Have you ever wondered why some people age more gracefully than others? Several factors including, exercise, refraining from drug and alcohol abuse, genetics, not smoking and access to healthy sleep can greatly determine someone’s appearance and aging processes. But if you have all those areas of your life in good order and you’re looking to make your skin look even better…cherries are a great place to start.
Cherries come in many varieties, but the common ones available for grocery stores are sweet cherries which are decedents of the wild cherry. Sweet cherries have many sexy nutritional benefits. This article is talking about red cherries but not candied or maraschino cherries. Maraschino cherries taste great but they are basically just junk food.
First notice the dark red or bright reddish color of your sweet cherry. This color is caused by Anthocyanin which is just a more specific type of flavenoid. If you’ve ever heard someone talk about the benefits of drinking an occasional glass of high quality red wine, the chemicals attributed to this health advantage are flavenoids. The outstanding thing about cherries is that since they are so small, they have a very high surface area for flavenoid-dense skin. By eating washed, raw, quality cherries you can increase the flavenoid content of your diet.
Flavenoids have been noted for several positive effects on human health. One thing which is extremely interesting is how the human body views flavenoids as foreign compounds…not nutrients. This may seem counter-intuitive, but the process by which the body excretes flavenoids from the system increases antioxidants in the blood. But since this process puts pressure on the kidneys, it is recommended that people increase the amount of water they drink if they start to eat more cherries.
Besides flavenoids, cherries are high in fiber, Vitamin C, and they even have a small amount of protein. They are a much better snack food than candy bars or processed sugar snacks. And since most high-quality cherries are fresh and have pits, the process of eating the cherries can act as a way to relieve stress. This is similar to chewing gum. The act of biting the cherry, biting it again, removing the stem, and spitting out the pit is a complicated process and requires work. This in turn makes it a great snack for people who work at a desk.
Vitamin C is a nutrient which all people need. It is used in metabolic functions which govern our aging and energy production processes. One problem with Vitamin C is that it is difficult for the human body to absorb the nutrient when it is not accompanied by food and water. A single cherry has 1% of your daily Vitamin C content. The Vitamin C is integrated into the cherry within the sweet, fleshy, fibrous layers…and there’s enough water within the cherry itself to properly absorb the vitamin.
Finally, cherries have a chemical in them called, “phytosterols.” The FDA has linked a healthy diet combined with natural phytosterols as a way to reduce the risk of heart disease.
Overall, cherries are not necessarily a “wonder” fruit which can cure all ailments and problems. They are an addition to a healthy diet and lifestyle.