What’s So Great About Cherries

What’s So Great About Cherries

They made Canadian Living’s “Top 25 Healthiest Fruits,” Best Health magazine says you should make them a regular part of your diet and NBC News called them “tangy little orbs of deliciousness.” Oh, and for the global perspective, India Today insists we should be “gorging” on cherries this summer. Gorging!

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In a recent glimpse into the “Health Secrets” of the home of Dr. Oz, cherries were secret #1. “The first thing you’ll find in Dr. Oz’s kitchen pantry are dried tart cherries – lots of them! While sweet cherries contain a variety of health benefits, tart cherries (like the Montmorency and Balaton varieties) are loaded with antioxidants, have been shown to reduce muscle soreness, and fight heart disease thanks to their anti-inflammatory properties. They can even help you sleep better at night as they contain melatonin – a hormone secreted by the brain that regulates our sleep cycle.” (Source)

According to Karen Ansel, M.S, R.D, sweet cherries can help regulate blood pressure. “Cherries are loaded with potassium, a natural blood-pressure reducer. Potassium balances fluids in our bodies, essentially offsetting the blood-pressure-raising effects of sodium. So it’s no wonder studies have found that people who eat more potassium-rich foods, like sweet cherries, tend to have less hypertension.” (Source) Plus, if you’re looking to lean down a little for those lazy days chilling around the pool in your itsy bitsy bikini of choice, Ansel says, “The anthocyanins in tart cherries activate a molecule that helps rev up fat burning and decrease fat storage.”

As if battling free radicals, getting better quality z’s, becoming a fat burning machine keeping your muscles happy between workouts weren’t enough, cherries will also help with your gout (or your Dad’s gout because people in their 20’s, like YOU and ME, rarely get gout). Gout, a form of arthritis, tends to affect the small bones in the feet and can cause extreme pain and inflammation. In a 2012 study conducted at Boston University and reported on the National Institutes of Health website, cherry intake was found to be “associated with a 35% lower risk of gout attacks.”

The best news? Cherries are in season. Eat them as is, dried or fresh, make a pie, make popsicles or you can buy sweet and tart cherry juice year-round. Need a little inspiration? Try SPC’s Cherry Hand Pies or these easy peasy granola bars or you can try their Cherry and Blackberry Granita in their book How to Feed a Family. How are those for shameless plugs?

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