It’s cherry season and we decided to do a little research on the health benefits of this little stone fruit. Here’s what we found:
- Cherries are one of the healthiest fruits you can eat! 21 of these little guys have less than 100 calories and 15% of your daily vitamin C needs, but aren’t full of fructose (fruit sugar.)
- Cherries are full of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, helping to ward off heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and obesity, among others.
- Cherries are a good source of anthocyanin, which helps improve memory.
- Cherries protect against diabetes. They rank lower than many fruits on the glycemic index, making them both protective against diabetes and important for managing the condition if you already have it because they don’t trigger spikes and crashes in your blood sugar and insulin levels.
- Cherries promote healthy sleep by being one of the few food sources of melatonin, a hormone that helps control your sleep-wake cycles.
- Cherries provide arthritis relief for osteoarthritis sufferers, according to several studies.
- Cherries lower the risk of gout attacks, which over eight million adults in the U.S. suffer from, by 35%.
- Cherries curb cholesterol, including LDL, which is key because every 1% reduction in cholesterol lowers the risk of heart disease by 2%.
- Cherries reduce post-exercise pain, protect against cellular wear and tear from exercise, and help support muscle recovery.
If you can’t get fresh cherries in season, look for frozen cherries, 100% tart cherry juice, or preservative-free dried cherries. Whip them into smoothies or add them to oats. Stir chopped dried cherries into nut butter or melted dark chocolate, or sprinkle onto salads. Add tart cherry juice to sparkling water or drink it straight up if you’re struggling with sleep or want exercise recovery benefits. Lots of ways to use them and they come packed with nutrition.