Cherries have always been my favourite fruit. I’m not sure if that’s the case everywhere, but in Europe they’re very much a seasonal delicacy, which undoubtedly adds to their lure. I remember rushing to the orchard every friday as a child hoping they wouldn’t be gone yet. I’d spend hours up on those trees, in silence, savouring paradise…
Not many people know that the cherry tree is part of the rose family. Symbolically though, the meaning of the rose and the cherry is intertwined – the stinging love of the rose, with the fertility and festivity of ruby cherries.
In terms of raw taste sweet cherries posess a unique charm. But for cakes, preserves and health reasons we’ve got to love the sour tart cherries just as much.
- Rich in anti-oxidants – cherries help to slow down the ageing process, prevent cancer and neurological diseases.
- Stay slender – researcher have concluded that cherries have a positive effect on weight management. Studies based on a high-fat diet show considerably less weight-gain in subjects who consummed cherries daily.
- A Calming, soporific effect – Tart cherries are one of the few natural sources of melatonin, a hormone that soothes the brain and calms the nervous system. By lowering the body’s temperature, it also makes us sleepy, which is worth remembering if you have sleep problems. Due to great absorbtion properties, cherries may be used as a substitute for melatonin supplements.
- Prevent post-workout soreness – for those who like to train hard, cherry juice can be a great way to minimize muscle-soreness. A study by the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition conducted in 2010 suggests that drinking tart cherry juice daily significantly reduces muscle-inflammation and soreness. However, it is important to have it right after the workout(!)
- Blood pressure balancing – cherries are rich in potassium, which balances body fluids and makes it a great natural blood-pressure reducer.
- Natural osteoarthritis relief – researchers have proved that only a three-week period of drinking tart cherry juice (twice a day) is enough to substantially reduce inflammation.
- Cherries are an excellent gout preventer – a study published in Arthritis & Rheumatism in 2012 concluded that patients with gout who ate half a cup of cherries for a couple of days, had a 35% lower risk of gout attacks.
- Reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes – thanks to their strong anti-inflammatory properties.