The word cherry derives from the Latin word cerasum, referring to an ancient Greek region, Kerasous, from which cherries were first thought to be brought to Europe. The cherry trees have a very short growth period and can grow at all latitudes of the temperate zone. The cultivated forms are of the species sweet cherry (P. avium) to which most cherry cultivars belong, and the sour cherry (P. cerasus), which is used mainly for cooking. Both species originate in Europe and western Asia. The cherry trees in Estonian gardens are usually wild or sour cherries. The sour cherry is closely related to the sweet cherry, but its fruit is more acidic.
What do cherries contain?
Cherries are ca 84% water and provide little nutrient content per 100 g, only dietary fiber and vitamin C are present in moderate content. Compared to sweet cherries, sour cherries contain slightly more vitamin C and vitamin A (as carotenoids). Cherries also contain anthocyanins, which are proven to be strong antioxidants.
What are the benefits of cherries?
Cherries are good natural reducers of fever, make an effective expectorant and help lower blood pressure. They improve digestion and promote the removal of excess salts, uric acid and water from the body. Cherries also contain certain bioactive compounds that prevent the formation of blood clots and the threat of heart attack. In additon, sour cherry juice can improve the quality of sleep by boosting the amount of melatonin in the body.