A Bowl Full of Cherries

Varieties

There are hundreds of varieties of cherries on the market today that may be classified in terms of sweetness and color. Bing cherries are sweet, and the very popular Montmorency is tart.

Other good varieties include: Black Tartarian, Rainer, and Yellow Spanish.

Sweet cherries are available from May through August, while sour cherries are available from late June to Mid-August.

Gout and Arthritis

Nothing works better for gout than either raw sweet cherries (15 per day), cherry juice concentrate (1 tablespoon three times daily); or else a tea made of the stems. To make the tea just bring 2 pints of water to a boil, then throw in half a handful of stems, reduce heat and simmer for 7 minutes, then remove and let steep, covered, for 20 more minutes. Drink at least 2 cups a day to keep the gout under control. All of these remedies also work well for arthritis.

Blood Cleanser

Cherries are a good blood cleanser. They are valuable for anemia, rheumatism, asthma, high blood pressure, constipation, and cramps.

Low Glycemic Index

Cherries have a low Glycemic Index (GI) are are therefore a good fruit for those with Syndrome X or diabetes.

Nutrients

Cherries are a good source of fiber, antioxidants and phytochemicals. They contain B vitamins, vitamin C, and Vitamin A (beta carotene). Sour cherries are higher in beta carotene than the sweet variety.

Cherries contain phosphorous, potassium, and iron.

Darker cherries contain greater amounts of magnesium, iron, and silicon.

Cherries are a good source of pectin, a soluble fiber that helps control blood pressure levels.

Cherries are also an abundant source of quercetin, a flavonoid with anticarcinogenic and antioxidant properties, which also helps reduce the risk of heart disease.

How To Find The Good Ones

Purchase (or pick) whole, fresh cherries with bright (rather than dull) skins, without splits or blemishes. The fruit should be firm rather than soft. Cherries grow in pairs, look for pairs with their stems still joined together.

Overmature cherries will be soft, dull, seeping, shriveled, or have brown bruised spots. Avoid cherries with dark and brittle stems.

Avoid the Bad Ones

Maraschino cherries are made by bleaching the fruit in a sulfur dioxide brine, then toughening it with lime or calcium salt. The cherries are then dyed bright red, sweetened, flavored, and packed in jars – so don’t eat those.

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