What are sour cherries?

Sour cherries are the fruits of a species belonging to the Rosaceae family, specifically the Prunus Cerasus. There are more than 250 varieties only some of which are sold in commercial areas and markets.

The color of the fruits which can reach a length of 20 mm and a depth of 18 mm, varies from light red to dark red.


What are the nutritional properties of sour cherries?

With 100 grams of sour cherries assume:

  • 84.2g of water

  • 42 calories

  • 92% carbohydrates

  • 10.2g of soluble sugars

  • 1.1g of dietary fiber

The remaining 8% corresponds to proteins, while lipids are virtually absent.

Among the micronutrients, vitamin C is the most important. In 100 grams of sour cherries there are in fact present 7mg of it. Compared with:

Additionally the content of vitamin A can be almost 10 times higher than the typical value in other cherries.

  • The most abundant is substance is the mineral potassium (114 mg in 100 g of fruit), followed by:

Finally, in cherries there are coumarin derivatives, a typical glycoside (2,3-dihydro-wogonin-7-beta-mono-D-glucoside), flavonoids and many molecules with antioxidant characteristics. Among these there are kempferol and quercetin. Among the latest molecules identified, the fruit includes the cyanidin-3-glycoside molecule that appears to be associated with the improvement of hyperglycemia and insulin sensitivity.

Inside the cherry juice the following molecules were identified:

  • citric acid

  • Amygdalin

  • malic acid

  • Tannins

  • Glucose

  • Sucrose

  • Quercetin

  • Anthocyanins


When you should avoid eating sour cherries

There is no evidence of possible interactions with the intake of cherries and drugs or other molecules. Actually cherry juice in the form of syrup is used to mask the taste of unpleasant medicines.


Seasonality of sour cherries

The season of the sour cherry is the summer, and their favorite month is July. In Italy the fruit begin to be collected in mid-June to be directed to the market or for processing. The cherries can be transformed into juice or preserved in syrup, candied, in alcohol or in the form of jams and syrups.


Possible benefits and drawbacks of the cherries

Scientific studies have also identified compounds within the cherries that could justify an antioxidant type of action and anti-inflammatory abilities. According to a study at Michigan State University (East Lansing, USA) some of these anti-inflammatory compounds would be 10 times more active than aspirin. With an added advantage of not inducing unwanted side effects. Anthocyanins are an antioxidant that may help inhibit the growth of tumors, fight cardiovascular disease and perhaps delay the aging process.

At the moment there doesn’t seem to be any contraindications to the use of sour cherries.