Life is a Bowl of Cherries, So Eat Up

Cherries have long been a favorite fruit in the States where over 370 million pounds of the sweet treats are grown each year. Sadly they have a very short peak season. Come September, the ruby beauties will be hard to come by unless you’ve frozen some to last you longer. If you enjoy cherries as much as I do, now is the perfect time to enjoy a bowl and reap the benefits.

5 Reasons to Eat ‘Em Sweet!

Tart cherry juices and powders have long been touted for their health benefits. But sweet cherries pack a similar punch. Read on and then get some!

  1. Sweet cherries contain antioxidants including anthocyanins, cyanidin, and quercetin, some of the most potent of all antioxidants. Oxidation is a chemical reaction that takes place in our bodies that can produce free radicals, which ultimately damage healthy cells. Antioxidants consumed as part of a healthy diet are required for good health, beginning at the cellular level.
  2. They contain cancer-preventative compounds. Sweet cherries contain fiber, Vitamin C, carotenoids and anthocyanins, each of which can play a role in cancer prevention. 
  3. They can lower your risk of Gout and associated pain. In a study of over 600 Gout sufferers, those who ate just a 1/2 cup of sweet cherries a day (about 10 cherries) had a 35% lower risk of a subsequent attack.  Gout occurs when the metabolic processes that control the amount of uric acid in the blood fail to do their job. The stiffness and swelling are a result of the excess uric acid crystals in joints. Cherries actually reduce the levels of uric acid in the blood.
  4. They reduce inflammation and can relieve pain associated with osteoarthritis. Cherries have among the highest anti-inflammatory content of any food. Compounds in the fruit inhibit inflammatory pathways and help relieve pain from osteoarthritis.
  5. They help you get your ZZZ’s. Cherries contain melatonin, an antioxidant that plays a vital role in sleep and body regeneration. Consuming cherries not only helps increase your melatonin levels, but may also improve time in bed, total sleep time and sleep efficiency.