Cherries are a great-tasting part of a healthy diet. They can be eaten fresh off the stem, cooked into a pie, or dried. Like most tart fruits, cherries are high in vitamin C which provides tremendous health benefits. Just 1 cup of cherries contains 25% of the recommended daily value of Vitamin C. This food has other benefits as well. Check out the following…
Low Glycemic Index
Cherries have a glycemic index of just 22. This is very low compared to other fruits such as grapes (46), peaches (42), or blueberries (40). A low glycemic index indicates that eating them doesn’t spike blood sugar the way refined carbohydrates do. This makes them an ideal fruit for those suffering from diabetes. Foods with a low glycemic index also help maintain a healthy weight.
Cherries Help You Sleep
One of the great health benefits of cherries is better sleep. They contain natural melatonin which is known to aid in sleep. Melatonin also helps with the bodily regeneration that needs to occur while sleeping. A 2012 study showed that drinking tart cherry juice increased melatonin, total sleep time and sleep efficiency.
Loaded with Antioxidants
Cherries contain strong antioxidants in high quantities. Specific antioxidants such as anthocyanins and Vitamin C play a key role in cancer prevention. A list of the top cancer-fighting foods places cherries in the top 3.
Another great health benefit of cherries happens to be their anti-aging properties. Again, it’s the antioxidants that are responsible for these effects. These antioxidants help keep skin from sagging and looking young.
Reduced Muscle Pain & Regulated Blood Pressure
Due to the high levels of potassium and anti-inflammatory properties, cherries can help reduce muscle pain from exercise as well as joint pain from arthritis. These properties also help with maintaining healthy blood pressure which assists in protecting from heart disease.
Cherries Reduce Inflammation
As mentioned above, one of the primary health benefits of cherries is their anti-inflammatory nature. Inflammation is a culprit in weight gain, heart disease, cancer, and many other maladies. Other foods that help prevent inflammation include tomatoes, olive oil, nuts, and strawberries.
It’s important to eat a wide variety of whole foods which include fruits, vegetables, and herbs. You can pair cherries with apricots, black pepper, peaches, plums, or cinnamon. You can also pair them with sweets such as chocolate, but don’t overdo it!