With the holidays around the corner, most people subconsciously add the word “pie” anytime they think about cherries (I know I do).
But it’s time to pull cherries out of the desserts and sweets category and look at them for their incredible natural health benefits. Here are all the goodies in this little red package…
Oliver was doomed to die from
But then he found out what to do. . .
Oliver had reached the end of the road in his seven-year fight against cancer. His doctors didn’t think this 32-year-old man would live through the night.
But when I talked to Oliver six years later, he was the picture of health! He got rid of his cancer completely.
Yes, Oliver found the answer — his own cancer miracle.
I sat down with him and his doctor and they told me an incredible story. . . a story that could help save you or someone you love from this dreaded disease.
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Practically unrivaled anthocyanin levels!
There’s plenty to get excited about when it comes to cherries. They’re a great source of fiber, potassium, and vitamin C. And tart cherries in particular carry a hefty amount of vitamin A.
You may be more familiar with tart cherries as “pie cherries”. They’re not sweet like dark cherries, and most people don’t eat them raw — but they’re preferred for baking pastries…and for boosting your health.
Cherries are known to have a variety of phytochemicals (i.e. plant chemicals) that contribute to their rich coloring. Most interesting to herbalists and natural healers are their high levels of anthocyanins — responsible for the dark red color of the fruit and the bulk of its antioxidant activity.
Hydroxycinnamic acid and perillyl alcohol (POH) are two phytochemicals that also contribute to antioxidant power. Both sweet and tart cherries have impressive antioxidant levels, but tart cherries trump sweet cherries.
Why is this such a big deal? Because high antioxidant levels give you a critical advantage when it comes to fighting cancer. They efficiently replace free radicals before they can cause any damage to your body.
Another element, a flavonoid called queritrin, is one more reason cherries can serve as potent, anticancer weapons. On top of that, cherries have high levels of ellagic acid, which is both an anti-carcinogenic and an anti-mutagenic compound. Perillyl alcohol, which I mentioned before, is yet another powerful way to stave off cancer. Researchers have found that POH deprives cancer cells of the proteins they need to grow.
Thanks to these many health benefits, cherries have been proven by research to lower your risk for colorectal cancer. They’re also believed to lower your risk for mouth, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, lung, and stomach cancer.
And in general, cherries promote good health that keeps your body working at optimum efficiency, making it more likely you’ll keep cancer at bay.
The long list of other health
benefits from cherries…
Of course, cherries promote good health beyond just cancer prevention. If taken daily, the compounds in cherries can have a definite impact on joint inflammation. Tart cherries specifically contain compounds – those anthocyanins I mentioned earlier — that slow down the enzymes Cyclo-oxyygenase-1 and -2 thereby both relieving and preventing arthritis (you may be more familiar with these enzymes as COX-1 and COX-2).
The rich dose of anthocyanins not only reduces arthritic inflammation but also helps eliminate migraine headaches by reducing inflammation, similar to the way aspirin and ibuprofen function.
Tart cherries are virtually NSAIDs picked from a tree – but with no harmful side effects. You can buy food supplements made of tart cherry concentrates and even anthocyanin supplements extracted from tart cherries.
Remember the queritrin I mentioned? That, paired with the flavonoid isoqueritrin, helps clear the body of any byproducts that come with oxidative stress. In turn, this slows down the aging process.
Cherries also come loaded with melatonin, which helps people achieve a regular sleep pattern. In fact, a study done in the U.K. shows that people who drink two one-ounce servings a day of tart cherry juice raise their melatonin levels and sleep on average for 39 minutes longer than do non-cherry juice drinkers. Melatonin also gets credit for slowing the aging process and is believed to play a role in fighting cancer and other diseases.
Don’t forget the new berry on the block
Also worth trying are aronia berries, which have an even higher concentration of anthocyanins. They come from a family of shrubs known as chokeberries, and are often mistakenly called chokecherries. Aronia berries are loaded with high levels of polyphenolic pigment, which is where you’ll find their anthocyanins.
Chokeberries make attractive ornamental plans. The fruits can be black or red, and are often smaller than the traditional cherry. Aronia berries can be plucked off the bush and eaten, but may also be made into juice, wine jam, salsa, syrup, and other edible treats.
Research has been initiated on the positive effect aronia berries have on breast cancer, colorectal cancer, and cervical cancer.
It’s healthcare made simple
Clearly, fresh cherries, or even aronia berries, are a valuable addition to your eating plan if you care about good nutrition. Cherry juice and dried cherries (both sweetened and unsweetened) contain levels of antioxidants and anthocyanins that are nearly as high as fresh cherries. Antioxidant levels in frozen cherries are slightly lower, and canned cherry levels are lower still – though they remain significant.
The most convenient way to get the health benefits of cherries is by drinking a cherry juice concentrate. Eating the real fruit is ideal as well, but you end up consuming more sugar that way – and the fresh fruit isn’t available year round. I will point out that tart cherries have a lower sugar level.
Lee Euler, Publisher