Cherries are small red stone fruits that belong to the Roseacae family, along with peaches, apricots and plums. There are different types of cherry, with the two most popular being the sweet cherry (Prunus avium L.) and the sour cherry (Prunis cerasus L.). It’s thought that cherry trees originated in Asia and carried across to Europe by birds, but they’re now grown all over the world.
Cherries contain very little calories, and are full of essential vitamins, minerals, fiber and protein. Cherries are one of the only natural sources of concentrated melatonin, and they’re loaded with vitamin C, vitamin A, manganese, potassium, iron, zinc and copper. Cherries also contain polyphenolic flavonoid compounds called anthocyanin glycosides, which are believed to provide powerful antioxidative effects.
It’s these polyphenolic compounds that are thought to be effective in reducing the levels of uric acid in the bloodstream. Tart cherries have a much higher level of anthocyanins than sweet cherries, and while they might not be as nice to eat, they are more beneficial in the long run. Cherries are also rich in other flavonoids like lutein, zeaxanthin and carotenoids, which can protect the body against harmful free radicals.
Cherries are delicious, and provide many health benefits. Eat half a cup of tart cherries each day for about four weeks to help reduce uric acid levels. You can also make cherry juice by placing them in a blender and processing them until the flesh of the cherries are juiced, then straining the juice through a fine mesh sieve to remove all the pits and skins. To make it a bit sweeter, add a teaspoon of honey.