By Naini Setalvad
Come June and markets everywhere are filled with these pretty and tasty berries from Kashmir, which are also a storehouse of goodness, says Naini Setalvad
As a child I used to wait for the cherries to come, and was fascinated with the fact that they came from Kashmir, the only place where they grow in India. The summer was over and my beloved mango was going. It was so difficult to get used to eating another fruit. That was when my parents would tempt us with the little berry-like cherry. Oh, what fun it was to eat it. The cherry often decorates your favorite cocktail, or increases the opulence of a creamy dessert. But there is more to it than just taste or aesthetics.
Cherries belong to the berry family, and are a storehouse of nutrition. Fitttingly, these tiny red heart-like spheres are excellent for cardiovascular health. They are high in potassium which helps reduce blood pressure and stabilise your heart beat. They are also rich in phelonic compound which offers protection against heart diseases. They are low in sodium too, an additional benefit for hypertension and cardiovascular patients. Recent research confirms that cherries help to alleviate the pains of arthritis and gout due to their high antioxidant content. Anthocyanins, which belong to a large group of phenolic compounds called flavonoids generally found in plants, give cherries their deep, rich red colour. Anthocyanins appear to have the greatest antioxidant capacity to prevent pain. They are usually said to be more effective than Vitamin C and Vitamin E. Cherries control diabetes and reduce the complication associated with the disease. It is a fruit diabetes patients can consume as it is low in glycemic index, and does not spike up blood sugar.
Here’s more. Cherry helps with sleep due to the presence of melatonin in it. So if you are having difficulty getting your eight hours, hop on to the cherry bandwagon, and travel to slumber land. The human brain is particularly susceptible to oxidative damage; the phytonutrients in cherries protect neurons in the brain from oxidative damages associated with neuronal loss and protect against neurological disorders such as ischemia.
Cherries are high in antioxidants reducing the risk of cancer. Cherries are low in fat and calories, and have high water content. They are rich in Vitamin C and Beta carotene. In short, life will be a bowl of cherries if you have a bowl of cherries!
Chilled cherry soup
150 gms fresh cherries
1 cup thick yoghurt
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 to 3 tsp jaggery powder
25 mm (1″) piece cinnamon (dalchini)
1. Remove the stones from the cherries.
2. Blend the cherries, yoghurt and lemon juice together in a blender.
3. Mix the jaggery powder and cinnamon with three tablespoons of water.
4. Boil the jaggery cinnamon mixture for one minute and add to the cherry yogurt mixture.
5. Cool, add a little water if the soup is too thick and put to chill.
6. Serve chilled.
500 grams cherries, deseeded
2 tsps organic honey
2 tsps lemon juice
1. Finely chop the deseeded cherries and coarsely blend it.
2. Add a little water and boil for a little time.
3. Stir till it becomes thick. Then add the lemon juice and honey.
4. Pour the hot mixture into a bowl and chill.
150 gms cherry, deseeded
150 gms curd
2 tbsp coriander, finely chopped
2- 3 green chillies 1 tsp jeera powder Salt to taste Method 1. Finely chop the cherries. 2. Blend the curd and add salt, coriander, green chilies and jeera powder. 3. Put the chopped cherries in it, chill and serve with any paratha. Quote: These tiny red heart-like spheres are excellent for cardiovascular health. They are high in potassium and phelonic compound, and low in sodium.
Bio: Naini Setalvad is a nutritionist, specialising in lifestyle and immunity disorders. Her foundation, Health For You, throws light on healthy food habits.
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