(NaturalHealth365) The tantalizing taste of tart cherries is not only a delight to the tongue, but could prove to be a powerful cancer fighting food. Packed with colorful compounds known as flavonoids, tart cherries are increasingly gaining attention for their health benefits.
As with many fresh fruits and vegetables, the flavonoids in tart cherries do more than just add color and flavor. These antioxidants hold the promise of preventing colon cancer, as well as offering other health benefits.
Defeat cancer with these ‘special’ flavonoids
Tart cherries are known as a rich source of flavonoids, such as naringenin, quercetin and genistein, as well as chlorogenic acid. These flavonoids have been well known for their color-producing properties, but are gaining attention for their free radical foraging ability and anticancer capabilities. Delicious tart cherries contain a special type of flavonoids known as anthocyanins, making them a cancer fighting food.
Responsible for giving these cherries their distinctive flavor, deep red color and range of health benefits, anthocyanins can also be found in bilberries, raspberries and blueberries. But only tart cherries contain a unique type of anthocyanins that are not found in similar red fruits.
In addition to fighting pain and inflammation as well as neurodegerative conditions, there is growing evidence that tart cherries can safeguard against colon cancer. Scientists believe tart cherries may shut down the growth of cancer cells by denying them of the proteins necessary for growth.
Check out the extra health benefits of cherries
In addition to its cancer-preventive properties, the unique flavonoids in tart cherries are also known to relieve aches and cellular inflammation. Researchers at Johns Hopkins Hospital used an animal model to show that tart cherry anthocyanins act much like anti-inflammatory medication.
It is believed these special flavonoids work by countering oxidative stress caused my inflammation. These anthocyanins are also known to reduce symptoms of exercise-induced muscle pain. In addition, tart cherries appear to be able to reduce urate levels in blood, reducing the symptoms of gout.
How to choose the best cherries for optimal health
Just knowing that cherries can prevent colon cancer and provide other health benefits is not enough. Keep in mind, sweet cherries are nutritious, but they do not contain the substances that help to prevent colon cancer.
You have to ensure you are relying on tart cherries, usually available only in canned, frozen, juiced or dried form. Unfortunately, fresh tart cherries are rarely seen in grocery produce sections, but you may find them at a farmer’s market or fresh produce stand. If you are lucky enough to find fresh tart cherries, store them in a well-sealed (glass) container and keep them refrigerated, while consuming them within three days.
There are a number of ways to incorporate tart cherries into your diet, whether enjoyed whole, juiced or as part of a favorite recipe. Tart cherries can be added to everything from salads and main dishes to jams and desserts.
Cancer & Hearth Disease
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