Cherries for Health and Beauty
The health benefits of cherries include: cancer prevention, reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, reduce the risk of obesity, reduce inflammation, improve arthritis, prevent aging and diseases such as early Alzheimer, improve sleep and few other that I will explain below.
The particular flavor and aroma of cherry has made it ideal for widely used in cooking and cosmetics. However, in addition to its beautiful cherries taste they contain a large amount of bioactive nutrients that help improve health and further enhance physical performance in the sport.
Cherries are the fruit of Prunus plants in the Rosaceae family. This genus includes hundreds of species found in temperate regions of the north, thus United States, Turkey and Iran are the largest producers of this fruit.
Cherries are composed mainly of sugar, fiber, protein, potassium, fat, vitamins A, B and C, in addition to pigments, which are of great interest in their role as powerful antioxidants.
100 grams of cherry provide only 63 kcal, most of this energy is mainly provided by sugars, protein and a tiny portion of fat, which turns into a rich and low calorie nutritional option index.
Cherries benefits for hair, skin and health
1- It reduces the chances of getting cancer
Cherries have several components that help prevent the appearance of certain cancers. Studies on mice have shown that an induced diet with cherries has been able to reduce the occurrence of tumors.
In the laboratory, it has also been shown that the anthocyanins contained in cherries are able to stop the cell cycle in cell lines, this means that cherries can cause uncontrolled proliferation of these malignant cells to stop.(1)
2. It decreases the risk of cardiovascular disease
Studies have also reveled that cherry extract to induced rats heart attacks were less likely to cause heart damage compared to rats that do not consume the extract.
3. Decreased blood lipid levels and the risk of obesity
The research on rats that fed lipid-rich foods, it was observed that animals were treated with cherries extracts reduced levels of blood lipids. Another study showed that anthocyanins inhibit the action of lipases in the digestive tract. This inhibition reduces the absorption of fat in the digestive process.
Moreover, in a studies to find adipocytes treatment with anthocyanins, it has been observed that these cells reduce the accumulation of lipids. In addition, diets high in anthocyanins have increased the amount of vitamin E, which is required for the protection of vital organs such as the liver, so you can prevent diseases such as fatty liver.
Together, these results indicate that anthocyanins in cherries reduce the risk of obesity.
4. It protects against diabetes and obesity
Stress and cellular damage is a process associated with major complications of diabetes. Antioxidants such as those found in cherries tend to decrease these symptoms and help reduce the risk of diabetes.
In research, it has been found that with cherry diet diabetic mice induces insulin production, which results in decreased blood glucose levels. This protection against diabetes seems contradictory, because mentioned above, some of the composition of cherries are carbohydrates, however, these carbohydrates are low glycemic index.
This has to be noted that non-syrup cherries have anti-diabetic and obesity protection effects as described above because they contain a lot more sugar and not a low glycemic index. (2)
5. Reduce inflammation
An important area of research is food that has to do with modulation of inflammation. Inflammation with symptoms such as redness, heat, pain and tumor is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it helps to control infections and on the other hand, when it becomes chronic brings many ills.
In the scientific community, it is well known that chronic inflammation is a risk factor for a wide range of diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, obesity and arthritis. The worst thing is that to curb turn of inflammation to synthetic anti-inflammatories that eventually generate other ailments.
Cherry components have been shown to inhibit the enzymes that trigger inflammation in cells such as cyclooxygenase. (3)
6. Helps reduce the symptoms of arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis is a disease that affects about 1% of the world’s population. It is a disease that characterized by chronic inflammation of the joints. In one research on mice that have been induced arthritis, it has been shown that treatment with anthocyanins, has been able to reduce the serum concentration of inflammatory mediators such as TNF-α and prostaglandin E2.
The researchers attempted to extrapolate the data to the human model in terms of the amount of cherries needed to replicate these results. They determined that for a 70 kg person would need to consume 2800mg of anthocyanins a day, which equates to 35 cups of cherries a day.
However, scientists have gone further in exploring the effect of cherries in humans. They have tested in adult by giving them cherry diet of 280 grams per four weeks, analyzing the amount of serum C-reactive protein. They found that patients who had the cherries diet had significantly reduced CRP levels, indicating that the diet with cherries significantly reduces inflammation levels.
7. It reduces the likelihood of Alzheimer
It has been observed that neuronal cell cultures exposed to cherry extracts have a reduction in the production of free radicals, the main agents damage Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease.
In addition, it showed that in rats treated with anthocyanins short-term memory enhancement, indicating that cherries more than its protective effect against oxidative stress can improve memory. (4)
8. Sleep well
Melatonin is a molecule needed to regulate our biological clock. When production is altered by situations such as stress or depression our ability to sleep is disrupted. Studies on the chemical composition of cherries have shown that the Montmorency cherry contains 1.35 mg of melatonin in 100 g of fruit. Although adequate sleep values of 2 to 5 mg of melatonin, cherry consumption and more physical activity could be a great combination to have adequate resting patterns.
9. Helps to reduce muscles pain
We all suffered from muscle pain due to physical activity. This pain is partly generated by the oxidative stress generated in the muscle cells during exercise. Cherries, with a high content of antioxidants, help prevent or recover faster from this pain. In a study on 54 runners, it showed that the muscle soreness caused by running decreased significantly when runners consumed cherry juice.
10. Helps prevent aging
Part of the aging process is due to the generation of free radicals. These molecules to be generated in the body due to the reaction of other molecules such as DNA, causing damage to the information cells, which slowly causes our tissues to age. For its wealth of antioxidant cherries are an excellent ally for delaying the aging process
11. Helps prevent the risk of gout attacks
Gout is a disease characterized by the accumulation of sodium urate, mainly in the joints causing pain and redness of intense inflammation in the affected area. Zhang Yuqing, a professor of medicine and public health at Boston University, recruited 633 patients with gout and proved that those who consumed cherries for two days reduced the risk of gout attacks by 35%. In addition, Dr. Yuqing found that the combination of cherry consumption with treatment to reduce uric acid gout attacks reduced by 75%. Concluding that cherry consumption can be used as a therapeutic measure in patients with gout.
12. Helps maintain healthy skin
Its antioxidant content and vitamin C helps neutralize oxygen radical produced by exposure to ultraviolet rays on the skin. In addition, vitamin A contained in cherries is essential for skin repair.
13. Helps maintain alkalinity
Cherry juice is alkaline by the presence of potassium in the composition. Consumption of this juice can help maintain the alkaline pH of our blood.
14. It is helpful to have a healthy vision
For its vitamin A content, cherries help us improve visual acuity because it is a precursor to rhodopsin, a pigment found in retinal sticks that capture the light. In diseases such as maculopathy, it has shown that antioxidants such as anthocyanins found in cherries can delay the symptoms of this disease.
15. It is helpful to have healthy hair
Cherries contain a good amount of vitamin C, cherries can help strengthen hair follicles and prevent root breakage and stimulate the growth of new hair follicles.
Tips to select cherries:
- Buy cherries which are firm and have a glossy surface. Avoid those with cuts or bruises.
- Dark coloured cherries are the best to pick as they indicate proper ripeness.
- Cherries with bright green stems are ideal for eating. Those without stem should be consumed first as they tend to stale very quickly.
Tips to store cherries:
- Cherries are delicate fruits and need to be stored properly in order to get the best flavour.
- If kept in room temperature they should be consumed within 2 days, else they’ll start getting dull and won’t be healthy to eat.
- Cherries can be stored for about a week by freezing them in the refrigerator. Keep them in a plastic pouch and place in the refrigerator.
- Cherries should be washed only before eating. Washing and then storing will quicken deterioration. Always store unwashed cherries in the refrigerator.
Tips to use cherries (cooking/eating):
- Cherry, when cooked/ baked may get slightly discoloured because of its reaction with baking soda/ baking powder which can be prevented by using buttermilk or sour cream while using it with milk in the preparation.
- Cherries can be enjoyed in their raw form by just washing properly and eating as raw fruits.
- Cherries are extensively used in cakes and puddings as toppings which enhance the flavour of the baked dish.
- Cherries are also used in baked cookies like chocolate and almond cookies.
- Cherry is used in a number of mocktails.
- It is also used in making fruit cream for fruit salad.