Cherries are a popular fruit world over and this is despite the fact that they are in season for a few months every year. People love this small fruit not only due to its delicious taste but also because it is juicy and makes an excellent addition to desserts and cocktails.
However, what most do not know is that cherries also have many incredible health benefits. The bioactive components and nutrients in the fruit will help your body in many ways. Knowing some of these health benefits should show you why cherries not only taste great, but are great!
Health Benefits Of Cherries
#1 They Can Help with Weight Loss
Millions of individuals across the globe struggle with excess weight and the health issues that come with it. There are countless things a person can do to shed off the extra pounds, but research shows that adding cherries to your diet will also be very beneficial. Even when on a high-fat diet cherries are effective in reducing the weight gain and storage of fats. Although there are several compounds in the fruits that help with this, experts give most of the credit to the anthocyanins in the cherries because they activate a molecule that revs up fat burning and also decreases the storage of fats.
#2 Help Improve the Sleep Cycle
Cherries are one of the few natural sources of melatonin and this fact alone if enough to show that they are very beneficial to sleep. Melatonin is a compound in the brain that helps to control the sleep cycle and the more of it that you have, the less the likelihood of having sleep issues. Many studies prove that cherries are very beneficial for sleep and so eating a small bowl of these fruits before bed might be all that you need for a good night’s sleep. And if the fruits are not in season you can still get the sleep benefits from taking tart cherry juice.
#3 Reducing Inflammation
Although tart cherries have many beneficial compounds, the two most powerful ones are bioflavonoids and anthocyanins. These two compounds aid in the reduction of inflammation. Studies show that eating cherries leads to a significant decrease in different biomarkers which scientists link to chronic inflammatory disease. Drinking cherry juice or snacking on the dried or fresh fruits can also help ease the joint inflammation that comes with conditions like gout and arthritis.
#4 They Are Rich in Antioxidants
Cherries are a high-antioxidant food, and this is thanks to their high content of cyaniding and anthocyanins. There are even some studies that conclude that these two compounds exhibit better or more efficient anti-inflammatory activity that common medications like aspirin. Apart from the strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of the anthocyanins in cherries, scientists also show that they can help to inhibit the growth of cell lines for colon cancer in humans. This fruit also has an ability to fight free radicals that can lead to eye damage and hence also help in the prevention of common problems like glaucoma and macular degeneration.
#5 Boosting Heart Health
Recent studies by different universities and medical institutions suggest that cherries have some cardiovascular benefits and they can also be very effective in reducing the risk of getting a stroke. What makes them effective in boosting heart health is the fact that they help in the activation of the PPAR (peroxisome proliferator activating receptors) isoforms in different body tissues. The PPAR isoforms are in charge of the regulation of genes for glucose and fat metabolism but modifying them helps to reduce the risk of heart disease. There are conventional medications that help with this modification, but they tend to come with severe side effects and can lead to stroke and heart attack. However, with cherries, you will never have to worry about any ill effects.
#6 Combating Post-Workout Soreness
Post-exercise soreness can be annoying and prevent you from engaging in the important exercises that your body needs. But, research shows that taking some tart cherry juice before and after your workout can help you deal with the muscle pain and soreness. The bioactive compounds in the fruit help to address the inflammation that comes from the muscle damages when you workout which is what will offer you the relief.
There is more than enough research and scientific fact to support the health benefits of cherries which make these some of those fruits that you must take frequently. The six benefits above are just a few of the common ones, but there are many others that you can expect from the fruit. And whether it is in season or not you can always have it because there are other options such as consuming the dried ones or drinking the nutritious tart cherry juice.
Jane Collins is a blogger at g9sleeptight.com, a blog dedicated to providing tips and solutions to help you have a good night’s sleep. Follow Jane on Twitter: @g9sleeptight