The same chemical compound that causes the leaves of trees such as maples and sumacs among others to turn red in the autumn is also contained in the black cherry in high amounts. That compound is anthocyanins. The anthocyanins are actually present all the time in the leaves of many trees, it is just masked by the green of the chlorophyll. When the chlorophyll fades back in the autumn, the red color of the anthocyanins show themselves in full spectacle.
This anthocyanin compound has a number of amazing capabilities, among them the ability to act as an anti-inflammatory agent, as a anti-carcinogenic agent, as an antioxidant, as a soporific agent, and as an anti-arthritic agent. The black cherry possess high amounts of vitamin A and C and bioflavenoids as well.
As an anti-inflammatory agent the anthocyanins are especially useful in treating gout. Gout is a very painful condition that occurs due to production of high levels of uric acid in the body. These are mainly believed to be associated with eating certain foods such as shell fish. It most commonly affects men and is localized in the big toe, though it can affect the joints of the fingers, elbows and knees as well. The big toe swells up, is reddened and extremely painful to the touch, so much so that you can’t even put your shoes on. The anthocyanins reduce the levels of uric acid in the body and allow the uric acid to pass safely out of the body with the urine. This not only relieves the pain from the gout, but can actually prevent the gout attacks from occurring in the first place.
By preventing damage to the skin from the harmful ultraviolet A and ultraviolet B rays of the sun, anthocyanins act to stop many forms of skin cancer from developing. They are also useful in preventing and reducing other forms of cancer as well.
The powerful antioxidant effect of the anthocyanins prevent damage to the cells of the body from
free radicals, which would otherwise lead to early dead of the various cells of the body, premature aging and illness.
If you suffer from insomnia or just have trouble falling asleep at night, the soporific effect of the anthocyanins work by releasing the hormone melatonin into your system. This produces a calming effect on the body allowing you to sleep naturally.
The anti-arthritic capability associated with anthocyanins, assisted by the bioflavenoids, helps to reduce the swelling that occurs in the joints when you are affected by arthritis and reduces the stiffness as well.
Among the many other attributes of black cherry juice are lowering of blood pressure, protection of the heart, easing and even preventing migraines, help with formation of the connective tissue such as collagen and promoting good eye health. How much black cherry juice do you need to consume each day? Some people do well with just one glass a day, others need more, but taking the juice is easier than trying to eat three or more bowls of fresh cherries a day. Whether it will be effective for you is something you have to try for yourself, but the majority of people who do try
it see some benefit.
Anthocyanins (also anthocyans; from Greek: ἀνθός (anthos) = flower + κυανός (kyanos) = blue) are water-soluble vacuolar pigments that may appear red, purple, or blue depending on the pH. They belong to a parent class of molecules called flavonoids synthesized via the phenylpropanoid pathway; they are odorless and nearly flavorless, contributing to taste as a moderately astringent sensation. Anthocyanins occur in all tissues of higher plants, including leaves, stems, roots, flowers, and fruits. Anthoxanthins are clear, white to yellow counterparts of anthocyanins occurring in plants. Anthocyanins are derivatives of anthocyanidins, which include pendant sugars.
Plants rich in anthocyanins are Vaccinium species, such as blueberry, cranberry, and bilberry; Rubus berries, including black raspberry, red raspberry, and blackberry; blackcurrant, cherry, eggplant peel, black rice, Concord grape, muscadine grape, red cabbage, and violet petals. Anthocyanins are less abundant in banana, asparagus, pea, fennel, pear, and potato, and may be totally absent in certain cultivars of green gooseberries. Red-fleshed peaches are rich in anthocyanins.
The highest recorded amount appears to be specifically in the seed coat of black soybean (Glycine max L. Merr.) containing some 2,000 mg per 100 g and in skins and pulp of black chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa L.) (table). However, the Amazonian palmberry, açaí, having about 320 mg per 100 g of which cyanidin-3-glucoside is the most prevalent individual anthocyanin (approximately 10 mg per 100 g), is also a high-content source for which only a small fraction of total anthocyanins has been determined to date. Due to critical differences in sample origin, preparation and extraction methods determining anthocyanin content, the values presented in the adjoining table are not directly comparable.
Nature, traditional agriculture, and plant breeding have produced various uncommon crops containing anthocyanins, including blue- or red-flesh potatoes and purple or red broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, carrots, and corn. Tomatoes have been bred conventionally for high anthocyanin content by crossing wild relatives with the common tomato to transfer a gene called the anthocyanin fruit tomato (aft) gene into a larger and more palatable fruit.
Connie’s comments: The darker the skin color of fruits and veggies, the more nutrition they pack. Have a healthy skin, wear it well.
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Food source and Anthocyanin content in mg per 100 g
Blood orange ~200
Marion blackberry 317
Black raspberry 589
Wild blueberry 558
Purple corn 1,642