Scientific Evidence Supporting the Nutritional Benefits of Cherries
Cherries are delicious fruits that offer numerous health benefits. This article presents a compilation of scientific evidence that highlights the nutritional value of cherries, emphasising their low-calorie content, rich fiber content, and abundance of essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. The information provided is based on various scientific studies and reputable sources.
- Low-Calorie Content: Cherries are a low-calorie fruit, making them an excellent choice for those aiming to maintain a healthy weight or reduce caloric intake. A 100-gram serving of cherries contains approximately 50-60 calories, making them a satisfying snack without adding excessive calories to the diet.
Source: USDA FoodData Central - National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference
- Fiber: Cherries are chock full of dietary fiber, which plays a vital role in maintaining digestive health, promoting satiety, and preventing constipation. Fiber also aids in regulating blood sugar levels and may contribute to heart health.
Source: McCance and Widdowson's The Composition of Foods
- Vitamins: Cherries provide an array of essential vitamins, including vitamin C, vitamin A, and vitamin K. Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that helps boost the immune system, aids in collagen production, and supports wound healing. Vitamin A contributes to healthy vision, while vitamin K is essential for blood clotting and bone health.
Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service
- Minerals: Cherries contain several beneficial minerals, including potassium, magnesium, and calcium. Potassium helps maintain proper electrolyte balance, supports heart health, and aids in muscle function. Magnesium plays a role in energy metabolism and supports nerve and muscle function, while calcium is essential for healthy bones and teeth.
Source: Pennington Nutrition Series, Bowes and Church's Food Values of Portions Commonly Used
- Antioxidants: Cherries are rich in antioxidants, including beta-carotene, anthocyanins, and quercetin. These compounds help neutralize harmful free radicals in the body, reducing oxidative stress and inflammation. Antioxidants are associated with various health benefits, including a reduced risk of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and certain types of cancer.
Source: Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, European Journal of Nutrition
- Choline: Cherries also contain the essential nutrient choline, which is involved in several physiological processes, including brain development, nerve function, and liver health. Choline is necessary for the synthesis of important neurotransmitters and is particularly important during pregnancy for fetal brain development.
Source: National Institutes of Health, Office of Dietary Supplements
Conclusion: Scientific evidence supports the numerous nutritional benefits of cherries. They are low in calories, high in fiber, and contain a range of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and choline. Including cherries in your diet can contribute to overall health and well-being. It is always recommended to consult with a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian for personalized dietary advice.
Note: The sources provided are examples and do not represent an exhaustive list of all available scientific studies on cherries.