There are all kinds of reasons why you should eat more cherries. The most important is your health!
It's nothing new to hear that in order to stay healthy and trim, you need to eat more fruits and vegetables. So it shouldn't be any surprise to hear that cherries are good for you. How good are they? Some consider this sweet and sometimes sour fruit to be one of the healthiest foods that you could possibly eat! They are fat-free; low in calories; packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, melatonin, and other beneficial enzymes; and look great on top of whipped cream.
Ready to learn more about this gorgeous fruit? You've come to the right place.
Neither give cherries to pigs nor advice to a fool."
- Old Irish Saying
Cherries are in the same fruit family as apricots, peaches, and plums, and come in two varieties. Depending on your taste buds, you will either prefer the wild, sweet cherries that are grown mainly in Michigan and on the east coast or the sour cherries grown in Michigan and the Pacific Northwest. Both are harvested during the summer months and only provide a small window for growth and harvesting. Additionally, both types can be prepared and consumed however you like, whether cooked, raw, canned, dried, or in juice.
When it comes down to what is inside of cherries, you can rest assured that every bite or sip is full of vitamins such as vitamin C, vitamin B, and the mineral potassium. So with a handful of cherries, you give your immune system, heart, and eyes a healthy boost (a few of vitamin C's benefits); promote healthy cell metabolism and cell growth, while helping your body maintain its muscle tone and gorgeous skin (courtesy of vitamin B); and ensure the proper functioning of your kidneys, heart, muscles, nervous and digestive systems (thanks to potassium).
Even More Cherry-Colored Benefits
Just like most fruits, cherries - especially the dark red, tart variety - are full of antioxidants. And in case you've not heard, antioxidants play a key role in your ability to fend off three of your most dreaded foes: heart disease, cancer, and aging. Prefer getting your antioxidants via blueberries? Would you change your mind if you learned that tart cherry juice and dried cherries have more antioxidants than blueberries? Less concerned with long-term benefits and want something to help you right now? You may be interested to learn that 20 tart cherries contain the same amount of pain relief that is found in ibuprofen or aspirin.
It has also been found that the enzymes found in cherries provide a number of perks. They ease the symptoms of arthritis and gout by reducing the amounts of uric acid circulating in the body, and if you drink the juice from Montmorency cherries, your muscles will be given the power to recover faster from strength-training sessions or other strenuous physical exercises.
Sleep and Live Better
Having trouble sleeping? Cherry time! It has been discovered that tart cherries contain a high amount of melatonin. A hormone that is produced naturally by the body, melatonin helps regulate sleep and slows the process of aging. So if you've been having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, try some cherry juice before bed!
In the event you're still not convinced that cherries are a must have in your diet, here are a couple more cherry-tastic benefits that researchers have discovered. Eat more cherries and you may be able to better manage your diabetes, lower high blood sugar levels, reduce your risk of colon cancer, lower your LDL (bad) cholesterol, and prevent dementia.
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