The tart cherry is a fruit that is believed to have originated in Europe. It is a small, dark red fruit that is sour and tart. Tart cherries are often eaten fresh and are used in a variety of recipes.
They can also be dried or frozen and stored for an extended period of time, retaining many of the phytonutrients as when it was fresh.
Today, it is cultivated all over the world and is a popular fruit for both domestic and commercial use. They tend to grow best, however, in temperate zones with cooler climates and moderate sunlight.
What Nutrients Do Tart Cherries Have?
Vitamins: tart cherries are a good source of Vitamin A, C, E, and K.
Minerals: tart cherries are a good source of potassium, magnesium, and calcium.
Phytonutrients- tart cherries are high in anthocyanins and ellagic acid. These nutrients are collectively known as polyphenols and give tart cherries their dark red color and provide powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. Surprisingly, they also contain melatonin, which is a natural hormone produced by the body and which is beneficial for sleep.
What Are the Health Benefits of Tart Cherries?
Promote Sleep: as mentioned, tart cherries contain melatonin which helps to regulate sleep. A lack of quality sleep has been linked to a number of health problems such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer.
Reduce Inflammation: tart cherries are well renowned for their potent anti-inflammatory actions. They are used traditionally for the management of pain and arthritis, and also gout, thanks to their reported uric acid lowering capacity.
Reduce Cancer Risk: The antioxidants in tart cherries can help to lower the risk of cancer. This is thought to be attributed to the many anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant agents present in tart cherries and extracts which decrease oxidative damage from free radicals.
Lower Blood Pressure: The potassium content of tart cherries can help to regulate blood pressure by acting as a vasodilator to improve the flow of blood. Vitamin C also possesses vasodilatory properties unknown to many people
Manage Cholesterol Levels: Tart cherries contain a number of polyphenols, which can help to lower cholesterol levels and prevent it from oxidizing. This may reduce the chances of heart disease. The fiber in tart cherries helps to increase cholesterol excretion.
Boost Immunity: apart from the usual vitamin C and crew, tart cherries bolster the immune system with a healthy dose of quercetin which is a potent flavonoid with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Other phytonutrients also play a part in lowering inflammatory potential and avoiding immune suppression.
Aid in Weight Loss: tart cherries are low in calories, as well as high in fiber and water. This helps to fill you up and reduce calorie intake, aiding in weight loss over time.