Botanical name: Prunus Avium L.
Cherry is the fruit of the cherry tree, Prunus avium L., of the botanical family Rosaceae. The tree usually reaches a height of about 20 meters, and the fruit which is a drupe varies in color from red to deep purple.
• Carbohydrates (sugars) – This makes up about 14% of cherry’s total content. Fructose is an important component of this sugars which makes cherries good for the diabetics.
• Fats and Proteins – Cherries contain fats and proteins in about 1% each of its total content.
• Minerals – Minerals such as magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, sodium, potassium, zinc, manganese, and copper are present in significant amounts in cherries. Of all these minerals, potassium is the most abundant.
•Vitamins – Cherries also contain reasonable amounts of vitamin C, A, E and B.
Apart from the nutritive components of cherries mentioned above, they also contain some non-nutritive components which are mentioned below.
• Soluble vegetable fiber – This soluble vegetable fiber is formed mainly of pectin. Its presence in cherries explains their laxative and cholesterol lowering effects.
• Organic acids – Cherries contains organic acids such as succinic, malic and citric acids, which acts as blood purifiers and also as stimulants to the digestive glands.
• Flavonoids – The presence of flavonoids in cherries give them their antioxidant, diuretic, and anticarcinogenic (cancer preventing ) properties.
• Salicylic acids – Salicylic acid is a natural forerunner to aspirin, and acts as an antirheumatic and anti-inflammatory.
What are the health benefits / medicinal uses of cherry
The medicinal indications of cherries are numerous, and are attributed to both the nutritive and non-nutritive components. Below are some of its medicinal uses:
• Obesity – Cherries are recommended for the obese or those who want to lose weight. This is due to their satiating effect, as eating just a few will produce a great feeling of satiety. Thus, instead of eating more food, you will eat less.
Also, the virtual lack of fat and sodium in cherries, together with its purifying and diuretic effect enhances their weight loss property.
• Purifying indications – Cherries can be used in purifying treatments. As an excellent depurant, it facilitates the elimination of wastes and toxins from the body.
• Diabetes – Cherries are highly tolerated by the diabetics. This is due to their sugar content being dominated by fructose.
• cancer preventing – The flavonoids present in cherries are attributed to this property. They give cherries their anticarcinogenic effect.
The antioxidants present in cherries help prevent or repair the damage that is done to the body’s cells by free radicals.
• Migraines – The consumption of cherries has been proved to cure migraines. This property is due to the presence of two important compounds, bioflavonoids and anthocyanin in cherries.
• Arthritis and Gout – Also, the presence of anthocyanin and bioflavonoids in cherries, gives it the ability to relieve the pain of arthritis and gout, as well as help prevent their occurence.
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