Antioxidants are necessary to clear the body of damaging free radicals and they are most effectively acquired through diet. If we don’t consume enough antioxidants, damage can occur, leading to degeneration and disease including cardiovascular disease, arthritis, cancer, inflammatory conditions and neurological diseases. Sweet cherries contain 16 antioxidants, plus a suite of other compounds with beneficial health benefits.
Cherries may benefit people suffering from chronic inflammatory conditions such as gout, pancreatitis, or prostitis, as well as allergic conditions includingasthma, hay fever, eczema and hives because they contain the compounds cyanidin and quercetin.
So cherry lovers can indulge to their heart’s content, because the study concluded that cherries have significant health benefits in slowing or inhibiting the progression of cancer, ageing, neurological diseases, cardiovascular disease and inflammatory conditions. They may also aid in detoxification of foreign substances.
Cherries originated in the area between the Black and Caspian seas of Asia minor and they are believed to have spread to Ancient Greece and the Mediterranean (where they were first cultivated) by 70 BC.
History tells us that cherries were integral part of the Legionnaire’s diet and they were introduced to Europe with the establishment of the Roman Empire. Throughout history, cherries were always valued as a food source and during the 15th and 16th centuries they were used for medicinal purposes.
Cherries have been grown in Australia since the late 1800’s and we Australians love our cherries, consuming more than 7,000 tonnes of fresh product every year!