s best organic fruits.