Prunus avium  Cherry

The cherry belongs to the Rosaceae family and is a member of the genus Prunus along with apricots, almonds, peaches and plums.

The cherry refers to both the tree and its fleshy fruit. The fruit contain phytochemicals that reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease and other chronic diseases.

Cherries are high in antioxidants, including anthocyanins, catechins and melatonin and provide essential vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber to the diet.

The red pigments in cherries are anthocyanins. These compounds are believed responsible for reducing pain and inflammation. Cherries also contains melatonin a very powerful antioxidant that is important because it is one of the few that is both water and lipid soluble.

Cherry juice and cherry extracts are promoted as beneficial to sufferers of gout for its ability to lower uric acid levels.

Cherries species include the sweet, which is sold in fruit stores and the less common tart variety, used in cooking.