Cherries are small, round, deep red stone fruit that are typically in season in the UK from around June to July. Everybody enjoys indulging in juicy red cherries during the summer season. This vibrant red fruit is a great blend of sweet flavours with a tingle of sourness and adds the perfect pop of colour to your desserts. You may be wondering—are cherries actually that good for you? The answer is yes, 100 times yes! Cherries are not only one of the healthiest fruits, they also rank as one of the most health protective foods overall.They’re packed with antioxidants and offer many health benefits, including help with insomnia, joint pain and belly fat.
Cherries can be eaten raw or can also be used in a variety of recipes such as cakes, tarts, pies and cheesecakes. They are a wonderful topping for a bowl of yogurt or your breakfast cereal.
Here are 10 health benefits of cherries. Let’s start eating this powerfood today!
1. Protects Against Diabetes
Sweet cherries have a low glycemic index of 22 — lower than apricots (57), grapes (46), peaches (42), blueberries (40) or plums (39). This makes them a better snack than many other fruits, especially for diabetics.
2. Promotes Better Sleep
Let’s drink cherry juice 30 minutes after waking and 30 minutes before your evening meal to have a good sleep. Cherries contain a hormone called melatonin which facilitates good, peaceful sleep. Melatonin is a hormone produced by the pineal gland in the brain. It is known to regulate your sleep and wake cycles and control the internal body clock.
Note: there is a higher level of melatonin in tart cherries compared to sweet cherries.
3. Facilitates Weight Loss
If you are planning to shed some weight, don’t forget to add cherries to your diet. Cherries are low in calories that means that around a cup of cherries would be less than 100 calories (according to the USDA). They are rich in vitamins that strengthen your metabolism and have a moderate water content that flushes out the toxins from your body.
4. Helps to Prevent Colon Cancer
Substances in tart cherries can reduce the formation of the carcinogenic chemicals that develop from the charring of hamburger. Researchers added tart cherries to ground beef patties. “The fat contents of the cherry patties were, as expected, lower than that of the control patties, whereas the moisture contents were greater. Cherry tissue will not only slow down the oxidation deterioration of meat lipids, but will also substantially reduce the formation of heterocyclic aromatic amines,” reported J. Ian Gray, PhD, Professor of Food Science at Michigan State.
5. Prevents Cardiovascular Diseases
The antioxidants present in cherries called anthocyanins help in reducing bad cholesterol levels, regulate the blood pressure and fight free radicals that may cause inflammation. This reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke, according to research from the University of Michigan Health System.
6. Slows the Aging of Skin
Cherries are rich in antioxidants and as we know antioxidants fight the free radicals which make the skin look dull. This makes your skin feel younger and healthier. Cherries can help in removing dark spots from your skin that can appear due to sun damage. Just puree some cherries and mix them with a pinch of turmeric and a teaspoon of honey. Applying this paste for 10-15 minutes and then rinse off. It lessens dark spots and improves your skin tone or drinking one glass of tart cherry juice daily slows down the aging process.
7. Lowers Risk of Gout Attacks
Over eight million adults in the U.S. suffer from gout. This inflammatory arthritis is triggered when a waste product called uric acid crystallizes within the joints, causing excruciating pain and swelling. In one study, gout patients who consumed cherries for just two days (both the fresh fruit, as well as cherry extract and juice) showed a 35% lower risk of gout attacks compared to those who did not eat cherries.
8. Reduces Muscle Pain
There has been a fair amount of research over the years into cherries, and specifically tart cherries, and the role they can play in exercise and exercise recovery. Research by the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition found that drinking tart cherry juice for seven days before and during a strenuous running event minimised post-run muscle pain. Another small study found that tart cherry juice appears to aid recovery and muscle function after strenuous exercise.
9. Helps Regulate Blood Pressure
Cherries contain a good amount of potassium, and thus, help in removing excess sodium content from the body and balances the amount of both potassium and sodium which automatically helps in maintaining your blood pressure levels.
10. Helps With Osteoarthritis Relief
Several studies have suggested that cherry consumption is beneficial for osteoarthritis sufferers. Regularly incorporating cherries or 100% cherry juice into your meal or snack routine may help lessen your joint pain.
So, you must enjoy these juicy delights of the season till it lasts and reap all the benefits. If you don’t have any medical condition, you can add half a cup of cherries to you daily meals.