Cherry, scientifically known as Prunus, is a small fleshy fruit with single seed known as pit, belonging to Rosaceae family which includes plums, almonds, peaches and apricots. Cherries are sought after for their delicious taste as much as for their aesthetic value in decorating dishes. The fruit looks beautiful over cakes, salads, ice-dreams, drinks and other dishes with their bright shiny peel which is either red or purple in color and their tiny size.
The scientific world has accepted cherry as the ‘Super Fruit’ of our times as it contains high antioxidants, anthocyanins, nutrients, beta carotene, potassium, and vitamin C. Though there are many varieties of this fruit available, only 2 of them are sought after for consumption – the sweet cherry and the sour cherry. It is a seasonal fruit that flourishes in zones with cold temperature. Due to its unavailability throughout the year, cherry is stored as canned or frozen fruit, and also as jams and squashes. Though not as good as fresh ones, stored cherry does contain all the benefits and taste of cherry to a great extent.
Cherry, the beautiful and delicious fruit comes with lots of health benefits. Red or Sweet Cherries are known to contain melatonin which helps in expelling harmful toxins from the body. Melatonin is strong and stable antioxidant which can easily cross the blood-brain barrier thus relaxing the mind and soothing the nervous system. This proves effective in providing relief from sleeplessness, headaches, anxiety and neurosis.
The recent scientific studies have proven that cherries can help in relief of pain in conditions like fibromyalgia, injuries and arthritis. In fact they have proven to be more effective than chemical pain killers, furthermore without any of their harmful side-effects. Tart cherries effectively reduce the levels of uric acid in the body, thus reducing aches in muscles and chronic back pain.
Cyanidin present in cherries fights against inflammation, reducing the swelling and pain to a great extent in conditions like gout.
The health benefits of cherry include:
- Improves cardiovascular health
- Controls belly fat
- Reduces pain in arthritis and gout
- Fights inflammation
- Lowers high blood pressure
- Boosts immune system
- Helps in relief from post exercise pain
- Reduces risk factor of type 2 diabetes
- Improves sleep patterns
Mash few cherries and make a smooth paste out of them. Apply the paste on the skin as a mask. The acidic property of the fruit effectively softens and successfully breaks up the bond holding dead skin, thus helping to remove them, giving the skin a youthful healthy glow. Sour cherries in addition can take care of oily skin. Adding honey and lemon extract to the cherry paste mask will help in reduction of acne and rosacea.
Eating cherries regularly is known to reduce the risk of a gout attack to a great extent. Drinking cherry juice or eating fresh cherries, effectively alters the pH of urine reducing acidity and increasing alkaline content. The reduction in uric acid prevents it forming into urate stones, thus preventing gout.
Cherry Tail Tea
Boil 1 tb of cherry tails in 1 ½ cups of water for 10 minutes. Strain the mixture and consume three to four times a day for benefit from its diuretic and anti-inflammatory properties.