Cherries for health



Leo Galland, M.D.Practicing physician, author and leader in integrated medicine.
Cherries for Health: Better Than Aspirin?
Posted: 04/11/11 08:16 AM ET

Sometimes the latest research on nutrition involves a substance or supplement with an obscure name that only a scientist could get excited about. But other times, there is something absolutely delicious that, it turns out, is also great for you.

Which brings us to cherries.

With cherry blossom season in the air, now is a great time to celebrate the beauty of nature and one of my favorite fruits, the cherry.

The delicious sweet and tart flavor of cherries is matched by remarkable health benefits.

Cherries are a rich source of:

vitamin C
boron, a mineral that plays an essential role in bone health, especially for women.
Cherries Fight Inflammation

Cherries are important for their ability to control inflammation. A growing body of scientific research indicates that inflammation contributes to diseases such as heart disease, arthritis, and obesity.

Sweet or tart, cherries are a powerhouse of anti-inflammatory nutrients.

A study from University of California at Davis found that regular consumption of cherries for 28 days produced a decrease in biochemical signs of inflammation in blood, including a 25 percent reduction in C-reactive protein (CRP), the most widely studied marker of inflammation. Elevation of CRP in blood is associated with an increased risk of heart disease and stroke.

Cherries Better Than Aspirin for Pain?

According to research done at Michigan State University the anthocyanins that make cherries red could also help relieve pain more effectively than aspirin. The study found that anthocyanins were potent antioxidants that could prevent oxidative damage and also inhibited enzymes called cyclooxygenase-1 and -2 (Cox 1 and 2), which is similar in the way anti- inflammatory drugs seek to reduce pain. The study appeared in the Journal of Natural Products published by the American Chemical Society.

Lead researcher Muralee G. Nair, Ph.D., Professor at Michigan State University College of Agriculture & Natural Resources, noted about this cherry effect “It is as good as ibuprofen and some of the nonsteriodal anti-inflammatory drugs.” Nair said that his lab results indicate that consuming 20 tart cherries could provide anti-inflammatory benefits.

Finding a natural way to reduce pain is important, given the serious side effects from common pain relievers called NSAIDs, examples of which include Advil, Motrin, Aleve and aspirin. Learn about these surprising side effects in my article Why Medication Can Be Dangerous to Your Health

Cherry Juice for Workout Recovery

A presentation at the American College of Sports Medicine Conference found that drinking tart cherry juice helped reduce pain after exercise for long distance runners. This research, from the Oregon Health & Science University, indicated that cherries could act like medications that runners use to reduce inflammation after workouts.

Publishing their findings in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, the researchers explain: “Considering the natural anti-inflammatory and antioxidant capacity of tart cherries, it is plausible that cherry consumption before and during strenuous exercise may have a protective effect to reduce muscle damage and pain.”

“For most runners, post-race treatment consists of RICE (rest, ice, compression and elevation) and traditional NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs),” said Kerry Kuehl, M.D., a sports medicine physician and principal study investigator, who added: “But NSAIDS can have adverse effects — negative effects you may be able to avoid by using a natural, whole food alternative, like cherry juice, to reduce muscle inflammation before exercise.” Please see References below for the link to the full text of this interesting study.

Reducing pain in sports would be a great benefit, given the pain that some professional athletes go through, which you can learn more about in: Football and Painkillers

Cherries and Gout

Another study from the University of California at Davis found that a single dose of cherries reduced the blood level of uric acid in healthy women. Excess uric acid causes gout, a very painful type of arthritis. The use of cherries to prevent gout is well established in Western folk medicine.

You can enjoy the benefit of cherries all year round with unsweetened cherry juice, unsweetened cherry juice concentrate, or frozen organic pitted cherries, which make a delicious snack or dessert.

And don’t forget about incorporating anti-inflammatory foods like cherries into daily life. Here is a cherry recipe from my book, The Fat Resistance Diet, an anti-inflammatory program featuring foods that help cut inflammation.

Cinnamon Lemon Poached Pears with Cherry Syrup

2 Ripe Pears
Juice of 1/2 Lemon
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1/8 Cup Chopped Almonds
1 Cup of Water
2 Sprigs of Mint
1 Tablespoon Cherry Concentrate

Peel and core pears. Put pear, water, cherry concentrate, lemon juice and cinnamon in a saucepan. Cover and simmer for 7-10 minutes or until fork tender. With a slotted spoon remove and plate pears. Simmer liquid until syrup is reduced to desired consistency and spoon on pears. Top with chopped almonds and mint. Serves two.

I hope you enjoy the healthy pleasure of cherries this spring and the rest of the year.

Get free recipes and more information at

Now I’d like to hear from you:

Do you suffer from pain or inflammation?

What symptoms do you experience?

Have you found anything that helps?

Please let me know your thoughts by posting a comment below.

Best Health,

Leo Galland, M.D.

Important: Celebrate Spring with your friends and family by forwarding this article to them, and sharing on Facebook.

Leo Galland, M.D. is a board-certified internist, author and internationally recognized leader in integrated medicine. Dr. Galland is the founder of Pill Advised, a web application for learning about medications, supplements and food. Sign up for FREE to discover how your medications and vitamins interact. Watch his videos on YouTube and join the Pill Advised Facebook page.

References and Further Reading:

Journal of Natural Products published by the American Chemical Society

Kuehl KS, Chestnutt J, Elliot DL, Lilley C. “Efficacy of tart cherry juice in reducing muscle pain after strenuous exercise.” American College of Sports Medicine. 851. May, 2009.

Kerry S Kuehl, Erica T Perrier, Diane L Elliot, and James C Chesnutt, See Full Text: “Efficacy of tart cherry juice in reducing muscle pain during running: a randomized controlled trial” J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2010; 7: 17. Published online 2010 May 7. doi: 10.1186/1550-2783-7-17.BioMed Central Ltd.

Recipe by Jonathan Galland from The Fat Resistance Diet © 2005 Leo Galland, M.D., Reprinted by permission of the author.

This information is provided for general educational purposes only and is not intended to constitute (i) medical advice or counseling, (ii) the practice of medicine or the provision of health care diagnosis or treatment, (iii) or the creation of a physician–patient relationship. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, contact your doctor promptly.
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Pico Aurora meetimg

Thanks a great meeting

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Aurora Golden Gala developed in Summerland BC gains U.S. traction

Auvil Fruit Company

For a long time, Auvil Fruit Company had been on the lookout for a yellow, good-tasting dessert apple to add to its lineup of varieties, which includes Gala, Fuji, Honeycrisp, and Cripps Pink, but not a single Red or Golden Delicious apple.

Then along came Aurora, a pale yellow apple from Canada’s breeding program in Summerland, British Columbia. “We thought it was a wonderful apple,” said Brian Sand, Auvil’s sales manager. The company negotiated a nonexclusive license to produce the variety and is currently the only one in the United States growing ­commercial quantities, according to the Okanagan Plant Improvement Company (PICO), which manages the ­variety.

Sand said that as well as being a “fabulous eater,” Aurora is very productive and peaks on sizes 72 to 88 when grown on Auvil’s V-trellis system. But a drawback is its extreme susceptibility to bruising, and in British Columbia, it is now being grown mostly for direct on-farm sale. Auvil Fruit Company runs its packing line at half speed to avoid damaging the fruit.“We’re still learning how to grow it and particularly how to harvest it at the right maturity,” Sand said. “We still have a big learning curve.”

Despite the challenges of producing the variety, Auvil is planting more. It currently has between 50 and 80 acres, enough to produce about 6,000 bins. This is Auvil’s fourth season of selling the variety. It has a list of retail chains it is working with that are going to buy and promote the apple, and as production increases, it will add more to the list. Last fall, Sand visited a small chain in Florida. The manager told him that customers were asking when the store would have Aurora apples again.

“These are Florida people, and they have every piece of fruit to buy and they’re remembering Aurora,” Sand explained. “These are the reasons we continue to plant it. We wouldn’t do it if we didn’t have that kind of retail excitement.”

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Berrymobile Product Sheet for Feb 28 2011

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Winter is apple season

Creekside Market in WhistlerThe first of the CA (Controlled atmosphere) storage apples have been released and they taste like they are right off the tree. Available at your favorite stores!

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Amped on Ambrosias

 Ambrosia Apples are among my Top 3 Favorite Okanagan Fruits!  Check out this link below to get yourself a little more informed on this BEAUTIFUL APPLE!

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We be Jammin’!


Have you noticed your  beautiful fresh Blackberries have been sitting in the fridge for a week now and are starting to look not so beautiful? Well instead of putting them in the freezer for your local berry smoothies you’ll be making all winter, or throwing them in the compost (because we don’t like to waste.) Why not make some delicious Blackberry Jam! Here is a simple recipe for you to follow!


 4 cups crushed blackberries 
 2 tablespoons Lemon juice 
 1 box Powdered pectin 
 6 cups Sugar 
Wash 6 half-pint jars. Keep hot until needed. Prepare lids as manufacturer directs.
In large, non-aluminum pot, combine the crushed berries, lemon juice and pectin. Bring to a full rolling boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Quickly add sugar, still stirring. Return to a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down; then boil, stirring, for 1 minute. (If using a 2-ounce box of pectin, boil for 2 minutes.) Remove from heat and skim off any foam.

If preparing jam for the pantry, ladle into one hot jar at a time, leaving 1/4-inch head-space. Wipe jar rims with a clean, damp cloth. Attach lid. Fill and close remaining jars. Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes (15 minutes at 1,000 to 6,000 feet; 20 minutes above 6,000 feet).

If preparing for freezer or refrigerator, ladle the jam into clean jars (or freezer containers, leaving 1/2-inch head-space); apply lids. Let stand for 12 to 24 hours at room temperature; freeze or refrigerate.

Makes about 6 half-pints.

— Storage Time —

Processed, up to 1 year; unprocessed, up to 1 month in the refrigerator or up to 1 year in the freezer.

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JSYK (Just so you know)

Now you can see a general harvesting schedule for your LOCAL GROWERS!

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Take this, and put it in your own backyard!

Back Yard Fruit Picking: Paul Nison

Bumping into this short video this morning got the cranks to start moving in my head again! It’s fig and Chestnut central in Vancouver and they’re just falling out of the trees everywhere! Instead of letting these nuts and fruits go to waste. Look up a recipe and start utilizing these delights you would never think to use!

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Blueberry Fields Forever! (Well at least ’till late Fall!)

           Antioxidants help to neutralize free radicals, which are unstable molecules that are linked to the development of a number of degenerative diseases and conditions including cancer, cardiovascular disease, cognitive impairment, immune dysfunction, cataracts and macular degeneration. Fruits and vegetables are sources of natural antioxidants and among them blueberries have one of the highest levels of antioxidant activity.

            Fall is here but that does not mean blueberries have vanished into the approaching winter. There is a beautiful late harvest variety called the Elliot! They are a dusty blue, medium sized, firm  fall berry. They are here today for you to enjoy! So get ‘em before they’re all gone! 

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