Sour Cherry facts and health benefits

Google+ Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr +

Sour Cherry – Prunus cerasus

Sour cherry Quick Facts
Name: Sour cherry
Scientific Name: Prunus cerasus
Origin Native to much of Europe and southwest Asia
Colors Light to dark red
Shapes Drupe 20 mm in length and 18 mm in width
Taste Sweet/sour, but not bitter
Calories 78 Kcal./cup
Major nutrients Copper (17.89%)
Vitamin C (17.22%)
Vitamin A (14.14%)
Manganese (7.57%)
Dietary Fiber (6.58%)
Health benefits Antioxidant Benefits, Reduced risk of stroke, Reduce Heart Disease and Diabetes, Eye Benefits, Brain Stimulation, Treatment of the Common Cold, Control Weight, Inflammation and Sprains, Digestive health
Prunus cerasus is also known as Sour cherry, tart cherry, dwarf cherry and pie cherry. Prunus is the Latin name for plum trees. It originates from Greek “prunos” (plum or cherry). Cerasus from Latin phase for cherry.  Therefore, Prunus cerasus implies cherry cherry, real original. It is widely cultivated deciduous shrub or small tree belongs to the family Rosaceae, in the genus Prunus L, native to Europe and southwest Asia, having white flowers and tart red fruit. It is closely connected to the sweet cherry (Prunus avium), but has a fruit which is more acidic, and also has greater nutritional benefits. Pie cherry, tart cherry and dwarf cherry are some common names of the Sour cherry.  Some popular varieties of sour cherry are Balaton, amarelle, Jubileum, Mesabi, Northstar, Montmorency, Surefire,Danube, Meteor and  Morello. Because of its sour taste it is found used in cherry desserts, cherry pies and other cherry-based recipes.


Sour Cherry is a deciduous or evergreen trees or shrubs growing 4–10 m tall, which do well in cooler, humid climates and prefers rich, well-drained, moist soil, Stem is covered with red to gray-brown bark, tight but rather rough, along with prominent horizontal lenticels, often peels. Its branches spread upwards and have smooth twigs. Leaves are usually deciduous, simple, alternate and serrated, 3-9 cm long, 2-5 cm wide, oval to obovate, smooth and glossy on top and downy underneath. Flowers are hermaphrodite, white and found in clusters of 3-5. Petals are notched or lobed and are found blooming during May.


Sour Cherry is drupe fruit which is 20 mm in length and 18 mm in width. It is usually light to dark red colored. Sour cherry have are intense, tart and somewhat tannic flavor when fresh and sweet/sour, but not bitter in taste and is also available dried, frozen, and in juice. The skin of the fruit is smooth and firm with a glossy sheen. Its flesh, contain a small central seed which is light brown colored. Sour cherries are available from June to early August depending on region cultivar. Sour cherries, also known as tart or pie cherries are key ingredient in desserts like cakes, sorbets and ice cream. They are also a perfect cherry for glazes, sauces and reductions.


Prunus cerasus is supposed to have initiated as natural hybrid between Prunus avium and Prunus fruticosa within the Iranian Plateau or Eastern Europe and produced a new, distinct species. It is also said to have originated from Southeastern Europe between Russia and Turkey. Sour cherry is one of the America’s most sought-after fruits, usually the Montmorency and Balaton varieties, mainly grown in Washington, Michigan, Utah, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Oregon, and New York.

Nutritional Value

Apart from their intense, tart and somewhat tannic taste Sour cherry is a good source of nutrients, vitamins and minerals. Consuming 155 gram of sour cherry offers 0.161 mg of Copper, 15.5 mg of Vitamin C,99 µg of Vitamin A, 0.174 mg of Manganese, 2.5 g of Total dietary Fiber, 0.5 mg of Iron,268 mg of Potassium and 0.068 mg of Vitamin B6.

Nutritional value of Sour Cherry
Serving Size: 1 Cup, 155 g

Calories 78 Kcal. Calories from Fat 4.14 Kcal.


Proximity Amount % DV
Water 133.5 g N/D
Energy 78 Kcal N/D
Energy 324 kJ N/D
Protein 1.55 g 3.10%
Total Fat (lipid) 0.46 g 1.31%
Ash 0.62 g N/D
Carbohydrate 18.88 g 14.52%
Total dietary Fiber 2.5 g 6.58%
Total Sugars 13.16 g N/D
Sucrose 1.24 g N/D
Glucose (dextrose) 6.48 g N/D
Fructose 5.44 g N/D

Minerals Amount % DV
Copper, Cu 0.161 mg 17.89%
Manganese, Mn 0.174 mg 7.57%
Iron, Fe 0.5 mg 6.25%
Potassium, K 268 mg 5.70%
Magnesium, Mg 14 mg 3.33%
Phosphorus, P 23 mg 3.29%
Calcium, Ca 25 mg 2.50%
Zinc, Zn 0.16 mg 1.45%
Sodium, Na 5 mg 0.33%

Vitamins Amount % DV
Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid) 15.5 mg 17.22%
Vitamin A 99 µg 14.14%
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) 0.068 mg 5.23%
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 0.062 mg 4.77%
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid) 0.222 mg 4.44%
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 0.62 mg 3.88%
Vitamin B1 (Thiamin) 0.046 mg 3.83%
Vitamin B9 (Folate, Folic acid) 12 µg 3.00%
Vitamin K (phylloquinone) 3.3 µg 2.75%
Choline 9.5 mg 1.73%
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) 0.11 mg 0.73%
Beta Carotene 1194 µg N/D
Lutein + zeaxanthin 132 µg N/D

Lipids Amount % DV
Fatty acids, total saturated 0.105 g 0.16%
Myristic acid  14:00(Tetradecanoic acid) 0.003 g N/D
Palmitic acid 16:00 (Hexadecanoic acid) 0.074 g N/D
Stearic acid 18:00 (Octadecanoic acid) 0.025 g N/D
Fatty acids, total monounsaturated 0.127 g N/D
Palmitoleic acid 16:1 (hexadecenoic acid) 0.002 g N/D
Oleic acid 18:1 (octadecenoic acid) 0.126 g N/D
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated 0.139 g 0.82%
Linoleic acid 18:2 (octadecadienoic acid) 0.071 g N/D
Linolenic acid 18:3 (Octadecatrienoic acid) 0.068 g N/D

Flavonoids Amount % DV
Cyanidin 50.48 mg N/D
Peonidin 1.3 mg N/D
(+)-Catechin 0.5 mg N/D
(-)-Epicatechin 5.9 mg N/D
Isorhamnetin 1.1 mg N/D
Kaempferol 0.4 mg N/D
Quercetin 2.3 mg N/D

*Above mentioned Percent Daily Values (%DVs) are based on 2,000 calorie diet intake. Daily values (DVs) may be different depending upon your daily calorie needs. Mentioned values are recommended by a U.S. Department of Agriculture. They are not recommendations. Calculations are based on average age of 19 to 50 years and weighs 194 lbs.

Health benefits of Sour Cherry

1. Antioxidant Benefits

Chemicals that give tart cherries their red color might relieve pain much better than aspirin and also may provide antioxidant protection comparable to commercially available supplements like vitamin E. Research suggest that the daily consumption of cherries might have the potential to decrease cardiovascular or chronic diseases related to inflammation, arthritis and gout in humans.(1)

2. Reduced risk of stroke

Millions of people are at risk for diabetes or heart disease, diet that contains tart cherries might  be better than what the doctor recommended medicines. Research suggests that tart cherries not just offer comparable cardiovascular benefits as the recommended medications, but in addition it can also lessen the risk of stroke, even when used with these medicinal options.

Prescribed drugs recover the outlook for certain risk factors, but they’ve also shown undesirable side effects. But Sour cherries did have a positive effect even when combined with the medication without any negative effects.(2)

Reduce Heart Disease and Diabetes

Tart cherries may have more than just good taste and bright red color going for them. Research done by consuming whole tart cherry powder combined into a high-fat diet didn’t gain as much weight or build up as much body fat as other that didn’t receive cherries. And the blood displayed much lower levels of molecules which indicate the kind of inflammation that has been related to heart disease as well as diabetes. In addition, they had significantly lower blood levels of cholesterol and triglycerides than the other.

Obese people that used cherry powder were less likely to build up fat in their bellies — another factor linked to cardiovascular disease. Consuming sour cherries also had lower-weight retroperitoneal fat, a type of belly fat which has been related with high cardiovascular risk and inflammation in humans.(3)

4. Eye Benefits

Vitamin A is essential to protect eye surface and provide better vision.  Research discovered that lubricating eye drops that contain vitamin A were effective for the treatment of dry eye syndrome as well as for particular type of eye inflammation called superior limbic keratoconjunctivitis. Sour cherry is rich in vitamin A which helps to protect eye and offer better vision.

Vitamin A along with other Antioxidant Vitamins helps to decrease the risk of macular degeneration. People at high risk of disease who use multiple vitamins like Vitamin A, C, E, Zinc, copper daily had 25% reduced risk of Macular degeneration. Include Sour cherry in your diet to have better eyesight.

5. Brain Stimulation

Sour Cherry is one of the brain stimulants as regular intake is beneficial for proper brain function.  Copper content must be in correct proportion because too much copper is not good for brain. Copper has a control function to play in the brain; therefore the amount of sour cherry supplementation has to be balanced. Research have revealed a direct link in-between copper content in the brain and creative or out of the box thinking, displaying that copper allows neural pathways to develop in unique ways. Sour cherry consists of 0.161 mg of copper which is 17.89% of the daily recommended value.

6. Treatment of the Common Cold

Sour cherry consists of considerable amount of Vitamin C which helps to enhance the immune system of our body that protects us from colds and coughs. It enables the absorption of iron and as a result strengthens the body’s resistance to infection. It also fights against viruses too.

7. Control Weight

Carbohydrates are accused for weight gain, but the fact they help you in reducing or controlling weight if done correctly. Most of us have thinking that decrease in intake of carbs is the only solution to reducing weight, which is mythical. Proper selection of your carbs in fact helps you in reducing weight. The proper diet of fruits, vegetables, and fibrous foods in fact help you in lose weight. Diets rich in carbohydrates can be supportive in reducing weight as well as controlling muscle tones. Minimal intake of sour Cherry is also beneficial to reduce body weight effectively.

8. Inflammation and Sprains

Manganese is renowned cure for sprains as well as inflammation as it helps in increasing the level of superoxide dismutase. This increased level is due to the antioxidant properties of the mineral. Superoxide dismutase (SOD) is usually found in very low levels in patients along with arthritis. It has anti-inflammatory qualities which arthritis sufferers desperately require, therefore including manganese into the body to boost synthesis and function of SOD has been associated with a reduction in symptoms of this condition. Include manganese rich Sour Cherry in your diet to decrease the inflammation and sprains problems.

9. Digestive health

Dietary fiber is essential to normalizes bowel movements simply by bulking up stools and making them easier to pass. This can help relieve and avoid both constipation and diarrhea. Consuming plenty of fiber rich sour cherry can reduce your risk for diverticulitis (inflammation of the intestine), gallstones, kidney stones, hemorrhoids, and provide relief for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Research also indicated that a high-fiber diet may help to lower gastric acid and decrease risk for gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD) and ulcers as well.

How to Eat

  • Dried sour cherries are used in Cakes, pies, tarts soups and pork dishes.
  • In liqueurs and drinks sour cherries or sour cherry syrup are used.
  • Sour cherries are used for making spoon sweets simply by gradually boiling pitted sour cherries and sugar; the syrup thereof is used for vişne şurubu or vyssináda,(beverage made by diluting the syrup with ice-cold water) in Turkey, Greece and Cyprus.
  • Sour cherries is used in the production of kriek lambic, (cherry-flavored naturally fermented beer) in Belgium.

Other Traditional uses and benefits of Sour Cherry

  • Sour cherries are useful in lessening sleep problems due to its high melatonin content.
  • Bark of Sour cherry is astringent, bitter and febrifuge.
  • To treat cough, fevers and colds an infusion of the bark has been used.
  • Root bark is used as a wash for old sores and ulcers.
  • In Cherokee Indians cherries were traditionally used as a remedy for gout and arthritis.

Other Facts

  • Edible drying oil obtained from the seed is used in cosmetics.
  • Gum obtained from the stem is used as an adhesive.
  • Plants can be grown as a hedge.
  • Green dye is obtained from the leaves.
  • Dark grey to green dye is obtained from the fruit.

Sour Cherry – Prunus cerasus Facts

Sour cherry is a drupe shaped light to dark red colored fruit native to Europe and southwest Asia. It is sour in taste and is not consumed fresh. Although it is closely related to sweet cherry it has got greater nutritional benefits.

Name Sour cherry
Scientific Name Prunus cerasus
Native Native to much of Europe and southwest Asia
Common/English Name Tart cherry, Sour cherry, pie cherry, dwarf cherry
Name in Other Languages English: sour cherry; morello cherry; Kentish cherry
German: Sauerkirsche, Weichselkirsche
Dutch: zure kers, waal ; kriek
Swedish: surkörsbär
Danish: surkirsebær, skyggemorel
Norwegian: surkirsebær, kirsebær
French: cerisier acide, cerisier aigre / cerise acide
Italian: ciliegio acido / ciliegia acida
Spanish: guindo
Catalan: guinder / guinda
Portuguese: gingeira / ginja, cereja ácida
Romanian: vişin / vişină
Russian: вишня
Polish: wiśnia; wiśnia czarna1; szkliwka, szklanka2
Czech: višeň / višně; kyselka; amarelka
Slovak: čerešňa višňová
Bulgarian: вишна, вишня – višna, višnja
Croatian: višnja; maraska, maraška3
Serb: вишња
Macedonian: вишна – višna
Lithuanian: vyšnia
Albanian: vishnje (vishnja with the article)
Greek: βυσσινιά / βύσσινο – vissinia / vissino
Turkish: vişne
Hungarian: meggy
Finnish: hapankirsikka
Plant Growth Habit Deciduous or evergreen trees or shrubs
Growing Climate Do well in cooler, humid climates
Soil Rich, well-drained, moist soil
Plant Size Height of 4–10 m
Bark Red to grayish-brown, tight and somewhat rough, along withprominent horizontal lenticels, normally peels.
Branch Branches spread upwards and have smooth twigs.
Leaf Deciduous, simple, alternate and serrated, 3-9 cm long, 2-5 cm wide, oval to obovate, smooth and glossy on top and downy underneath
Flowering Season Starts from May
Flower Hermaphrodite, white and found in clusters of 3-5.  5 petals which are notched or lobed.
Fruit shape & size Drupe 20 mm in length and 18 mm in width
Fruit color Light to dark red
Fruit peel Smooth and firm with a glossy sheen
Flavor/aroma Intense, tart and somewhat tannic
Fruit Taste Sweet/sour, but not bitter
Seed Light brown seed
Varieties/Types Amarelle, Montmorency, Danube, Meteor, Northstar, Mesabi, English, Morello, Balaton, Surefire, Jubileum
Season From  June to early August
Major Nutrition Copper, Cu 0.161 mg (17.89%)
Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid) 15.5 mg (17.22%)
Carbohydrate 18.88 g (14.52%)
Vitamin A 99 µg (14.14%)
Manganese, Mn 0.174 mg (7.57%)
Total dietary Fiber 2.5 g (6.58%)
Iron, Fe 0.5 mg (6.25%)
Potassium, K 268 mg (5.70%)
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) 0.068 mg (5.23%)
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 0.062 mg (4.77%)
Health Benefits
  • Antioxidant Benefits
  • Reduced risk of stroke
  • Reduce Heart Disease and Diabetes
  • Eye Benefits
  • Brain Stimulation
  • Treatment of the Common Cold
  • Control Weight
  • Inflammation and Sprains
  • Digestive health
Calories in 1cup (145gm) 78 Kcal





Comments are closed.


The information on this website is only for learning and informational purposes. It is not meant to be used as a medical guide. Before starting or stopping any prescription drugs or trying any kind of self-treatment, we strongly urge all readers to talk to a doctor. The information here is meant to help you make better decisions about your health, but it's not a replacement for any treatment your doctor gives you. If you are being treated for a health problem, you should talk to your doctor before trying any home remedies or taking any herbs, minerals, vitamins, or supplements. If you think you might have a medical problem, you should see a doctor who knows what to do. The people who write for, publish, and work for Health Benefits Times are not responsible for any bad things that happen directly or indirectly because of the articles and other materials on this website