Cherry Fruit as Anti-inflammatory for Arthritis, Natural Insomnia Drug, and more

Cherry Fruit as Anti-inflammatory for Arthritis, Natural Insomnia Drug, and more
Sweet cherries have been popular snack for centuries. We all know. They have been associated with pie and other deserts long enough, but did you know that cherries fruit is full of healthy antioxidants. Anti-inflammatory property of cherries has also been found effective in reducing heart-disease risk factors, and helps patients with arthritis. Are cherries a sweet berry? Is a cherry a berry or a fruit? What is the difference between tart cherries and sweet cherries? Let's discover the answers and learn more about the healthy side & the nutritional benefits of Cherry Fruit as well as the Cons of Cherries!

About Cherry
Cherries are drupe fruits (stone fruit) of plants in the genus Prunus in the rose family Rosaceae. Drupe is a one-seeded fleshy fruit that has a spherical appearance. Cherries belong to the stone fruit family along with apricots, peaches, nectarines, plums and loquats. The word ‘cherry’ comes from the Turkish town of Cerasus. The name 'cherry' also refers to the cherry tree, and is sometimes applied to almonds and visually similar flowering trees in the genus Prunus, as in "ornamental cherry", "cherry blossom", et cetera. Cherry fruits are native to Asia Minor and Eastern Europe regions. A cherry fruit has a central “stony-hard” seed surrounded by edible fleshy fruit measuring 1-3 cm in diameter. Acerola (Malpighia emarginata) or West Indian cherry is native to West Indian islands and grown in Mexico, Texas regions in North America. The West Indian cherry fruit comes from tropical fruit-bearing shrub in the rose family Malpighiaceae and it has 2-3 tiny seeds. Acerola contains exceptionally very high levels of vitamin-C (1677.6 mg per 100g or 2796 % of RDA) and vitamin-A (767 IU per 100g) than North American and European cherries.

Is a cherry a berry or a fruit?
Cherries look like they might be berries. They are about the same size as a strawberry, they are small, sweet and round, as well. So, are cherries a type of berry? Good question, cherries and berries are both fruits, but cherries are not berries. A cherry isn't a berry because of these following differences:
+ Berries grow on bushes, while cherries grow on trees
+ Cherries has a pit like apricots or peaches, while berries do not have a stone or pit, although many seeds may be present
+ Berry is completely edible. Cherries isn't completely edible (because of a pit in the center)

So what fruits are berries? Cranberries and blueberries are berries. However, grapes, tomatoes, papaya, guava, bananas and avocados are also botanically classified as berries. Many fruits commonly referred to as berries are not actual berries by the scientific definition. Cherry is a fleshy fruit (drupe) that contains a single stony seed. Drupes include Olive, Plum, Peach, Cherry, Hackberry (Celtis spp.; Cannabaceae), Bayberry. Other drupe-like fruits with a single seed, that lack the stony endocarp include Sea-buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides, Elaeagnaceae), an achene surrounded by the swollen hypanthium, which provides the fleshy layer. Raspberries and blackberries aren't berries, but are classified as 'aggregate fruits', made up of many tiny drupes clustered together. Aggregate fruits contain seeds from different ovaries of a single flower.

What do cherries taste like?
Cherries taste? Cherry fruit tastes sweet, juicy, crispy, crunchy and kind of like a sweet sour if it belongs to the species of Prunus avium or wild cherry (or sweet-cherry). Sweetness varies depending on farms/trees and time. It may taste tart, kind of sour if it's from that of Prunus cerasus (tart cherry) tree.

Cherry Color?
Cherry's colour depends on its variety. Externally cherries have smooth, glossy, and very thin peel, bright shiny red to deep red or purple or black in colour, and with green stems. Cherry fruits are pigment rich. These pigments are polyphenolic flavonoid compounds known as anthocyanin glycosides. Anthocyanins are red, purple or blue pigments found in many veggies and fruits, especially concentrated in their peel, known to have powerful anti-oxidant properties. Cherry is usually round to heart-shaped, with a hollow at the stalk end. In the store, choose fresh cherries that have bright, shiny peel with fresh green stalk firmly attached to the top of the cherry fruit. Light coloured cherry fruit in dark coloured cherry varieties is generally immature.

Cherry Cultivation
Cherry trees have been cultivated for thousands of years. There are several species of cherries. What is the difference between tart cherries and sweet cherries? Two popular cultivars are wild cherry (or sweet-cherry), and sour cherry or (tart-cherry). Sweet variety belongs to the species of Prunus avium, and Tart cherries belong to that of Prunus cerasus (sour cherry). Wild Cherry may refer to any of the cherry species growing outside of cultivation, although Prunus avium (or sweet-cherry) is often referred to specifically by the name "wild cherry" in the British Isles. A cultivated cherry is recorded as having been brought to Rome by Lucius Licinius Lucullus from northeastern Anatolia, modern day Turkey, also known as the Pontus region, in 72 BC. The cultivated forms are of the species sweet cherry (Prunus avium) to which most cherry cultivars belong, and the tart/sour cherry (Prunus cerasus), which is used mainly for cooking.

Cherry Trees
Cherry trees with high exposure to light tend to have thicker leaves to concentrate light and have a higher photosynthetic capacity. Cherry trees with low exposure to light tend to have a bigger leaf size so they can intercept all light possible. Cherry trees provide food for the caterpillars of several Lepidoptera. The wood of some cherry tree is especially esteemed for the manufacture of fine furniture. In commercial production, cherries are harvested by using a mechanized 'shaker'. Hand picking is also widely used to harvest the cherry fruit to avoid damage to both fruit and cherry trees. Cherries are also picked by hand, with their stems attached to prolong their shelf life. Cherry trees have beautiful small pink or white flowers that bloom around September. Pink flowers bear no fruit (e.g. cherry blossom) and are used as ornamental trees in gardens while white flowers generally bloom on commercial cherry trees.

What is Cherry Blossom ?
A cherry blossom is the flower of any of several trees of genus Prunus, particularly the Japanese Cherry, Prunus serrulata, which is sometimes called a blooming sakura or ume tree. Many of the varieties that have been cultivated for ornamental use do not produce fruit. Edible cherries generally come from cultivars of the related species Prunus avium (or sweet-cherry) and Prunus cerasus (sour cherry).

Cherries Varieties
There are so many varieties of cherries. Several of them are Van, Supreme, Rons, Royal lynn, Bing, Royal lee, Royal rainier, Coe's transparent, Sweetheart, Sussweichel aus olivet, Merton biggarreau, Tartarian, Mini royal, Lapins, Royal ann, Stella, Sweet september, Craig's Crimson, Montmorency pie cherry, Jubileum pie cherry, Erdi Botermo (Danube) pie cherry, capulin cherry, etc. For example, Van is a sweet, great crisp type cherry which is a flavored cherry with deep flesh color and heart-shaped. Stella cherries are popular and it is self-fertile. The Stella is a large dark red cherry, heart-shaped. The fruit is large and almost black in color. The Stella is a good pollinizer for all sweet cherries. They do not require another tree for pollination and if you have a Bing Cherry tree a Stella can pollinate the Bing and other cherry trees. Supreme is a dark red to black, heart-shaped cherry, with dark red flesh and excellent flavour. Rons is heart-shaped and a good flavoured variety, with almost black skin and red flesh and juice. Bing is heart-shaped and it has dark red skin, sweet red flesh and juice. Rainier is heart-shaped with creamy-white skin with a red blush and sweet white flesh of excellent flavour.

Cherries Growing Season
Cherries can grow in most temperate latitudes and they have a very short growing season. The peak season for cherries is in the summer. In the United States cherry fruit season lasts from end of May until August. In Southern Europe and North America they are usually at their peak in June, in the UK in mid-July, in south British Columbia (Canada) in July to mid-August, and in Australia and New Zealand in late December. Cherries are widely associated with Christmas in Australia and New Zealand.

Cherry Nutrition
Cherry nutrition facts. Sweet cherries are rich in anthocyanin antioxidants, melatonin (a hormone produced in the brain that slows the aging process and fights jet lag and insomnia), and vitamin C. Melatonin produces soothing effects on the brain neurons, calming down nervous system irritability, which helps relieve neurosis, insomnia and headache conditions. According to research studies, anthocyanins in the cherries are found to act like anti-inflammatory agents by blocking the actions of cyclooxygenase-1, and 2 enzymes. Tart (sour) cherries contain vitamin C, vitamin A, fiber, copper, and manganese. Scientific studies also suggest that anti-oxidant compounds in sour/tart cherries help the human body to fight against cancers, pre-diabetes condition, and aging and neurological diseases. Sour/tart cherries are exceptionally rich in health promoting flavonoid poly phenolic anti-oxidants such as lutein, zea-xanthin and beta carotene, acting as protective scavengers against harmful free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS) that play a role in aging, cancers and other diseases and disorders. Cherries nutritional value does not end there, both sweet as well as sour cherries are packed with numerous health-benefiting nutrients that are essential for wellness including dietary fibre and potassium to help balance the body's intake of salt.

Cherries Calories - How Many Calories in Cherry
Cherry calories 1 cup?
> There are approximately 77 calories in 1 cup without pits (about 155 grams) of fresh cherries.
> There are approximately 18 calories in 1 ounce (28g) of sweet cherries.

How to ripen Cherries?
While avocados and bananas are picked green and ripen while they are shipped to market, cherries do not ripen after being picked, so pick cherries when they are fully ripe on the tree. They go from hard and unripe to rotten in a matter of days without ever accomplishing that juicy ripe stage. However, fruit produce ethylene gas which serves as a chemical signal to ripen the fruit. Cherries' own ethylene gas might be enough to cause the cherry fruits in a bowl to ripen within 2-3 days. Placing the cherries in a large paper bag with a banana might also help to accelerate ripening.

When are cherries ripe?
How do you know when cherries are ripe enough to pick on the tree? As soon as the birds start consuming them, they will be ripe, so the best time to pick seems to be right before the birds start eating the cherries. Depending on the variety, cherries are ripe once they develop the full color, which varies from yellow-pink to almost black. For example, Rainier cherries turn yellow with a red blush on one side, Bing cherries turns dark red (a deep maroon colour), Early Richmond turns bright red.

Health Benefits of Cherry
Cherry benefits
+ anti-inflammatory for patients with arthritis
+ reduce risk of infections
+ contains melatonin that makes you sleep more quickly (natural insomnia drug) and fights jet lag
+ antioxidants called anthocyanins can help to prevent Dementia and Alzheimer
+ anthocyanins also helps reduce the risk of diabetes because increasing the production of insulin (but high in sugar, see the cons).
+ high in beta carotene (20 times higher than the level in strawberries and blueberries) for a healthy immune system
+ a good source of vitamin C for your immune system and as an antioxidant that helps your body to reduce oxidative stress
+ high levels of Vitamins E, magnesium, potassium, fibre, iron and folate
+ potassium to help balance the body's intake of salt and regulate heart rate and blood pressure
+ fight against cancers
+ as an antioxidant that frees the body from free radical damage causes the body's cells and tissues.
+ anti-oxidant compounds in tart cherries also help the human body to fight against aging and neurological diseases, and pre-diabetes condition
+ contains dietary fibre
+ high in water and low in calories that is good for weight loss

Cons of Cherry
- High in Sugar. Cherries are generally high in sugar that can lead to a heightened risk of diabetes and obesity, if you don't moderate the intake. With a serving size of 100 grams of cherries, there are already around 13 grams of sugar. Tooth decay is also a concern with excessive sugar intake.
- Oral Allergy Syndrome. Cherries cause allergic reactions in some people, particularly those with pollen allergies. An allergy to cherries may also indicate an allergy to birch pollen. Someone might have oral symptoms of this allergy when eating other fruits or veggies (including apples, peaches, kiwi, plums, pears, parsley, carrots, or celery) that contain proteins similar to the protein in birch pollen. Usually, the symptoms of oral allergy syndrome include tingling and itching of the mouth and throat. They may also include swelling, which can impede breathing in severe cases and must be treated as anaphylaxis that involves the cardiovascular and respiratory systems. If you notice any signs of a potential allergy to cherries, please see your doctor.
- Anaphylaxis. If you eat cherries and have an anaphylactic reaction (some symptoms include swelling of the lips, tongue and throat, wheezing or difficulty breathing, a rapid heartbeat, fainting and a loss of consciousness). It is an emergency! It is strongly advised to call 911 immediately if you begin to have the symptoms of anaphylaxis, because if symptoms get worse, by then you may lose consciousness.

Cherry Recipes
Sweet cherries are being used in several recipes. To prepare cherry, remove the stalk, rinse cherries with cool water right before using or consuming them. It can be eaten all alone, in fruit salads, or with ice cream. Cherries are used as additions to commercial ice creams, such as Haagen Dazs' Cherry Vanilla, Baskin-Robbin's Winter White Chocolate, and Ben and Jerry's Cherry Garcia.

Cherries are also delicious with cakes, pies, jellies, crepes, puddings, and jams. It can also be glaceed, brandied, stewed, poached, sauteed or microwaved. Tart cherries are also mainly used in the preparation of sauce, jams, pie fillings, muffins and cheese cakes. Tart cherry fruit juice is also a favorite refreshing drink among athletes. Some tasty cherry recipes that can be made with cherries are Cherry Cake, Stuffed Cherries, Cherry Sauce, and many more. You can also add dried cherries in bread, fruit-cakes, cookie, desserts, and toaster pastries. Dried cherry fruit infused with raspberry concentrate are sold commercially under the name razzcherries.

After reading the whole article, now you know what is the difference between a Cherry and a Berry, tart cherries and sweet cherries, and also the healthy side of cherries are. You might also want to learn more about other healthy fruits and also healthy berries.
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