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Food

Cherry Trees: From Kerasounda’s Pontic Greeks with Love

This time of the year many delicious fruits make an entry into the farmers’ markets of Greece. Among these are sweet and sour cherries, well known globally for their nutritional value, remarkable taste, but also therapeutic power.

Cherries’ history starts in Asia. Originally found between the Black and Caspian seas, cherries later made their entry into Europe, specifically, in Kerasous (near modern Giresun, Turkey).

That famous Pontian city’s produced vast amounts of ‘kerasia’, meaning cherries. The Latin cerasum and the French cherise and English cherries were derived as words from kerasia. In Roman times, cherry trees reached o Rome and began to be cultivated.

Nowadays, cherries are everywhere in the world. The top countries for sweet cherry production are Turkey and the United States. In the Mediterranean region cherries also thrive. The nutritional characteristics of sweet cherries is also very interesting. In 100 g of sweet cherries there are only 63 calories! Most of the content is water (82.2 g), with low amounts of protein, carbohydrates, and fiber. This explains why there is a saying in Greece “eat many cherries and you will be thin like the stem of this fruit.”

There are some extreme anti-tox diets where you eat only cherries – that does not seem very healthy, but just replacing a meal with cherries will be a super boost for your health. Also, the raw fruit is rich in vitamins and micronutrients. Their true power, however, is in their antioxidant and antiseptic agents. This is why they help from fighting cancer cells to maintaining dental health. They are also good for digestion. It is an excellent food for arteriosclerosis, arthritis, rheumatism, kidney stones, and last but not least, constipation. Also, it reduces cholesterol and helps the cardiovascular system.

Besides the cherry fruit, the fruit stems (pedicels), leaves, and seeds also have many good properties. Pedicels and seeds are also diuretics as a tea. Just boil for 30 minutes. Leaves can also help in healing burns externally as compress.

Evropi-Sofia Dalampira holds a PhD in Agricultural Economics and an Msc in Botany-Biology.

* The above is not medical advice but mere suggestions for improving your diet. Before reach herbal use you should consult your doctor, especially those who have health issues, are pregnant or are under the age of 6.

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