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Nutritional Benefits of Cherries

Photo by Nataliya Vaitkevich

Cherries are a delicious and versatile fruit that are packed with nutrients. They are a good source of vitamins C, A, and K, as well as potassium, magnesium, and calcium. Cherries also contain antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, which have been linked to a number of health benefits. According to Healthline.com Cherries are bursting with antioxidants, phytochemicals, vitamins, nutrients, and fiber. All of which can help support a healthy system and may reduce the risk of certain types of cancers.

Nutritional Profile of Cherries

A one-cup serving of cherries (about 150 grams) provides the following nutrients:

  • Calories: 97
  • Fat: 0 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 25 grams
  • Fiber: 3 grams
  • Protein: 1 gram
  • Vitamin C: 18% of the Daily Value (DV)
  • Vitamin A: 15% of the DV
  • Vitamin K: 21% of the DV
  • Potassium: 20% of the DV
  • Magnesium: 10% of the DV
  • Calcium: 5% of the DV
Antioxidants

It’s the high anthocyanin content that gives tart cherries that telltale dark red shade. In fact, the more sour the cherry, the higher the amount of anthocyanins. These powerful antioxidants, a type of phytochemical, help your body’s cells protect themselves from free radicals and are likely the source for the cherry’s other health benefits. Cherries also have two other potent antioxidants: hydroxycinnamic acid and perillyl alcohol.

Cherries are a good source of antioxidants, which are compounds that can help protect your cells from damage. They also contain anti-inflammatory compounds, which can help reduce inflammation throughout the body.

Some of the specific antioxidants found in cherries include anthocyanins, quercetin, and kaempferol. These antioxidants have been shown to have a number of health benefits, including:

  • Reducing the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease
  • Protecting against cell damage
  • Reducing inflammation
  • Improving sleep quality
Phytochemicals

This large category of substances protects your body against certain enzymes that can lead to inflammation, which can help reduce arthritis pain.

Vitamin C and potassium

Cherries are a good source of vitamin C and potassium. Potassium can reduce the risk of hypertension and stroke, and cherries have more per serving than strawberries or apples.

Dietary fiber

This has been linked to a reduced risk of colorectal cancer, and a diet high in fiber can also help with weight loss by contributing to a feeling of fullness and reducing the spike of insulin and blood sugar. Seven different cancers are associated with excess body fat, so maintaining a healthy weight is important.

Health Benefits of Cherries

The health benefits of cherries are numerous. Some of the most well-known benefits include:

  • Improved sleep quality: Cherries contain melatonin, a hormone that helps regulate sleep. Eating cherries or drinking cherry juice before bed can help you fall asleep more quickly and sleep more soundly.
  • Reduced inflammation: Cherries are a good source of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, which can help reduce inflammation throughout the body. This can be beneficial for people with conditions such as arthritis, gout, and inflammatory bowel disease.
  • Protected heart health: Cherries contain compounds that can help lower cholesterol and blood pressure, both of which are risk factors for heart disease. They also contain anthocyanins, which have been shown to improve heart function in people with heart disease.
  • Boosted exercise recovery: Cherries contain compounds that can help reduce muscle soreness and inflammation after exercise. This can help you recover more quickly and get back to your workouts sooner.
  • Improved arthritis symptoms: Cherries can help reduce inflammation and pain in people with arthritis. A study published in the journal Arthritis & Rheumatism found that people with rheumatoid arthritis who ate tart cherries for two weeks experienced a significant reduction in pain and inflammation.

How to Add Cherries to Your Diet

Cherries are a delicious and versatile fruit that can be enjoyed in many different ways. They can be eaten fresh, frozen, canned, or dried. You can also add them to smoothies, yogurt, oatmeal, salads, and baked goods.

Here are some ideas for adding cherries to your diet:

  • Add fresh cherries to a salad or yogurt parfait.
  • Blend frozen cherries into a smoothie.
  • Stir-fry cherries with vegetables and chicken or tofu.
  • Top pancakes or waffles with a dollop of cherry preserves.
  • Bake a batch of cherry muffins or cookies.

No matter how you choose to enjoy them, cherries are a delicious and healthy way to add more nutrients to your diet.

Conclusion

Cherries are a nutrient-rich fruit that offers a number of health benefits. They are a good source of antioxidants, anti-inflammatory compounds, and melatonin. Cherries have been shown to improve sleep quality, reduce inflammation, protect heart health, boost exercise recovery, and improve arthritis symptoms. There are many different ways to add cherries to your diet, so find a way that you enjoy and reap the health benefits of this delicious fruit.

Cherries are a wonderful addition to a nutritious diet. Whether you add sweet or tart cherries, this little fruit is versatile and delicious. Eating cherries are an easy way to get important nutrients and lots of flavor, too.

Sources

Healthline.com

 

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