*Sour cherries are fruits of the cherry tree, Prunus cerasus, of the family Rosaceae.
*The cherries are fleshy fruits with thin, smooth, delicate skin and a single stone.
*Sour cherries, also called tart cherries, are mostly used for cooking, as in making pies.
*Two varieties of sour cherries are most famous, Nanking and Evans.
*The fruits are bright red to deep purple in color.
*Taste varies from slightly sour to very sweet depending on the stage of ripeness.
*Buying and storage: Select firm, brightly colored cherries with the stem on, and without any bruises or softness on the skin. Store in the refrigerator in a plastic bag, where they keep well for over 2 weeks.
Is it raw?
Yes and No.
*Yes, sour cherries can be eaten fresh.
*No, because sour cherries are mainly used for cooking.
1. Cherries are low in calories and fat with no cholesterol.
2. They have phytonutrients called phenols and other phytosterols, which are powerful antioxidants. They include anthocyanins, hydroxycinnamates, flavonoids, ellagic acid, perillyl alcohol, beta-sitosterol, melatonin, etc.
3. These antioxidants scavenge the free radicals that oxidize fats, preserve the integrity of cell membranes, and protect our body from heart diseases, degenerative diseases.
4. Antioxidants also slow down the ageing process.
5. Anthocyanins are the red pigments (flavonoids) that are shown to reduce pain and inflammation. They are effective in treating inflammatory conditions like osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, etc.
6. Anthocyanins also increase the production of insulin from the pancreas, thus it has an anti-diabetic activity.
7. Ellagic acid and Perillyl alcohol have anti-cancer property. They are shown to prevent the proliferation of cells in certain types of cancers.
8. Beta-sitosterol is shown to reduce the cholesterol levels in the blood.
9. Melatonin is an antioxidant and a sleep inducer. Consuming cherries before sleeping improves the quality of sleep.
10. Sour cherries are also rich sources of Vitamin A, which enhances the eye sight, fights against acne, and results in smooth radiant skin.
11. Good source of Vitamin C, a natural water soluble antioxidant that enhances the body's immune system, increases the elasticity of skin and blood vessels, and prevents bruising of the skin.
12. Moderate source of minerals like calcium, iron, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc and manganese which play a very important role in maintaining proper metabolic activities of the body.
13. Low in sodium and good source of potassium results in maintaining the normal blood pressure and reducing the risk of hypertension.
14. Moderate source of niacin and folic acid, which are important to maintain normal metabolic activities and to enhance the production of energy from the food we eat.
15. Moderate source of dietary fiber. It adds roughage to the contents of the intestines, promotes satiety, promotes the health of the colon, and also helps in relieving constipation, hemorrhoids, diverticular disorders, etc.
16. Has a high content of water, which is very important for metabolic activities and for detoxification.