Benefit To Be Derived From The Daily Use Of Cherries
( Originally Published 1913 )
When we particularly recommend cherries, and even the daily use of the same, it is because of several beneficial proper-ties peculiar to this fruit. Among all the fruits used by us, cherries--with the exception of grapes only—contain the greatest amount of sugar (10 to 12 per cent.). Since one is able to eat a considerable number of cherries, especially of those with tender skins which are in the markets in May and June, without feeling any uncomfortable pressure in the stomach, one is not only indulging in a most agreeable fruit,—not to say the very best of the spring fruits,—but in a nutritious article of diet as well. It would not be difficult to eat as much as a kilo per day, when divided among the several meals; 400 or more calories are thus obtained. There is no other fruit, with the exception of grapes, of which so many can be tolerated as of luscious spring cherries, which are easily digested because they are exceedingly juicy and have a thin skin. Later in the season they are more indigestible, particularly the tough variety. It would be difficult to find a similar quantity of valuble nutrient salts in other fruits ; very few contain as much of the alkalinizing salts, potash, and lime, and also of iron and phosphoric acid, as do cherries. Correspondingly large quantities of other edible fruits rich in nutritive salts would not so easily benefit us and would have an injurious effect on the stomach, since they are, like apricots, for instance, very indigestible. According to my experience, excepting grapes, no fruit "cure" can be so successfully carried out as with juicy spring cherries. Without in the least diminishing the appetite for the next repast, one can eat during a meal 1/4 kilo (1/2 pound) or more. For a delicate stomach it is better not to swallow the skins, although the aroma and certain valuable substances are contained in them. When the stomach is delicate these cures may also be taken by using cherry juice, which, with the exception of that of the agriot, has the best taste of any fruit juice. Cherries, especially those which reach the markets during May and June in Holland and Denmark, the best cherry countries of the world (these two countries and their seafaring populations resemble each other in many respects), are not only the most palatable of fruits, but they are also a very healthful food. They belong to the class of fruits which are useful in gout "cures," as has been shown by Weiss in Bunge's laboratory. According to my own observations in many persons, I would add that cherries are one of the fruits which have the best action upon the bowels. They should be eaten just before retiring as well as after the mid-day and evening meals. The times are past when it was customary to strictly forbid the use of all fruits at Carlsbad. I advise my patients, particularly those suffering from' gout, constipation, or arteriosclerosis, to eat cherries, and also advocate the use of grapes, but not shortly before or after the drinking of the spring waters. Dried cherries have a greater action upon the bowels than even fresh cherries or dried prunes. Dried cherries should be much more frequently used, especially by vegetarians. They, as is in fact the case with all dried fruits, contain more sugar than fresh cherries, and I believe them to be more easily digested than dried plums. In Denmark, especially, I found the very best quality of fleshy dried cherries. Naturally, the nutritive value of such cherries is not inconsiderable. Vegetarians, particularly those living strictly upon fruits, should eat dried fruits of all kinds as often as possible.