Life Is Just A Bowl Of Cherries

 A friend recently reacquainted me with great taste of cherries.

Cherries are from genus Prunus that is containing single stony seed, and many people use cherry fruits as a decoration on the cover of various foods such as tart cake to make the cake look more desirable. Cherries seem to have a very erotic quality. You can't forget the girls who can tie a cherry stem in a knot with their tongue, can you! Guess what they're really good for us too. Cherries are one of the richest sources of anthocyanins. Of over 150 flavonoids found in plants, anthocyanins have the greatest antioxidant capacity. The native range of the wild cherry extends through most of Europe, western Asia and parts of northern Africa, and the fruit has been consumed throughout it's range since prehistoric times. A cultivated cherry is recorded as having been brought to Rome by Lucius Licinius Lucullus from northeastern Anatolia, modern day Turkey, also known as the Pontus region, in 72 BC.. Bing Cherries were First Cultivated in State of Oregon in the early 1870's, and quickly became the top ranking of all north american cherry varieties to date. This delicious, bite-size fruit is much more than a summer dessert topping. While rich in vitamins cherries also contain melatonin a naturally occurring hormone. Produced by the pinealocyte within the penial gland, melatonin plays a major role in regulating a persons biological clock.

Scientists have concluded many successful studies with melatonin on treatments of cancer, migraines, cluster headaches, mood disorders, fertility, ADHD, autism, bi-polar disorder, insomnia, and preventing memory loss in alzheimer's patients just to name a few. One cup of cherries contains 27mg of melatonin, an antioxidant which guards against the breakdown of collagen. This results in a slower rate of wrinkle formation and fine lines within the skin. Cherries are also rich in vitamin A (beta carotene) and provide 88 IU's per serving. Vitamin A has been known to increase collagen production and can help soften facial lines. Cherries have 19 times the amount of beta carotene than blueberries and strawberries. Well this little powerthouse can even help prevent and fight cancer. They also contain queritrin which is a potent anticancer agent, and they contain ellagic acid, which some experts now believe is one of the most useful compounds for cancer prevention. Cherries also are a rich source of healthy antioxidants, helping to repair free-radical cells in the body. Another compound found in cherries is perillyl alcohol (POH), which is very effective in reducing the occurrence of all types of cancer. It stops the spread of cancerous cells by depriving them of the crucial proteins they require in order to grow. Researchers at the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) have found that Bing cherries, consumed consistently over time, may help defend the body against inflammation tied to arthritis and heart disease.

 At the Human Nutrition Research Center in Davis, California, their research published in the Journal of Nutrition, showed healthy volunteers consumed about 45 Bing cherries each day for 28 days. Then blood samples revealed that levels of nitric oxide and C reactive protein dropped by 18-25 percent. Why should you care? Nitric oxide and C reactive protein are two of several indicators which measure inflammation in the body. According to the researchers, the cherries contain natural properties which help suppress some of the compounds linked to inflammation. This is their second study, corroborating such findings in humans. Sometimes those headaches seem to be never ending, but new research from Michigan State University suggests eating cherries can be just as effective as aspirin. In fact, eating just 20 cherries can be 10 times more effective than taking aspirin. Anthocyanins present within the fruit deconstruct enzymes which cause inflammation and relieve pain associated with headaches at a more rapid rate. Potassium removes excess sodium within the bloodstream and calms the blood-vessel walls. It is not a surprise that cherries loaded with 306 mg of potassium per serving can have a positive impact on blood pressure.
Recent studies suggest blood pressure can be lowered by 25% when eating this potassium rich fruit. When you are looking for something to rid yourselves of belly fat, remember cherries are rich in pectin, a fiber which converts to a slow-digesting gel in your stomach, blocks fat storage and increases fullness by up to 32%. New research suggests increasing pectin-rich foods in our diets may enhance weight loss by up to 38%. One cup of cherries provides about 2.7g of dietary fiber. Fiber is essential for intestinal health and helps to prevent constipation. According to MayoClinic.com, fiber also helps to reduce the risk of diabetes and heart disease. Your body can't digest fiber, you absorb fewer calories when you eat it.
Eating cherries or drinking cherry juice after a workout can speed up your recovery, according to a study conducted at Northumbria University in England, reports ScienceDaily. In the study, athletes who drank Montmorency cherry juice recovered more quickly after running a marathon than participants who took a placebo. Throughout the 48 hours following the marathon, athletes in the cherry juice group suffered less inflammation and oxidative stress, which is a potentially harmful side effect of long-distance running and strenuous physical activity in general.

The deep red color of the cherries was our first heads-up that the fruit is special and now science is taking that a step farther and finding thru research a link between food and medicine, and don't forget all the great deserts that are made with cherries. Like pies, tarts, cheesecake and girls! If you can't get fresh cherries where you live, try dried cherries, they're like raisins. For a change of pace, swap dried cherries for your usual after-workout energy bar. A 1⁄2-cup serving of dried cherries has 200 calories and about 49 grams of carbohydrates, about the same as an energy bar. Remember tart cherries are pumped full of melatonin, which can positively impact sleep patterns, and who doesn't want to sleep better. If you eat enough (about a handful) you may sleep better. All in all I'm really glad I got reacquainted with cherries and you should too. Good Luck...

                Have A Great Weekend !!

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