Cherry is a very famous fruit because of its sweet, sour and juicy flavor. Cherry is known for its taste but also for its medicinal health benefits. Cherries have 2 categories based on its flavor, one is sweet cherries, and other is sour flavored cherries. Sour cherries are usually red, but sweet cherries have wide varieties in colors. Some are more dark colored than the others. Dark colored cherries have deeper more intense flavor. No matter what type or colored cherry you are buying but always look for size, fresh stems, and no browning spot.
There are various nutrient and bioactive components present in cherries. These are packed with antioxidants which have great ability to fight with free radical damage and protect our cells. Cherry provides multiple health benefits, ie, prevent cancers, inflammatory diseases, cardiovascular disorders, diabetes and also helps to remove excess belly fat.
There are few types of cherries based on taste and color. These are
Dark Red Cherries – These are heart-shaped cherries. They are sweet almost like candy and juicy too. They are best when eaten fresh. These have some varieties
- Attika – long heart shaped, large sized, dark red to black with red flesh, strong pleasant flavor, firm and crunchy
- Bing – most popular of all others, heart shaped, firm, large, range from rich to deep mahogany color, intensely sweet with vibrant flavor
- Chelan – round shaped, large, firm, deep in color, very sweet in taste, also known as black cherries
- Cowiche – firm with strong flavor
- Kiona – dark mahogany colored, sweet in taste
- Regina – very large, square shouldered heart shaped, dark red to black colored, firm, crunchy, mild pleasant flavor
- Santina – long heart shaped, medium-sized, dark red colored with dark red flesh, having good flavor
- Selar – large sized, dark red colored, sweet taste
- Tieten – large sized, color varies from light mahogany to mahogany red, shiny skin, thicker stem comparatively, mildly sweet flavor
Red Cherries – These cherries are red in color and sour in taste. They also include number of varieties
- Benton- mahogany red in color, medium to large sized, have excellent sweet flavor
- Index – medium large sized, medium red flesh, heart-shaped, dark red in color, sweet in flavor, firm
- Lambert – large and firm, evenly dark red, sweet in taste
- Skeena – very large sized, round to kidney-shaped, dark red to almost black colored, dark red flesh, sweet taste, firm and crunchy
- Sweetheart – late ripening, bright red, large sized, very firm with light sweetness
- Van – medium sized, round heart shaped, dark red, red flesh, firm with excellent sweet color
Red and Yellow Cherries – These are sweet in taste and less cloying than dark red cherries. They are perfect for eating as a simple dessert. This variety includes
- Early Robin – medium to large sized, yellow with red blush, heart-shaped, very sweet in flavor
- Rainier – yellow in color, yellow flesh, have bit red blush, firm, very large, very sweet in taste
- Stardust – large, flat heart shaped, light red blush over yellow color, pleasantly sweet flavor
- Cherries are a high source of antioxidants. Anthocyanin and cyanidin are 2 components which provide cherries effective antioxidant properties. Anthocyanin from sour cherries not only have antioxidants but also provides anti-inflammatory properties. The body uses antioxidants to save itself from damage caused by oxygen. Cherries help to fight with free radicals that harm eyes. These free radicals cause Macular degeneration (age-associated vision loss) and Glaucoma ( is a buildup of fluids in eyes that put pressure on lenses, optic nerve, and retina). Antioxidants present in cherries cure all these disorders and helps to keep a healthy body.
- Sour cherries provide cardiovascular health. Cherries possess a pigment known as Anthocyanins, which is responsible for the red color of cherry may initiate PPAR. This PPAR further regulates genes involved in fat and glucose metabolism. This in turns decreases high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
- Cherries help in maintaining a healthy weight and prevent increasing weight even with a high-fat diet. If the sour cherry juice is consumed on daily basis person will not gain much weight. These cherries reduce the concentration of fat in the blood.
- Sweet cherries helps in decreasing blood sugar level in the body. These have a low glycemic index which makes cherries healthy diet for diabetics.
- Cherries have antioxidants more than any other fruit. These antioxidants help the body to fight free radicals that make us look old. Drink 1 glass of sour cherry juice which slows down the aging process of the skin.
- Cherries have melatonin which is used to regulate sleep cycles. Drink black cherry juice daily 30 mins after walking and 30 min before the evening meal. Black cherry juice for sleep is very effective.
- Sour cherries are very helpful in reducing muscle pain. Eat fresh cherries or drink 1 cup of sour cherry juice this help in reducing muscle inflammation and soreness.
- Cherries have potassium in high amount. This potassium helps to regulate heart rate and blood pressure and also reduce the risk of hypertension. The phytosterol present in cherries helpful to reduce bad cholesterol level.