Cherries-Reasons to eat more of them!

I had the opportunity to harvest cherries this year, and was surprised to find out how awesome they are for us when I started to research them! Here are some of the great health benefits that I found out!

Cherries on tree_8700

Improves your sleep

Cherries, part of the stone fruit family that includes apricots, peaches and plums, are one of the few known food sources of melatonin, a naturally occurring hormone that helps to regulate the body’s circadian rhythms and our sleep patterns.

Decreases body fat

Tart cherries reduced belly fat in a study. Researchers found rats that were fed whole tart cherry powder, in a high fat diet, didn’t gain as much weight or build up as much body fat as rats that didn’t.

Reduces muscle pain

Tart cherry juice may quell post-workout pain, says a 2010 Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition study. Runners who downed 24 ounces of tart cherry juice daily (about 480 calories) for seven days before a long-distance race, and again on race day, reported fewer aches afterward than runners who drank a placebo. Researchers believe that tart cherries’ antioxidants protect against attacks by exercise-induced free radicals, which can lead to painful inflammation.

Good for the heart

Cherries are very high in potassium, which helps regulate heart rate and blood pressure and reduces the risk of hypertension.

Helps combat cancer

Sweet cherries are rich in beta carotene, vitamin C, anthocyanins and quercetin, which may work together synergistically to fight cancer. Plus, preliminary studies suggest the anthocyanin cyanidin may prevent genetic mutations that can lead to cancer and keep cancer cells from growing out of control. While tart cherries contain some anthocyanins, sweet cherries pack nearly three times as many (two-thirds are found in the skins). The riper the better: as cherries darken, they produce more antioxidants.

Helps your eyesight

Sour cherries contain 19 times the amount of beta-carotene found in blueberries. A precursor to vitamin A, it helps maintain eyesight and healthy skin.

Diabetes protection

Sweet cherries have a lower glycemic index of 22, lower than apricots (57), grapes (46), peaches (42), blueberries (40) or plums (39). This makes them a better choice of a fruit snack compared with many other fruits, especially for diabetics.

Helps ward of alzheimer’s

The Alzheimer’s Association includes cherries as one of the memory boosting foods because they are rich in antioxidants.

Reduces Risk of Stroke

Tart cherries provide cardiovascular benefits. The anthocyanins, which are the pigments giving  tart cherries its red color, may activate PPAR which regulates genes involved in fat and glucose metabolism and thus, reduce risk factors for high cholesterol, blood pressure and diabetes. – Research University of Michigan Health System.

Slows skin aging

Cherries have the highest antioxidant level of any fruit. Antioxidants help the body fight the free radicals that make us look old. Drinking one glass of tart cherry juice daily slows down the aging process, according to Scientists from the Michigan State University. Cherry juice is also recommended as an alternative treatment for other skin conditions.

Helps with osteoarthritis relief

The pain and discomfort of swollen joints were reduced when tart cherry juice was consumed twice a day for three weeks in a study of twenty women ages 40 to 70 with inflammatory osteoarthritis.

Ways to store cherries:
can, freeze, dry

I also found out a quick and easy way to pit cherries using a paper clip!

Watch the video to see how!

 

I used a plastic covered paper clip as it’s easier on your fingers!

 

Cherries are super versatile!

  • You can freeze them then chop them up and add to pancakes, muffins or other baked goods.
  • Thaw frozen berries and use as pancake or salad toppings.
  • Dehydrate them and add some to your trail mix.
  • Add frozen berries to your summer sorbet’s!

 

 

For more info:

www.eatingwell.com/nutrition_health/nutrition_news_information/cherry_nutrition_benefits?page=3

www.besthealthmag.ca/best-eats/nutrition/5-reasons-to-eat-more-cherries

 

 

 

 

 

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