Cherries blossom in shadows of dormant volcanoes and grace the green groves of rivers and lakes. They are picked by farmers in the Andes and harvested by the people of Anatolia. The cherry is the perfect berry. It is sweet and tart with firm, juicy flesh and a hard pit. It’s small wonder that cherries are associated with good fortune. Just order a bushel for your family at peak cherry season or visit an orchard in full blossom and you will experience the greatest fortune nature has to offer. That’s why festivals celebrate the cherry wherever the super fruit is grown. Cherries are also nature’s medicine: relieving pain, improving eyesight, and slowing premature aging. Cherries add years to our lives and joy to our hearts! For that, we are thankful.
Here are HFR’s Top 10 Health Benefits of Cherries:
Help Fight Cancer Cells
Cherries are rich in a flavonoid called Quercitrin which, according to researchers, is among the most powerful naturally occurring anticancer agents. Cherries also contain ellagic acid, a natural phenol antioxidant found in fruits and veggies and prevalent in cherries. Some researchers say that ellagic acid has anti-carcinogenic properties and may be a great way of prevent cancer. Perillyl alcohol (POH)–is another element found in cherries that is extremely powerful in reducing the occurrence of all types of cancer. It deprives cancer cells of the proteins they need to grow and spread.
Help with Arthritis
Arthritis is inflammation that affects joints and causes pain and limits mobility. Sadly, this condition is growing increasingly prevalent as we spend more time at our computers and expose our joints to more stress. But cherries contain two powerful compounds, anthocyanins and bioflavonoids, that hinder the spread of enzymes Cyclo-oxyygenase-1 and -2, slowing the spread of arthritis in the body.
According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, cherries have even more anti-aging oxidants than do almonds, another superfood. Cherries are rich in melatonin, which slows down the aging process.
Natural Sleep Aid
Melatonin also helps you fall asleep and stay that way throughout the day. It regulates your circadian-rhythm which meters your internal clock so that your sleep is better regulated. Staying well rested helps muscle growth and recovery, and lowers cortisol (stress) that can lead to heart disease and weight gain.
Help Cure Headaches
The anthocyanin and bioflavonoids in cherries reduce inflammation and chase away painful headaches. These compounds are known to have similar activity to aspirin and ibuprofen.
Good for Heart Health
Tart cherries lower high cholesterol and triglycerides, which does everything from improving your weight to strengthening your arterial health. This also reduces your risk for stroke, heart disease and diabetes.
Good for Weight Loss
Cherries lower inflammation, reduce stress, balance cholesterol levels, and regulate your sleep, all of which helps eliminate belly fat. The antioxidants are also proven to slim down your waist line. Though tart cherry juice and dried cherries are often recommended, be sure to choose whole food cherries when you can, since dried and juice forms are always higher in sugar. Go for the whole, natural fruit the way nature created it whenever possible!
Lower Blood Sugar Levels
Cherries are high in sugar but very low on the glycemic index. They’ve been shown to improve blood sugar for those with diabetes, and can be paired with nuts, seeds, and whole grains to further soften the glycemic spike associated with eating sugar.
A handful of cherries satisfies 1/4 of your fiber requirement for the day, which is essential to keeping a healthy digestive system.
Great for Eye Health
Cherries are brimming with vitamin A, a vitamin containing the beta carotene you need for good vision and healthy eyes. Retinol is another part of vitamin A that helps keep your skin healthy. In addition to tasting better than strawberries and blueberries, cherries contain way more sugar than either of those fruits. So why not eat them more?