Thought to have been domesticated in the Cerasus area of Turkey, Cherry has likely come to India between 1556 to 1605 and soon became part of Indian palette due to its unique taste and countless health benefits they offer.
Cherry’s flesh is juicy and pungent, with the texture resembling that of a grape. ‘Cherry on top’ is an apt phrase attested to what cherries offer to a variety of food.
Nutritional Facts of Cherry
Cherry is packed with nutrients such as vitamins, fiber, and minerals. It does not contain cholesterol and sodium.
As per the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Nutrient Database, a fresh, raw, and sweet cherry fruit weighing 100 gm contains 63 calories, 1 gm of proteins, 2.1 gm of fiber, 16.1 gm of carbohydrates, 0.2 gm of fats, 0.36 mg of iron, 13 mg of calcium, 222 mg of potassium, 21 mg of phosphorous, 11 mg of magnesium, 0.07 mg of zinc, 0.1 mg of niacin, 21 mg of vitamin C, 38 µg of Carotene-ß, 85 µg of Lutein-Zeaxanthin and 4 µg of folates.
Potential Health Benefits of Cherries…
1/5. Relives insomnia
1. The melatonin content of cherry helps in enhancing sleep quality. It aids in facilitating good and peaceful sleep. Melatonin is known to regulate sleep and wake cycles.
2. The melatonin along with serotonin content in cherry helps in fighting against sleep conditions such as insomnia.
3. The tryptophan content of cherry along with melatonin and serotonin content helps regulate the circadian rhythm and makes you feel refreshed.
2/5. Protects against diabetes
1. Cherries contain anthocyanin which increases insulin production and also regulates blood sugar and insulin levels. It prevents spikes and crashes of blood sugar.
2. Anthocyanins are known to reduce the risk of diabetes.
3/5. Boosts mood
1. The high content of anthocyanins in cherry helps in enhancing the memory. It boosts the cognitive function and protects against Alzheimer’s disease.
2. The polyphenols in cherry enhance the communication between the brain and the rest of the body.
3. The serotonin content of cherry helps in regulating anxiety and mood.
4/5. Possesses anti-aging properties
1. The antioxidant content of cherry helps fight against the free radicals thus, making the skin appears brighter and younger. Antioxidants combat oxidative stress thus, preventing premature aging.
2. Cherry eliminates the dark spots from the skin which may appear due to sun damage. It also improves skin tone.
5/5. Other possible Benefits…
Cherry produces several health benefits, apart from the health benefits mentioned above, it also produces few more such as facilitates weight loss, lowers hypertension,reduces bad cholesterol, prevents cardiovascular diseases, prevents hair damage, imparts a natural glow to the skin, prevents acidity and indigestion, reduces joint pain, aids in exercise recovery, lowers the risk of colon cancer,provides relief in arthritis,andlowers the risk of gout attacks.
Cherries are known as powerhouse of free radicals fighting antioxidants, anti-inflammatory enzymes, cardiovascular, anti cancer benefits, pH balancing properties amongst so many other potential health benefits.
How to incorporate Cherry in the Diet?
Cherry can be eaten raw or can be added to various dishes. They can be consumed either in the raw or juice form. Cherry is also available in the dried and powder form. Some of the ways by which cherry can be incorporated in the diet are as follows…
- Eaten as snacks.
- Added to fruit salad.
- Added to the smoothie.
- Used to prepare a mocktail.
- Added to ice-creams or desserts.
- Used as a topping for yogurt or cereals.
- Used to make tarts, pies, cakes, or juice.
- To prepare homemade cherry barbecue sauce.
How to prepare Spiced Cherry Chutney?
In a large saucepan, take 3 cups of fresh or frozen-thawed pitted tart cherries; 1 large finely chopped sweet onion; 1 small chopped green pepper; 1 small chopped sweet red pepper; 1/3 cup packed brown sugar; 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar; 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger root; 1-1/2 teaspoons grated orange zest; 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom; 1/4 teaspoon salt; 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes; and 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice. Combine all the ingredients thoroughly.
Bring it to boil. Then, reduce the heat, simmer uncovered for approximately 45 – 50 minutes, or till the vegetables are tender and the desired thickness is achieved. Keep stirring occasionally.
Serve chilled or warm.