Black Cherry Nutrition Facts
Though black cherry was originally introduced into much of Europe as an ornamental tree, over the years its timber and fruit have been found to be useful in many ways. Its timber is used for making cabinets, its wood is used for smoking foods, and its highly edible fruit is consumed raw, used in jams and pies, and also used for flavoring ice cream and soda and liqueur.
Above all, its juice has been found to be a health drink packed with nutrition, and the health conscious modern world has woken up to the many potentials of this tiny fruit which is also known as rum cherry, wild cherry, and mountain black cherry.
Health Benefits of Black Cherry
The vitamins and minerals in black cherry are more or less the same as that in other fruits like banana or apple. To that extent it cannot be considered special. But what adds to the importance of cherry is the fact that its antioxidant content is very high.
Needless to say, everyone knows nowadays about the importance of antioxidants and their role in preventing oxidation of molecules in body cells.
Because antioxidants have the ability to stop the chain reactions started by free radicals, it is beneficial in the treatment of many diseases. Gout, which is a form of inflammatory arthritis characterized by swollen joints, is the result of insufficient metabolism of uric acid.
The uric acid level in the blood increases as a result and this extra uric acid then turns into crystallized deposits at various body joints. Cherry juice helps in curing gout because the antioxidants in the juice prevent the crystallization of uric acid.
There are two types of antioxidants in cherry, namely anthocyanins and flavonoids, and both help in preventing gout by reacting with the uric acid in the blood.
The same anti-inflammatory properties, which make cherry juice useful in treating gout, make it useful in the treatment of other diseases as well. Available statistics have established the ability of the fruit in warding off cancer.
Lesser incidence of cancer, especially colon cancer, has been reported in the case of those who take care to have sufficient amounts of cherry in their diet as juice or fresh fruit.
Black cherry juice also appears to have the ability to prevent cardiovascular diseases. Because the anthocyanins in it safeguard blood vessels against possible oxidative stress, these actions translate into lower blood pressure and a healthier heart.
Some analgesic powers have also been attributed to black cherry. Practicing athletes, heavy joggers etc. have reported decreased muscle pain after taking cherry juice during the days they have to submit to strenuous workouts.
All these are only the benefits that have so far been discovered because it is only recently that cherry juice has come into prominence as a health drink. Much more research needs to be done to establish the potential of the fruit fully, but so far black cherry has proven to be a wonder fruit that gives ample benefits.
Prunus serotina, commonly called black cherry, wild black cherry, rum cherry, or mountain black cherry, is a woody plant species belonging to the genus Prunus. This cherry is native to eastern North America: from eastern Canada through southern Quebec and Ontario; south through the eastern United States to Texas and central Florida; with distinct populations in Arizona and New Mexico; and in the mountains of Mexico and Guatemala.