We are all familiar with the benefits and uses of fruits, but did you know that red cherries are a powerful source of antioxidants – among the highest levels in fruits? The antioxidants that the cherry contains comes from compounds called anthocyanins that give it its beautiful red color. These powerful pigments possess anti-inflammatory and anti-aging properties. Cherries are an incredibly rich source of anthocyanins; they contain more than strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries.
In a recent study, Sweet and Sour Cherry Phenolics and Their Protective Effects on Neuronal Cells, red cherries were found to be particularly rich in the antioxidant anthocyaantioxidant-fruits.comn, and also the compounds quercetin and hydroxycinnamic acid. These three phenols play a potential role in protecting nerve cells that are involved in our nervous system function. These cherry compounds, the anthocyanin antioxidant in particular, were found to actually protect nerve cells from cell-damaging oxidative stress. The greater the dose of cherry compounds administered, the greater the protection afforded the nerves. The overall results showed that these three compounds provide the nervous system with strong protection against degenerative effects. And protection against neurodegeneration means protection against neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease.
The researchers concluded that cherries can serve as a good source of natural medicines in our diet. Not only do fresh cherries contain antioxidants, they are highly nutritious as well. Sour (tart) red cherries, like Bob’s Red Mill Dried Tart Cherries are a good source of manganese, copper. and dietary fiber, and a source of high doses of vitamins C and A. They are also are very low in saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium.