Glossy red cherries are one of
the best fruit sources of
antioxidants, which help
prevent many diseases
associated with aging.
Although cherries contain slightly smaller amounts of vitamins and minerals than other pit fruits, they are rich in several plant compounds that have definite health benefits. They rank highly—in twelfth place— on the ORAC scale of antioxidant capacity in fruits, and the chemicals they contain include quercetin: a flavonoid that has anticancer and heart-protecting qualities; and cyanidin, which is an anti-inflammatory that minimizes symptoms of arthritis and gout. The soluble fiber contained in cherries is helpful for controlling “bad” blood cholesterol levels, while the fruit is also a good source of potassium and a reasonable source of vitamin C and carotenes.
- High in antioxidants, which help protect the heart and prevent signs of aging.
- Rich in quercetin to help prevent cancers.
- Rich in cyanidin to alleviate arthritis and inflammatory diseases.
- Soluble fiber helps improve blood cholesterol profile.
Fresh cherries will have green stalks and a glossy skin. The deeper the color, the more antioxidant compounds they contain, so choose red or black, rather than yellow, cherries. To preserve vitamin C, store in the refrigerator. Fresh cherries contain higher levels of antioxidants, so are best eaten raw.
DID YOU KNOW?
Morello cherries are a sour, rather than sweet, variety of cherry and are usually used in pies and cooking.