Sour cherries are the more acidic relatives of the regular table cherries. These tart fruits are native to Europe and southwest Asia. Varieties of sour cherries include Balaton, Montmorency, Danube, and Surefire. According to an article on the Food Network website, Montmorency sour cherries are the most commonly cultivated variety in the United States. Unlike the sweeter varieties of cherries, sour cherries cannot be eaten in their fresh state. Rather, these fruits are consumed year-round as dried, frozen, or canned. Sour cherries come in many names such as tart cherries, pie cherries, and dwarf cherries.
List of known nutrients
Sour cherries are a rich source of essential vitamins and minerals that are needed by the body. An entry published on the Health Benefits Times website makes a complete list of the nutrients found in sour cherries. These include:
- Linoleic Acid
- Linolenic Acid
- Myristic Acid
- Oleic Acid
- Palmitic Acid
- Palmitoleic Acid
- Stearic Acid
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B1
- Vitamin B2
- Vitamin B3
- Vitamin B5
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin B9
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin K
Medicinal uses for sour cherries
Sour cherries are known to hold potential in cancer prevention. An article posted on the Authority Nutrition website notes that the antioxidants found in sour cherries may help mitigate genes involved in cancer growth. Likewise, sour cherries are also touted as an effective remedy against hypertension. Aside from this, sour cherries are shown to have abundant levels of quercetin, a powerful flavonoid that contains both anti-carcinogenic and cardio-protective properties. Dried sour cherries are found to have the highest levels of quercetin.
Sour cherries also contain anti-inflammatory properties that alleviate pain and swelling. Montmorency tart cherries are particularly high in antioxidants such as melatonin that help soothe pain associated with arthritis, gout, and fibromyalgia. Aside from this, the anthocyanins in sour cherries are touted to block inflammatory enzymes; as a matter of fact, a single serving of 20 cherries are found to be 10 times more effective than aspirin in alleviating inflammatory pain.
In addition, sour cherries are an excellent source of antioxidants that help fend off infections and bolster the body’s immunity against a host of health woes. Sour cherries are also touted for their beneficial effects on the upper respiratory system. Likewise, sour cherries are known to increase muscle strength and alleviate soreness. In fact, a previous study showed that athletes given cherry juice experience less muscle damage, soreness, and inflammation following a race compared with those who took a placebo.
Moreover, sour cherries are notably high in melatonin that helps promote better sleep quality and duration. Sour cherries are shown to be just as effective as another superfood, called valerian, in addressing the sleeping disorder. In fact, a study carried out by researchers at the Louisiana State University found that participants who took tart cherry juice slept 90 minutes longer than those who took a placebo. Furthermore, sour cherries are incredibly rich in boron that helps strengthen the bones.
Body systems supported by sour cherries
Sour cherries are particularly helpful in maintaining a healthy cardiovascular profile. Likewise, the superfoods are beneficial to the immune, respiratory, and skeletal system. Sour cherries are also found to support the muscular and nervous systems.
Ways to use sour cherries
Sour cherries are an excellent ingredient in making preserves such as jellies and jams. The superfoods are also notably useful in making juice concentrates. Likewise, sour cherries can be processed as a flavoring agent. An article posted on the Martha Stewart website features a variety of interesting recipes for sour cherries.
Where to learn more
- Cherries are Awesome for Your Health!
- Miracle Cure for Gout and Arthritis Pain? Six Cherries a Day
- Cherry Juice: Fact or Myth when Fighting Arthritis and Gout Pain Naturally
- 4 Natural Tips to keep your body on track during Daylight Savings Time
- Natural Ways to Boost Serotonin Levels & Avoid Winter Blues
Sour cherries prevent cardiovascular diseases, chronic pain, and arthritis.
Sour cherries address muscle soreness, insomnia, and inflammation.
Sour cherries benefit the cardiovascular, muscular, and skeletal systems.
Sour cherries support the immune, nervous, and respiratory systems.