Cherries – Nutrition Information
Cherries are well known for their distinctive taste. Whether picked from a tree or enjoyed in the form of a freshly baked cherry pie, taste is not the only benefit cherries can bring to the table. Research shows that cherries have several health benefits.
Antioxidants and Phytochemicals
Anthocyanins is the red pigment and potent antioxidant found in cherries. This very potent antioxidant protects your cells from oxidative damage caused by free radicals. Anthocyanins have been shown to reduce pain and inflammation.
Cherries have been shown to contain ‘high levels of phytochemicals including melatonin, a molecule critical in regulating the sleep-wake cycle in humans.’1 Melatonin has also been shown to be an important factor in the healthy function of the immune system.
Cherries are a great source of fibre. Fibre is important for keeping cholesterol at bay therefore being beneficial to a healthy heart. Fibre is also important for a healthy digestive system.
Cherries are an important source of Vitamin C. This potent vitamin is important in building a strong immune system. It is also necessary for the formation of collagen, making it an important vitamin in bone and skin health.
Cherries are also a provider of vitamin B6 and vitamin A
Unfortnately the delicious taste can only be experienced for a short time each year. In Australia they are usually at their peak around Christmas time.
Storage and Cooking Guide
In order to minimise bruising, it is important to store cherries unwashed and packed loosely in a plastic bag in the refrigerator or in a covered shallow container in a single layer. Wash them just prior to eating. Fresh cherries are at their best eaten within a few days of purchase.
Cherries are a healthy and delicious summer snack. Arrange them on a platter with other cut up summer fruits and serve!
In order to pit the cherries, cut them in half with a paring knife and pit them with the tip of the knife.
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