Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Cherry Nutrition


Cherry Nutrition

High levels of cherry nutrition are a very important reason why millions of people are starting to include cherries as part of their healthy diet. Tart cherries, or sour cherries as they are also known, can be consumed in many different forms, including juice, dried, or frozen, and cherries are often used for cooking or in jams. Wild cherries can be eaten fresh.

Apart from being exceptionally tasty, cherries contain zero amounts of fat, cholesterol, or salt, all of which are major factors in diet related health problems such as heart disease and obesity.

One portion of cherries contains 12% of the recommended amounts of carbohydrate, which makes them a good source of healthy energy. They also contain 16% of the daily recommended amount of vitamin C, plus smaller amounts of Vitamin A, calcium, and iron, as well as trace amounts of a multitude of other vitamins and minerals.

Cherries are a known source of high levels of anthocyanins and antioxidants, which offer a number of great health benefits. Anthocyanins give cherries the distinctive red color and have been compared to ibuprofen and aspirin for their powerful anti-inflammatory effect. Studies have shown that cherries in the form of juice are very effective at reducing the inflammation and discomfort experienced by athletes following strenuous exercise.

The anthocyanins in cherries can have a positive effect on controlling diabetes as well as reducing the symptoms. Studies on mice have indicated that anthocyanins from cherries can increase insulin production by 50%, which means that cherries could be useful in the prevention of type 2 diabetes.

Scientific studies on the benefits of sour cherry nutrition have shown that they are a rich source of other phenolic antioxidant compounds including gallic acid, p-coumaric acid, kaempferol, and quercetin. Research has proven that these compounds are an effective tool in the fight against cancer. Cherries have also been linked to a reduction in the incidence of colon and other intestinal cancers.

Cherries have been found to contain higher levels of beta carotene compared to other similar fruits such as strawberries and blueberries. Cherries, particularly the black variety, are known to reduce the symptoms of gout. Sufferers of gout and arthritis often experience a significant reduction of their symptoms following a cherry enriched diet.

Cherries also contain melatonin, which is an important factor in regulating natural sleep patterns. If taken as part of a healthy diet, cherries can help to relieve the symptoms of jet lag, as well as encourage effective sleep cycles, all of which can help to prevent long term health problems.

Recent important studies on the links between cherry nutrition and heart health benefits has shown that consuming a cherry enriched diet helped to significantly lower the overall body weight and body fat, especially the unhealthy "belly fat". It also helped to reduce cholesterol risk factors and the inflammation that is associated with heart disease.

Since obesity is strongly linked to heart disease in the western world, increasing the amount of cherries in the average diet could well be the key to reducing the levels of heart disease amongst the adult population.

If you are a cherry lover, our website has a world of information about cherries, their health benefits and much more. We even include a few special recipes.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Robert_N._Perry
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