Studies at the University of Arizona by the team of Dr. Cinthya Thomson on the composition of this fruit showed that the antioxidant capacity of the cherry is due to its high content of anthocyanins, containing much higher than other fruits that have a large reputation of containing the same principle. Cherries contain about 82 mg per cup, beating plums (12 mg per cup). raspberries (38, 7mg per cup) and black grapes (44.9 mg per cup).
Besides anthocyanins, these studies demonstrated that cherries were very rich in other antioxidant compounds such as quercetin, melatonin and other phytochemicals. Highlighting the richness of the fruit components compared with the low calorific value it provides, and recommended them to be included in the regular diet as one of the best tonics and food antioxidants.
In fact, cherries are on the list of Food Department of the United States as one of the most powerful antioxidant food. (See main antioxidant foods)
The ideal fruit for cleansing diets
According to most food experts, consuming about 200 grams of cherries daily can help prevent or ameliorate many diseases. Equally important is their intake to maintain a youthful and healthy appearance.
Purification capacity of antioxidants combined with its wealth of water, which exceeds 80%, its lack of fat and its high content in potassium, combined with the lack of sodium makes it ideal in cleansing diets. Also helps in this regard its high content of vitamin C, a major antioxidant. Well known is the cherry diet which is based on drinking from 1 to 2 liters of cherry juice for 3 days.
These diets cleanse the body, releasing toxins and uric acid and helping to remove body fat, so it is sometimes used as a resource to lose weight on diets.
No less important are the cleansing diets for people with illnesses that require regular removal of toxins and fluids from the body to feel better. Using an exclusive diet of this food or supplying abundantly in the normal diet, is very interesting for everyone. In this sense, cherries are very interesting for people with arthritis, gout, people with obesity or those suffering from liquid retention or cellulite. These same properties make it well suited for the prevention of kidney stones or gallbladder stones.
Moreover, given the wealth of this fruit in iron, calcium and zinc, it will help prevent or combat iron deficiency anemia (iron deficiency anemia), osteoporosis or bone thinning and other problems in the formation of bones or teeth . Therefore we recommend to eat cherries to women who have reached menopause, a period when which many of these anomalies usually take place.
No less important is its regular inclusion in the diet of children in regard to their growth or the health of their teeth and bones. .
It should be borne in mind that exclusive cherry diets should not be apply to the children or the elderly. Its use is not suitable for people with kidney or liver failure.
Photo of cherries
Are cherries suitable for people with diabetes?
Cherries have traditionally been forbidden in the diet of people with diabetes. It has been defended that they are too rich in sugar and, therefore, people with this disease should not eat them.
Cherries, like other fresh fruits, are rich in carbohydrates but, like most fresh fruits, can be included, in a moderate way in the daily diet of diabetics.
With regard to cherries research carried out in recent years, it seems that they have more advantages than disadvantages. A study conducted at the Cardiovascular Center at the University of Michigan by a medical team led by Seymour and Bolling, conducted on obese mice, found that animals fed on sour cherries presented at the end of this experiment lower levels of sugar in blood and a lower rate of body fat, cholesterol and triglycerides. These researchers believed that the anthocyanins were responsible for producing these changes. They did not known whether these properties would apply to humans, although they wanted to pursue studies in people as soon as possible.
Eating cherries in a moderate way is suitable for diabetics, taking into account that this food is one with the lowest glycemic indexes of all fruits. Its glycemic index is 22. The glycemic index defines the speed with which sugar is poured into the bloodstream. For example, food that has a higher glycemic impact is sugar or glucose which corresponds to a rate of 100. Soy is a food with a lower rate, as this is only 18. Mangos have an average of 55. Pears have an index of 35, which would be within the limit of which is considered low (to 50). Other fruits with low glycemic index are, for example, plums (index 24) or peaches (index 28).
The best cherries
The best berries are those that are collected or bought ripe, since cherries do not mature well at home. If we want to eat them raw, or we want to dink their juice it is better to buy sweet cherries. If we want to prepare cakes, pies, jams, puddings, yogurt, beer, sorbets, etc, it is better to buy sour cherries. In the market there are hybrid cherries can be used for all purposes.
Cherries must be purchased when they are in season, That's to say during the spring and summer. The color of sweet cherries can be red or yellow. Shades of red vary widely, from light red to red purple. The color depends on the variety, although darker ones are usually sweeter and have a higher proportion of anthocyanins. Tart cherries are usually bright red.
If we buy sweet cherries, we must choose those that are ripe but be firm and with very green little tails. It is better to buy cherries from one's country than import them. These latter contain more preservatives to preserve them during transport.
Cherries with very clean and bright skin in many cases are not the most advisable. Many times they look so neat because they have been subjected to processes of embellishment to enhance its presence to increase sales. In this process, besides water, other products are used in the long run, as lacquers, polishes, waxes, etc. Some of them can be harmful
Whenever possible you should choose the better looking cherries produced in organic farming, without pesticides, fungicides, herbicides or chemical fertilizers.
whatever their origin, they need to be washed thoroughly before consumption. They have to be stored in the refrigerator to avoid spoilage, but you should not wash them before. they should not be put them together with other highly aromatic foods because they absorb their odors through the skin.
Watch out for bones!
The bones of cherries contain within them the seeds. The seeds of cherries, as most of the seeds of the Rosaceae family , are rich in cyanogenic glycosides, some components that release cyanide when ingested.
It is virtually impossible to access the seed if you do not break the bone that protects it, so that, although some bones could be swallowed, these are not digested and finally they are expelled through the feces.
However, children should warned not to break the bones to get the seeds inside them because they are toxic. As a matter of fact, it is better for you and them not to swallow the bones because they might be indigestible.
The cherry brandy or kirsch
Another question is the alcoholic preparations of these fruits. In Germany they prepare the "Kirsch." Its name comes from German "Kirsche" which means cherry. The real "Kirsh" is made from cherries, from wild black cherry , but can also be obtained by fermenting the juice of the sweet cherry (Prunus avium) or the sour cherry (Prunus cerasus).
This is a very aromatic alcoholic drink you can take alone or with other spirits in cocktails or your can use to flavor cakes, candies, etc. Distillation destroys toxic components, so that , made in this way, is does not offer any other toxicity in itself than that one an alcoholic beverage can present.
Formerly it was made exclusively with sour cherries and the crushed bone was included in its manufacture . Therefore, the seed was dissolved in this product , which , in small amounts as a flavoring, may not be harmful, but at higher levels it can be toxic.
Unfortunately, there are now many online recipes to prepare "Kirsch" at home that should be rejected because they include in their preparation the cherry bones crushed and macerated in alcohol for two or three weeks.
The Maraschino is a liqueur distilled from the Marasca cherry (Prunus cerasus var. Marasca) a type of tart cherry grown in northern Italy, Croatia, Bosnia Herzegovina and Slovenia. Crushed bones are used to make it, so the ones provide the characteristic smell of almonds. To make it sweeter you can add sugar or honey. Avoid homemade preparations. because they can contain higher doses of cherry seeds that can be toxic.
More information on cherries in the listing above