Cherries, along with most other fruits, are an essential part of any healthy diet. A cherry contains a large number of different vitamins and minerals and contains only trace amounts of fats and sodium. Some of more healhty constituients of cherries include Vitamin C, Potassium, Magnesium, Copper and dietary fiber. Cherries also contain a substance called Anthocyanin which gives cherries their bright red color. Anthocyanin is an
antioxidant that helps protect the body against cancer.
1. Vitamin C – Cherries supply large amounts of Vitamin C. Vitamin C, also called ascorbic acid, is a water soluble vitamin that must be consumed daily since the body cannot store it. The Vitamin C found in a cherry is neccessary for the proper maintainence of soft tissue such as your gums and the lining of your mouth and digestive system. A deficiency of Vitamin C and lead to Scurvy. Vitamin C is also a vital antioxidant that your body uses extensively to promote proper cell division and prevent cancers. The vitamin C in cherries have also been shown to reduce the buildup of plaque inside arteries that lead to cardiovascular disease.
2. Potassium – Cherries contain potassium, which is a mineral that is necessary for proper muscle contraction. Potassium from cherries are also vital for the regulation of water inside the veins and arteries of our cardiovascular system. Potassium acts against the negative effects of sodium and helps to lower blood pressure, preventing strokes and heart attacks.
3. Magnesium – Magnesium is found in cherries, along with most other fruit. Magnesium is a major part of bone development and muscle growth. Magnesium is also a vital part of the mechanisms we use to get energy from carbohydrates.
4. Dietary fiber – Dietary fiber found in cherries is important for the longterm health of the digestive tract, as well as being useful in reducing the chances of developing diabetes. Dietary fiber is not digested by the body, but instead it is used by the body to clean out the small intestines which allows for better nutrient absorption. Dietary fiber is also necessary to spread out the absorption rate of many nutrients, sugars and proteins. This allows the body to use these nutrients over a longer period of time.
5. Anthocyanin – Anthocyanin is a bright red pigment found in a few fruits, among them the cherry. It´s antioxidant functions in the body include reducing the inflammation that leads to gout and arthritis as well as many types of cancer. Anthocyanin has also been found to strengthen collagen, which is found in ligaments and tendons and is a vital part of wound recovery.
The cherry should be included in any healthy diet, as it has no negative effects and supplies a large number of vitamins and minerals along with the special addition of Anthocyanin which is found in only a few fruits.