Who knew something so delicious would be so good for us? Cherries are one of nature’s gifts to mankind—beautifully dark red, juicy, sweet or tart—and full of antioxidants that are known to be good for our health! Here are just a few reasons to eat cherries:
- In a study of more than 600 people with gout, those who ate a half cup serving of cherries (about 10 to 12 cherries) daily had 35 percent lower risk of a subsequent attack. Gout results from too much uric acid forming crystals in the joints, with pain as the body’s inflammatory response. 1
- According to one study, women with osteoarthritis who drank tart cherry juice twice daily for three weeks had significant reductions in inflammation markers. The researchers noted that tart cherries may have the “highest anti-inflammatory content of any food.”2
- Melatonin is a powerful antioxidant that helps calm excess inflammation and stress; however, it also plays a role in sleep and bodily regeneration. Cherries contain natural melatonin!
- Athletes who consumed tart cherry juice prior to long-distance running experienced less discomfort than those who did not. It is believed that cherries have a protective effect that helps reduce muscle aches during strenuous exercise.3
- Michigan is a world leader in the production of tart cherries, producing up to 75 percent of the U.S. crop. The state’s universities conduct ongoing studies. One study from the University of Michigan’s Cardiovascular Center found that rats that had a high-fat diet tended to gain less weight when tart cherry powder was added to their diets. Researchers believe this is evidence that switching less healthy foods for tart cherries may help in any weight management regimen.4
- Central Michigan University researchers found that mice that ate cherries performed better in memory–related tests than those that did not. Researchers acknowledge that far more research needs to be done before concluding that cherries can slow neurodegenerative diseases but early signs are very promising.5
In the United States, cherry season ranges from early April/late May through August, with major growers in Michigan, Washington and California. Something we can all enjoy daily, regardless of season, is Active Wellness.
1 Arthritis & Rheumatism, Vol. 64, issue 10.
2 Medical News Today, June 1, 2012.
3 J Int Soc Sports Nutr, 2 010 May 7; 7:17.
4 Presented by E. Mitchell Seymour, M.S., Experimental Biology, 2008.
5 Gary Dunbar, Journal of Medicinal Food, 2012.