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Cherry is a tropical fleshy fruit with a single stony seed. It is scientifically referred to as Prunus avium and belongs to the family Malpighiaceae. Its identification lies in having a bright red color with sweet to sour flavor depending on its specie. There are numerous species of cherries which are popularly known worldwide. Some of these include Alabama cherry, Greyleaf cherry, Purpleleaf sand cherry, Dawyck cherry, Duke cherry, Oregon cherry, Humble bush cherry, Holluleaf cherry, Tailed leaf cherry, Cuthbert cherry, Cyclamen cherry, Himalayan bird cherry and Formosan cherry. These are only few of the many species of cherries which are cultivated and consumed around the world. However, they are natively grown in Europe and some parts of western Asia. They are a genus of non cross-pollinating species are usually belong to the wild cherry cultivar group.

Nutritional Analysis :

Cherries are a good source of dietary fiber. Cherries are rich inVitamin A, Riboflavin, Niacin, Thiamin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Food Folate, Vitamin C and Panthothenic acid. Also, the minerals Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Zinc, Copper and Selenium.

Health Benefits :

Cherry contains high quantities of the water soluble antioxidant Vitamin C which is known to strengthen body immunity for skin tissues during injuries, stopping clot formation in the blood, prevents the risk of heart diseases, cancer and other degenerative diseases. Presence of copper increases the absorption of iron in the body where as other minerals contribute towards better metabolism in the body. The juice extracted from cherry makes for an extremely powerful solvent for the inorganic calcium deposits in the body which harden the arteries. Beta-carotene helps fight acne problems and improves eyesight. This fruit is known to be an extremely good astringent for the skin as it contains both anti-fungal as well as anti-inflammatory properties. Dietary fiber contained in it help fight constipation by providing roughage to the intestines.

Preparations :

Cherries can be consumed fresh, cooked into pies and tarts, dried or converted into juice or juice powder to be used over a longer period of time.

References :

"Pontus" . Catholic Encyclopedia . New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1913 .

A History of the Vegetable Kingdom , Page 334.

Tall JM, Seeram NP, Zhao C, Nair MG, Meyer RA, Raja SN, JM (Aug 2004). "Tart cherry anthocyanins suppress inflammation-induced pain behavior in rat". Behav. Brain Res. 153 (1): 181"8. doi : 10.1016/j.bbr.2003.11.011 . ISSN 0166-4328 . PMID 15219719 .

"Tart Cherries May Reduce Heart/Diabetes Risk Factors" . Newswise, Retrieved on July 7, 2008.