Surprisingly Sweet Cherry Benefits
Cherries are a well know fruit. They are eaten around the world as snacks straight out of the tree, they can be prepared in many different ways, and there are also important ways cherry benefits your body. It turns out that this delicious fruit is packed with unexpected positive effects on the metabolism, and many of these can improve symptoms caused by Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome (AFS) and NeuroEndoMetabolic (NEM) Stress Response dysfunction.
Nutrients of Cherries
Cherries are one of the most frequently consumed fruits around the world, especially during summertime. Although cherries may not have every single nutrient, they are a good source of vitamin C and A, fiber, calcium, potassium, iron, copper, and manganese. But be careful, even if the fiber content of cherries isn’t so high by itself, adding cherries to a high fiber diet can cause intestinal gas and abdominal cramps.
Cyanidin, the Anti-inflammatory Pigment
The cherry fruit is red thanks to a pigment called anthocyanin. There are three types of anthocyanins in cherries, cyanidin, quercetin, and isoquercetin. Out of these, cyanidin is the main reason for many of the health benefits of cherries because it produces an effect similar to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like Ibuprofen or Naproxen, working through the same mechanism. Because of this, cherries have the capacity to produce anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects but without some of the side effects of the drugs.
Cortisol acts as a natural anti-inflammatory compound for the body. When cortisol can’t be secreted properly, such as with AFS, you can suffer from chronic inflammation. Eating cherries may help you recover from this, thanks to the effects of cyanidin in the inflammation mechanism. Cherries can also improve back pain caused by AFS, thanks to its analgesic action. On the other hand, since its anti-inflammatory mechanism is the same as that of the NSAIDs, there is a possibility of cherries producing gastric problems such as gastritis.
Cherry Benefits for Cancer Risk
Cherries have proven ability to fight off the growth of cancerous cells, especially colon, prostate, breast, and ovary cancer. This is due to the actions of fiber, vitamin C, carotenoids, perillyl alcohol, and anthocyanins. These components of cherries reduce the accumulation of chemicals that induce the development of cancer. Anthocyanins also have an important role in the prevention of cancer by stopping the cell growth cycle of cancerous cells, while at the same time stimulating the formation of healthy cells.
It is not a bad idea to add some cherries to your diet to lower the risk of breast cancer, especially if someone else in your family has suffered from it in the past.
Cherries as Antioxidants
Cyanidin and melatonin are great antioxidants. They are also both found in cherries. These antioxidants can reduce levels of uric acid and free radicals, boost memory, and lower the risk of gout attacks and Alzheimer’s. These antioxidants also reduce the effects of aging on your skin.
As a consequence of a dysregulated NEM stress response, the body accumulates too many toxins, and cells live a much shorter life, thereby producing excessive cellular debris. This results in a body that is susceptible to hypersensitivity and medical intolerance. In those cases, cherries can be of great help because of their antioxidant effect. They can also contribute to helping you to maintain focus during sleep deprivation due to stress.
However, if you are in the advanced stages of AFS and very sensitive, it is advisable to watch what you eat. Cherries have the potential to produce allergic reactions, so be careful and stop eating them if you experience more respiratory difficulties, hives, or inflammation.
Cherries as a Sleep Inducer
Melatonin is a hormone that helps the body regulate sleep. The light level in your environment inhibits or stimulates melatonin secretion to control your sleep cycle. For those who suffer from sleep disturbances like insomnia, cherries can be a way to recover and maintain proper sleep.
Insomnia, unease, and interrupted sleep is a consequence of AFS due to disruption of the neuroaffective response, along with anxiety, depression, and mood changes. The melatonin found in cherries can give back much-needed sleep to someone suffering from AFS. Tart cherries have been found to be particularly beneficial for sleep issues. It can be taken as a juice or a supplement. Just be sure not to eat too many cherries during work hours.
Cardiovascular Effects Cherry Benefits
Another cherry benefit that is attributed to anthocyanins is the stimulation of fat and glucose metabolism. This works thanks to an effect similar to a drug called PPAR agonist. This may reduce cholesterol and glucose levels, thus reducing the risk of hypertension, diabetes, and cardiovascular problems.
In the early stages of AFS, it is common to experience sugar craving, which can be satisfied with cherries because they don’t raise the glycemic level as much as some other foods. However, be cautious if you are suffering from AFS because cherries can lower arterial pressure, which worsens hypotension, a symptom of AFS.
The NEM stress response can direct the body to produce a lot of adrenaline, the hormone that helps you withstand stressful situations. But in cases where the adrenaline secretion is constant, anxiety, arrhythmia, and heart palpitation can occur.
However, because cherries reduce cholesterol and triglycerides, suffering from a stroke as a consequence of stress is less likely to happen if you consume the fruit regularly.
Cherry benefits are many overall. They are both tasty and especially helpful for those suffering from AFS.
© Copyright 2017 Michael Lam, M.D. All Rights Reserved.
Dr. Lam’s Key Question
How can cherries improve the chronic inflammation produced by AFS?
Cherry benefits come largely from anthocyanin, a red pigment that has important anti-inflammatory effects. Anthocyanin can help the inflammation caused by low cortisol in AFS through a mechanism similar to NSAIDs while avoiding their side effects.