Cherries are Good For…
Anti aging, gout, reducing muscle pain, blood pressure, osteoarthritis, colon cancer, insomnia, metabolism, Alzheimer’s, and preventing strokes are all things cherries are known to help with.
- Nutrition Facts
- Health Benefits
- Sweet Cherries vs. Tart Cherries
- Cherry Agriculture
- Organic Vs. Conventional Cherries
- Things You Didn’t Know About Cherries
Nutrition Facts for Sweet, Raw Cherries, 1 Cup, No Pits & for Tart, Raw, Red Cherries, 1 Cup, No Pits
Sweet Cherries / Tart Cherries
|Calories:||97 / 77||3 / 4 calories from fat|
|Total Fat:||0.3 / 0.5 g||0 / 1 %|
|Saturated Fat:||0.1g||0 / 1 %|
|Sodium:||0 / 5 mg||0%|
|Total Carbohydrate:||25 / 19 g||8 / 6 %|
|Dietary Fiber:||3 / 2 g||13 / 10 %|
|Sugars:||20 / 13 g|
|Protein:||2 / 1.6 g||3%|
|Vitamin A||98.5 / 1988 IU||2 / 40 %|
|Vitamin C||10.8 / 15.5 mg||18 / 26 %|
|Vitamin K||3.2 / 3.3 mcg||4%|
|Niacin||0.2 / 0.6 mg||1 / 3 %|
|Vitamin B6||0.1mg||4 / 3 %|
|Folate||6.2 / 12.4 mcg||2 / 3 %|
|Pantothenic Acid||0.3 / 0.2 mg||3 / 2 %|
|Choline||9.4 / 9.5 mg|
|Calcium||20 / 22.8 mg||2%|
|Iron||0.6 / 0.5 mg||3%|
|Magnesium||16.9 / 13.9 mg||4 / 3 %|
|Phosphorus||32.3 / 23.2 mg||3%|
|Potassium||342 / 268 mg||10 /8 %|
|Sodium||0 / 4.7 mg||0%|
|Zinc||0.1 / 0.2 mg||1%|
|Copper||0.1 / 0.2 mg||5 / 8 %|
|Manganese||0 / 0.2 mg||5 / 9 %|
|Flouride||3.1 / 0 mcg|
8 / 10
(glucose = 100)
22 / 20
Health Benefits, Natural Remedies and Disease Prevention with Cherries
Anti-Inflammatory – The FDA sent out warning letters to cherry growers some years ago insisting that the cherry companies quit making health claims that some of the compounds in cherries may reduce pain and inflammation. Cherry growers were told to stop citing scientific studies showing that cherries are packed with unique anthocyanins and other compounds that are proven to mediate inflammation. But of course they do. In fact, 1 cup of cherries has the same effect as one regular strength ibuprofen.
Cherries, especially tart cherries (or tart cherry juice), reduce muscle soreness and are an amazing supplement for DOMs (delayed onset muscle soreness), arthritis, fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, working out, and other such issues that cause muscle soreness.
Fat Metabolism – Researchers found that when rats were fed whole tart cherry powder along with a high fat diet, they gained less weight than rats that did not consume cherry powder on an otherwise identical diet.
Insomnia – Cherries are a good source of natural melatonin, imperative for healthy cognitive function, circulatory strength, and proper sleep cycles. This can help also alleviate jetlag and insomnia.
Antioxidants – The antioxidants found in cherries are said to boost memory and may help prevent Alzheimer’s disease. Antioxidants also help slow aging in many other ways, including appearance.
Cardiovascular Health – The anthocyanins in cherries are pigments that give red cherries the red color. Anthocyanins may activate and help regulate genes that are involved with fat and glucose metabolism, which should help reduce the risk for such health issues as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Cherries are also very high in potassium, which is known to help regulate heart rate and lower blood pressure.
Cancer Prevention – In addition to the anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants that help prevent cancer, studies have shown that the anthocyanins prevents cancer (and there are a host of other benefits to individual cells as well).
Gout – Due to their anti-inflammatory properties, and their alkalizing effects, cherries and cherry juice should be a staple for anyone suffering from gout. One study showed that people with gout may be able to cut their risk of recurrent gout attacks in half by eating 20 cherries a day.
Sweet Cherries vs. Tart Cherries
There are many varieties of sweet cherries available. The most common are Rainer and Sweetheart. Other common varieties include bing, Chelan, tieton, Skeena, and lapins.
Sweet cherries are typically larger than tart cherries and usually have a bit of a heart shape to them. Sweet cherries can range in color from golden with hints of red (like the Rainer) to dark, deep red (like the Sweetheart).
With the health benefits listed above, tart cherries come out the winner every time. Sweet cherries are very good for us, but tart cherries have more of the best health properties and a little less sugar as well. If you cannot find fresh, tart cherries, try tart cherry juice. Black cherry juice is well known for its proven health benefits.
Common tart cherry varieties (also known as sour cherries) include English morello, early richmond, Meteor, montmorency, and north star. Tart cherries in the United States usually come from Michigan. These cherry trees are much better suited to cold weather.
Tart cherries are typically used for juicing and cooking. Their tart flavor also bodes well with sugar. Tart cherries are typically softer and smaller than sweet cherries.
While a bit harder to find at the supermarket, raw tart cherries are making a comeback, due in part to their potent antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties.
Harvesting tart cherries is a delicate process; they are hand-picked so they keep their stems to keep them from leaking or spoiling. Leaving the stems on also slows down the ripening process.
Tart cherries are soft and must be handled gently. Sweet Cherries are less susceptible to damage and are a bit easier to harvest.
Cherry Season – Harvest
The cherry harvest in the United States begins in southern California around the end of April with the Brooks cherry, a hybrid that is a cross between a Rainier and a Bing. Harvest season comes to an end in California by early June, which is when the season begins in Washington State. By September cherries will be gone from stores until the next year.
Most sweet cherries continue to be produced in Washington, California, Michigan, and Oregon. Michigan produces the bulk of tart cherries for the U.S.
Are there Genetically Modified Cherries?
At this time there are not any genetically modified cherries. There is some research being done on producing a GMO cherry that has no pit.
Organic Vs. Conventional Cherries
Cherries are one of those crops that gets an extremely heavy dose of pesticides. They were on the “Dirty Dozen” list for 2010, a report put out by the Environmental Working Group that picks the 12 most toxic laden, heavily chemically treated crops.
There are more than 40 toxins found on conventional cherries from pesticide sprays: 20 known hormone disruptors, 7 neurotoxins, 8 toxins that effect reproduction and development, and 14 chemicals known to contribute to the death of honeybees.
Things You Didn’t Know About Cherries
- In the United State the consumption of fresh cherries increased by 150% from 2000 to 2009.
- Because the fruit has a very short shelf life, cherries are brought to market quickly.
- In the United States, there are more than 1,000 different varieties of cherry tree.
- In addition to their wonderful fruit, the cherry tree is known for its beautiful flowers.
- 11 Health Benefits of Cherries
- The dirty dozen and clean 15 of produce
- What’s On My Food? – CHERRIES
- Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Tart Cherry