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Cherries have been shown to have several health benefits. Cherries contain anthocyanins, which is the red pigment in berries. Cherry anthocyanins have been shown to reduce pain and inflammation. Anthocyanins are also potent antioxidants. Cherries have also been shown to contain high levels of melatonin. Melatonin has also been shown to be important for the function of the immune system.

Cherries have a very short fruiting season. In Australia, they are usually at their peak around Christmas time, in southern Europe in June, in America in June, and in the UK in mid July. Annual world production (as of 2003) of cherries is about 3 million tonnes, of which a third are sour cherries.

As well as the fruit, cherries also have attractive flowers, and they are commonly planted for their flower display in spring; several of the Asian cherries are particularly noted for their flower display. The Japanese sakura in particular are a national symbol celebrated in the yearly Hanami festival. Many flowering cherry cultivars (known as 'ornamental cherries') have the stamens replaced by additional petals ("double" flowers), so are sterile and do not bear fruit. They are grown purely for their flowers and decorative value.

Nutrition Chart

Cherries / 100g Amount
Calories 39
Carbohydrate 9.5g
Total Fat 0.1g
Fibre 0.7g
Protein 0.7g
Cholesterol 0mg
Good Source of Vital Vitamins Vitamin C