While sweet cherries are frequently seen in beach coolers and summer fruit salads, we’re here to remind you that you should eat them all year! Cherries have a pleasingly sweet taste. They have a solid exterior and a juicy inside. There are many different types of cherries, but we’re particularly thrilled to offer the health advantages of sweet and tart cherries! Rainier, Bing, and Chelan are just a few of the sweet varieties cultivated in the Pacific Northwest. Sweet cherries are an excellent addition to any diet due to their delicious flavor, nutrient content, versatility, and several health benefits. So, what does all of this mean for your regular dose? Whichever type of cherry you choose, we’ll break down the health benefits of red cherries as well as some other perks to keep in mind when delving into the sweet summer fruit.
What the Research Says
Cherries are definitely healthy, with all of their nutrients. It’s no surprise they have a reputation for a wide range of health benefits. Yet, the majority of research conducted to support those statements are somewhat small. They also use cherries in quantities you probably won’t consume on a daily basis – from 45 to 270 cherries per day – to get those positive results. It’s unlikely that you’ll consume enough cherries to make a significant change in your overall health.
1. High in antioxidants
According to some scientists, the darker the color of a fruit, the higher the antioxidant amount. Cherries fall into this group because of the high quantities of anthocyanins they contain, which give them their dark red color. Anthocyanins are antioxidants with several health advantages, including a lower risk of heart disease, among others. “Cherries are high in antioxidants, which are thought to play a role in preventing or delaying cellular damage, which can lead to diseases and conditions,” says Giuliana D. Noratto Stevens, PhD, associate research scientist at Texas A&M College of Agriculture & Life Sciences and advisor to the Northwest Cherry Growers. Cherries are also high in the antioxidant vitamin C, which promotes collagen formation and so benefits skin health.
2. Improves workout recovery
According to research, the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant substances found in cherries may aid in the relief of exercise-induced muscular soreness, injury, and inflammation. Tart cherries and their juice appear to be more beneficial than sweet cherries and juice, yet both may benefit athletes. Among top athletes such as cyclists and marathon runners, tart cherry juice and concentrate have been shown to expedite muscle healing, reduce exercise-induced muscle soreness, and prevent strength loss. Also, some research shows that cherry products may improve workout performance. A study of 27 endurance runners found that consuming 480 mg of powdered tart cherries every day for 10 days before to a half-marathon resulted in 13% quicker race times and less muscle pain than a placebo group. Despite most research on the relationship between cherries and exercise include trained athletes, tart cherry juice may also help non-athletes. A study of 20 athletic women found that those who drank 2 ounces (60 ml) of tart cherry juice twice day for 8 days recovered faster and had less muscular damage and stiffness after performing repeated sprint workouts than those who did not. These findings, while encouraging, are related to concentrated cherry products such as juice and powder. It’s unknown how many fresh cherries you’d need to consume to have the same benefits.
3. Minimizes the effects of chronic inflammation
Inflammation is not a new phenomenon, and it affects many of us! Cherries can drastically reduce nitrous oxide concentrations and pro-inflammatory components. Cherry consumption was shown to lower plasma concentrations of eight biomarkers linked to inflammatory diseases. Cherry polyphenols may reduce or prevent inflammation and oxidative stress, both of which are risk factors for illnesses such as arthritis, diabetes, cancer, and hypertension.
4. It has the potential to improve sleep.
Tart cherries are strong in phytochemicals, including melatonin, which aids in the regulation of our sleep cycles. There have been conflicting studies on whether cherries, and especially cherry juice, might help those who have difficulties sleeping, but the indicators are promising. According to research published in the European Journal of Nutrition, tart cherry juice is beneficial in improving sleep quality and duration, and may be beneficial to those who have disturbed sleep, while another small study suggests that cherry juice may be beneficial to those who suffer from insomnia.
5. Reduces Cholesterol
Red cherries have the capacity to decrease cholesterol, which is one of its many health benefits. Cherries have been shown to lower VLDL (bad) cholesterol levels and enhance triglyceride to HDL (good) cholesterol ratios in people. Mouse and rat models were used to further demonstrate the beneficial effects of cherries on heart health. Cherry extract reduced liver triglycerides and even prevented the development of Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease in mice and rats on a high-fat diet.
6. Lowers Blood Pressure
Red Cherries have also been shown to lower both systolic and diastolic blood pressure in both young and old people. According to research, the phenolic acids contained in cherries and formed by anthocyanin metabolism have vasorelaxant and antihypertensive effects that aid in the reduction and prevention of blood pressure. Both cholesterol and blood pressure have a significant impact on our heart health. Add some sweet cherries to your diet to help keep things in check!
7. They can boost the health of your skin.
If fiber wasn’t enough, cherries are abundant in vitamin C, which is required to form the collagen that makes up your skin. Doctors point out that a serving of cherry has 10 mg of vitamin C, which is around 11% of your daily need.
8. They can help with brain health.
According to Isaacs, sour cherries and tart cherry juice include antioxidants and polyphenols that may have a protective impact on brain cells. Furthermore, Pritchett says that anthocyanin found in cherries can help with enhanced brain and visual function, as well as memory and cognition in adults.
Red cherries are abundant in nutrients and have several health advantages. They not only include a variety of potent plant compounds that can help decrease inflammation, but they may also improve sleep, improve heart health, and speed up recovery after exercise. Moreover, both sweet and tart varieties are tasty and can be used in a range of recipes. If you liked this post, you should also read our blog on best high fiber drinks. You will find it highly informative.