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Health food of the month - Cherries

February 2012  

Previous Health Foods of the Month...

Manuka honey

Spelt

Chickpeas

 


 

Diet & Supplements Index

 

cherriesGout can be a problem as we get older and many friends and family will often recommend cherry or cherry juice as a natural product that can help.

This is because cherries (especially tart cherries) contain anthocyanins and bioflavonoids. These are powerful compounds that can slow down the enzymes Cyclo-oxyygenase-1 and -- 2, which can help to relieve and prevent gout.

Despite their size, cherries do seem to contain a number of additional benefits that can help various health problems. The same compounds that can help gout may also be able to assist in cases of arthritis.

The little fruit is also a good source of antioxidents and contains strong levels of queritrin; this is a flavonoid that in some studies has been found to have potent anticancer agents. Cherries also contain ellagic acid, a naturally occurring compound that some researchers say could be involved in cancer prevention. Also to help fight cancer, it has been reported that cherries are high in perillyl alcohol, which is said to deprive cancers of the proteins needed for them to grow.

Cherries are even said to help improve sleep! They contain good sources of the antioxidant melatonin which is important in maintaining the body’s circadian rhythms and helping the body’s natural sleep patterns.

Fresh cherries of course are just lovely to eat but are usually only available in the summer time. People who are serious about taking cherry juice for its health benefits usually buy commercially produced products which are readily available in many health shops or online.



 

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