Cherries health benefits are really impressive. Cherries are considered as a super fruit in America, where up to 370 million pounds are grown every year 1 . With a peak season of May to July, cherries offer the crucial nutrition for a healthy and long life. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), just 1 cup of cherries contains about 89 calories with an ample supply of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and protein 2 .
So, if you enjoy eating cherries, now is a perfect time to get them! But, if you decide to save some cherries for later, you can put them into a freezer where they will keep for about a year.
Health Benefits of Cherries
There are 2 main varieties of cherries: sweet and sour (also called tart cherries). Sweet cherries, like Bing cherries, are ideally eaten raw and fresh. Tart cherries develop a fuller flavor when they are used in cooking (usually for baking). These cherries are also used to make juice concentrates that can offer some amazing health benefits.
Some of the most remarkable health benefits of cherries are:
- Provide Antioxidant Protection
Cherries health benefits begin with their great content of powerful antioxidants, such as cyaniding and anthocyanins. A research found the antioxidant activities of these substances isolated from sour cherries were higher to those of vitamin E and comparable to commonly available antioxidant goods 3 .
Sweet cherries also contain a tiny amount of quercetin that is among the most powerful in terms of antioxidant activities and various others health-promoting properties 4 .
- Protect from Diabetes
This fruit has a lesser glycemic index of 22, which is lower than grapes (46), plums (39), peaches (42), apricots (57), or blueberries (40) 5 . Therefore, sweet cherries are a better choice of a fruit snack compared with other fruits, particularly for diabetics.
- Reduce Belly Fat
Tart cherries have been proven to benefit body weight, in an animal study on obese rats. A great research from the University of Michigan proved that the rats who ate antioxidant-rich sour cherries showed about 9% belly fat reduction over the rats who ate a “Western diet.” Father, the researchers stated that the tart cherry consumption had profound abilities to alter the manifestation of fat genes 6 .
- Lower Risk of Stroke
Consuming sour cherries can activate peroxisome proliferator activating receptors (PPAR) in your body’s tissues that help regulate genes involved in glucose metabolism and fat. This activation can help to lower the risk of heart disease, and experts suggest eating cherries can provide similar heart benefits to prescription medications, known as PPAR agonists 7 .
- Reduce Muscle Pain
Just 1-2 cups of tart cherries can reduce soreness and muscle inflammation researchers claim. A group of marathon runners consumed tart cherry juice 2 times a day for 7 days before their race. The research showed that the group who consumed cherry juice experienced less muscle pain when the race was finished than those who consumed another fruit drink 8 .
- Help Improve Memory
Cherries are an excellent source of anthocyanin that can help improve memory. According to a study from the Journal of Neuroscience, anthocyanins from the cherries helped enhance motor function and memory in rats 9 . Cherries health benefits are especially significant when we talk about improving memory and concentration. Here you can find more memory boosting foods: LINK
- Help Ward off Alzheimer’s Disease
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, cherries are one of the best memory-boosting foods due to their great content of antioxidants 10 .
- Help You Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Drinking tart cherry juice before going to bed can increase sleep quality and total sleep time. The sleep-inducing effects of cherries on the human body have been examined and have proven that a glass of sour cherry juice in the evening and in the morning aids improve sleep 11 .
- Relieve Arthritis Pain
Cherries health benefits don’t stop here. This nice red fruit is also associated with arthritis pain relief. Due to their huge content of anti-inflammatory compounds, cherries can help to relieve pain from inflammatory osteoarthritis. Cherries health benefits for treating arthritis pain are found to be especially effective for women.
According to one research, women with osteoarthritis who consumed tart cherry juice 2 times a day for 3 weeks had a significant reduction in markers of inflammation 12 .
- Prevent Cancer
Sweet cherries contain Vitamin C, fiber, anthocyanins, and carotenoids, each of which plays an important role in cancer prevention 13 . These cherries are an abundant source of cyanidins that appear to act as an antioxidant and therefore, can reduce cancer risk.
Your Health Tuber. Victoria – Advice
Fresh organic cherries have short shelf life. This image with cherries (that you can see in this article) was taken by my husband. These are organic cherries from our garden, which are not treated with any chemicals. They can stay fresh for just one day after they are harvested. Well, my husband and I didn’t let that happen – we pick and eat them fresh from our giant cherry tree. As a nutritionist and an active Your Health Tuber, I always advise people to grow their own fruits and vegetables – if possible, of course. But, if you buy cherries from a store, choose those that have bright and shiny skin with stalk firmly attached at the top end of the cherry.
Keep fresh cherries in your refrigerator. Whenever you want to eat them, simply rinse cherries in water to remove dirt and you can consume. Moreover, you can store cherries in a freezer and keep them there for about a year.
Preparation and Serving Method
In order to prepare your cherries, just remove the stalk, rinse them gently in cold water, and then, pat dry in some soft cloth. Ripe cherries can be consumed as a whole including skin in order to get the maximum benefits.
- Sweet cherries can be used in the following recipes:
- They can be consumed all alone, without any seasonings/additions;
- You can prepare a fruit cocktail by using some cherries, peaches, pear, grape, and pineapple;
- In summer, you can make a fruit salad with fresh fruits, such as cherries, pear, pineapple, apricot, and peach;
- In winter, you can add dried cherries in bread, cookies, muffins, and fruit-cakes,
- Use cherries in desserts, toaster Pastries, and pie fillings.
Tart cherries are basically used in the preparation of pie fillings, sauce, cheesecakes, muffins, and jams. Dried tart cherries can be a lovely addition to many snacks and meals. Tart cherry fruit juice is a popular refreshing drink among many athletes and numerous sports personnel.
Sweet or tart, cherries are full of nutrition. A cup of cherries contains less than 90 calories. This amount of cherries has about 3 grams of fiber, which helps in digestion, prevents cancer, lowers cholesterol, relieves arthritis pain, improves memory, controls blood sugar, prevent diabetes, and can help with weight loss. As you can see from this article, cherries health benefits are truly impressive. Wash them good and eat! Cherries are a great source of vitamin C, with 16 percent of the daily recommended value in one cup.