Researchers at John Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland have confirmed in recent studies that tart red cherries can reduce inflammation and serum urate levels.
The benefits from the tart red cherries (prunus cerasus) are important for anyone with inflammatory problems especially arthritis and diabetes and connective tissue diseases. Anthocyanins which are plant phytochemicals in the cherries may offer protection from some forms of cancer. The researchers believe that the anthocyanins reduce oxidative stress which is a major cause of inflammation in many diseases.
In an other study, scientist showed that the anthocyanins in tart cherries may help prevent muscle pain experienced after intense exercise. In this study, young men drank cherry juice daily and experienced decreased symptoms of exercise-induced muscle damage.
Cherries may also help prevent gout, a painful joint condition.
Weather it’s canned, fresh or frozen cherries the benefits are plentiful. The darker the cherry and tart cherries have higher anthocyanin content and therefore the bigger benefit. Both tart and sweet cherries have high levels of anthocynins.The skin of the cherry holds most of the beneficial anti-oxidants. In two different studies, women who consumed 2 servings of Bing cherries daily, experienced decreased serum urate levels and reduced inflammatory markers.
Dietary supplements are also a good source of tart cherry at 1200mg/serving. Tart cherries are rich in vitamin C and also have folate, potassium, magnesium, iron and fiber. Cherries are also a good source of natural melatonin. Melatonin is an important anti-oxidant that helps to modulate the immune system and can help protect against degeneration of the neurons in the brain.
Cherry season is right around the corner and I plan on stocking up and enjoying the benefits of nature’s bounty.