A growing body of science reveals tart cherries, enjoyed as either dried, frozen cherries or cherry juice, have among the highest levels of disease-fighting antioxidants, when compared to other fruits. They also contain other important nutrients such as beta carotene (19 times more than blueberries or strawberries) vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, iron, fiber and folate.
Emerging evidence links cherries to many important health benefits – from helping to ease the pain of arthritis and gout, to reducing risk factors for heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers. Cherries also contain melatonin, which has been found to help regulate the body’s natural sleep patterns, aid with jet lag, prevent memory loss and delay the aging process.
A recent study from the University of Michigan reveals new evidence linking cherries to heart health benefits. The study found that a cherry-enriched diet lowered total weight, body fat (especially the important “belly” fat), inflammation and cholesterol-all risk factors associated with heart disease. According to the American Heart Association, being overweight or obese, in particular when the weight is concentrated in the middle, is a major risk factor for heart disease. As nearly two out of three Americans are overweight, emerging studies like this are important in examining the role diet may play in disease management and prevention.
While there’s no established guideline yet on how many cherries it takes to reap the benefits, experts suggest that 1-2 servings of cherries daily can help provide some of the health benefits identified in the research. Single serving size examples include:
• 1/2 cup dried
• 1 cup frozen
• 1 cup juice
• 1 ounce (or 2 Tbsp) juice concentrate
Cherries – available year-round as dried, frozen and juice – are “America’s Super Fruit,” a homegrown and colorful way to reap the health-promoting properties of antioxidants. Health and nutrition experts say to look no further than fruits grown on American soil for health and wellness benefits – and tart cherries are a great alternative to exotic berries grown in faraway rainforests.
A growing body of science links cherries’ red color, provided by the fruit’s powerful antioxidants – called anthocyanins – to heart-health benefits related to reducing inflammation, total cholesterol, and belly fat. With more than 80 million Americans living with some form of heart disease, the heart-healthy qualities of eating red have more relevance than ever. Even more good news: research also suggests the red compounds in cherries may help ease the pain of arthritis and gout.
And, because cherries are such a versatile fruit that can be sourced in the U.S. year-round, it’s easy to enjoy cherries in a wide range of sweet and savory dishes.