Health benefits and virtues of cherries
Nutritional value of the cherry
A serving of 125 g of cherries provides 75 calories. Cherries provide beta-carotene – especially sour cherries (6 mg per 100 g) -, some vitamin C and potassium.
Cherries are a good source of pectin, a soluble fiber that helps lower blood cholesterol levels, and an excellent source of quercetin, a flavonoid with anticarcinogenic and antioxidant properties.
Some practitioners of alternative medicine often recommend acidic cherries for gout. It seems that this thesis is partially based, since the research indicates that a substance present in the cherry, cyanidine, has anti-inflammatory properties that would reduce the swelling and pain caused by gout.
Some studies have also indicated that this type of cherries may help to reduce the symptoms of arthritis.
People with allergies to plum family fruits, such as apricots, may react poorly to cherries; the most common symptoms are hives and tingling or itching in the mouth or around the lips.
According to some studies, quercetin has the property to reduce the risk of coronary insufficiency.
More than a thousand varieties of cherries
Coming from the same family as plums, apricots, peaches and nectarines (rosaceae), the cherry is less rich in vitamins and minerals than these, but is better endowed with natural sugars than most other fruits. It is a popular dessert during its brief season. Cherries called sour cherry and montmorency, as well as English cherries, more rare, are used mainly to prepare jam, preserves and liqueurs, as well as guignes. Sweet cherries, the best known of which are burlat, are eaten plain or for dessert, such as clafoutis.
There are more than a thousand varieties of cherries in the world. The most popular cherries are the burlat, early and quite big, and the reverchon, bright carmine, with firm flesh. Dark cherries with juicy and sweet flesh, later, are also very popular.
Buying and choosing cherries
When you buy, you will look for plump fruit with a green tail, a sign of freshness. Sweet or sour, cherries spoil quickly and their season is short. You have to buy them as you need them.