While these fruits may be small in size, their nutritional and health benefits pack a big punch. Cherries contain anthocyanins, which are used by the body to produce essential amino acids. Anthocyanins are also natural anti-inflammatories and pain relievers.
Many individuals who live with arthritis, inflammation and gout will be happy to learn that adding cherries to your diet can greatly reduce the pain associated with these illnesses. This study done by the USDA confirms that Bing cherries may help fight arthritis, cancer, heart disease and inflammation. Blood samples indicated that levels of three indicators of inflammation—nitric oxide, C reactive protein and a marker for T-cell activation, termed “RANTES”—dropped by 18 to 25 percent after eating cherries.
So what other benefits can you enjoy from eating cherries?
Brain health- Gary Dunbar, director of CMU’s neuroscience program, said the compound built around extracts from tart cherries improved brain function in mice with Alzheimer’s symptoms and reduced symptoms of Huntington’s disease in other lab animals.
Cancer Preventative- Cyanidin a flavonoid from the anthocyanin group in cherries inhibits tumor development, as well as reducing the proliferation in cancer cell. Cherries also contain fiber, vitamin C, carotenoids, and anthocyanins, each of which may help to play a role in cancer prevention.
Gout-This report from the University of Vermont shares the benefits of cherry juice for inflammation for those who suffer with gout. Cherry intake over a 2 day period was linked to a 35 % lower risk of gout attacks compared with no consumption of cherries.
Reduce Inflammation- The anti-inflammatory effects of cherries may also be beneficial for the prevention of inflammatory diseases.
Healthy Sleep-Cherries contain melatonin, which is beneficial for regulating your sleep cycle. The Journal of Medicinal Food shared a promising study on tart cherry juices benefits in improving insomnia. Two tablespoons of tart cherry juice in studies has been shown as effective as a melatonin supplement.
Arthritis pain relief-This study from the Journal of Nutrition showed that cherries reduce joint inflammation associated with arthritis.
Balance Blood Pressure-Montmorency tart cherries in this study significantly reduced systolic blood pressure. In general consuming more fruits and berries may also reduce blood pressure due to the high content of polyphenols.
Looking for some ways to incorporate cherries into your diet? Give some of these recipes a try.
Chocolate Cherry Smoothie Bowl
If you’re looking for a fun way to switch up your breakfast, give this great anti-inflammatory, magnesium rich smoothie bowl a try.
2 C. Organic Cherries
1 T. Cacao
6 ounces Almond milk
2 C. Spinach, packed
Place all ingredients in a Vitamix or high speed blender. Blend till smooth.
Pour into bowl and add your favorite toppings. I used sunflower seeds, almonds, walnuts, cacao nibs, coconut and hemp seeds.
Kale, Chicken & Fruit Salad for Two
3/4 pound organic boneless, skinless chicken breast, cubed
1 Tbsp. organic grapeseed oil (for chicken)
1 Tbsp. organic grapeseed oil (for dressing)
1 organic orange, peeled, sectioned, seeded and cut into small pieces
1/4 tsp. Redmond salt
1/4 C. dried organic cherries
1/4 C. organic orange juice, freshly squeezed
1/2 T. organic red wine vinegar
2 C. organic red kale leaves, torn into small pieces,
1 organic D’anjou pear, seeded and cubed
Place cherries in a small bowl with orange juice to soak, while you prepare remaining ingredients.
Season the chicken with half the salt. In large skillet, sauté cubed chicken in grapeseed oil. When cooked set aside.
Rinse and dry kale, then tear into small bite size pieces. Place in large bowl
Peel, section and seed orange. Cut into bite size pieces, place in bowl with kale.
Seed pear and cut into bite size pieces. Place in bowl with kale and orange.
Drain cherries reserving the juice for the salad dressing. Add cherries to bowl.
Add chicken to salad bowl.
Place orange juice from soaked cherries in small bowl, add grapeseed oil, red wine vinegar, remaining salt and whisk till combined.
Pour dressing over salad and gently toss to coat salad
Add a pinch or two of pecorino romano to your individual salad and enjoy!
Pineapple, Apple, Cherry Fruit Infused Water
1/2 C. pineapple
1/4 C. cherries (sliced in half)
1/2 small Fuji apple (peeled and sliced thinly)
Put the fruit in a mason jar.
Fill with ice cubes to top of jar.
Add filtered water to within 1/2″ of jar top.
Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Strain and serve.