It’s Cherry season again! Who doesn’t love to devour juicy red cherries during summers? Well, I do! There’s nothing like a big bowl of fresh cherries when they’re in season. In addition to their deliciousness, the health benefits of cherries include the presence of vitamins, minerals, and enriching phytochemicals. Read on to find out the benefits of including cherries in your diet, besides having them top your favourite cake,
Here are 5 astounding health benefits of cherries to look out for!
1. Rich in antioxidants
Cherries are one of the most beloved fruits and are a potent source of antioxidants and carotenoid pigments, which reduce the risk of many chronic illnesses. They slow down ageing by combating oxidative stress and ward off chronic conditions, including heart disease, cancer, mental decline, diabetes, and obesity.
They promote overall health and protect your body cells from free radicals. The substance that gives cherry its colour is anthocyanin. Higher the anthocyanin content, the more sour the cherry tastes. Cherries are especially high in beta-carotene, vitamin C, and polyphenols, a group of plant chemicals that help fight cellular damage.
2. Boost exercise recovery
This fruit protects against cellular depletion from exercise, accelerates muscle recovery, and evades strength loss in elite athletes, say the likes of marathon runners or cyclists. It is also presumed to heighten exercise performance. Tart cherry juice is immensely popular among professional athletes due to the presence of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds. Among other health benefits of cherries, they relieve exercise-induced muscle pain, improve athletic abilities, and help get rid of muscle damage and soreness.
3. May improve symptoms of osteoarthritis
Regular cherry consumption can help lessen joint pains that often lead to arthritis. Due to their potent anti-inflammatory effects, it also might lower the risk of gout attacks, a type of arthritis caused due to the build-up of uric acid. Cherry decreases uric acid levels in your body and prevent swelling, inflammation, and joint pain. The phytochemicals present in the fruit protect your body against certain enzymes and help inhibit oxidative stress and decrease inflammation. It suppresses the inflammatory proteins and hence becomes beneficial for osteoarthritis sufferers.
4. Good for diabetic patients
The low glycemic index of cherries makes them a good sweet option for people suffering from diabetes, as the fruit doesn’t trigger rapid spikes or crashes in your blood sugar levels. The fruit is also an excellent source of dietary fibre and can help reduce the risk of colorectal cancer.
A diet rich in fibre helps with weight loss as it contributes to satiety, keeping you fuller for a long time. Cherries are a good source of a hormone called ‘serotonin’, which regulates mood, lowers anxiety, and bestows brain-boosting abilities. It boosts cognitive function and decelerates memory loss.
5. They promote better sleep
Cherries are a natural source of melatonin, a neurotransmitter affecting sleep and mood. Melatonin is the chemical that induces sleep and has often been used to treat insomnia. Tart cherries improve melatonin levels, a hormone that monitors your sleep-wake cycle and sleep duration, thereby improving your sleep quality. The sleep-promoting benefits in cherries may also be due to the fruit’s high concentration of plant substances and anti-inflammatory compounds.
How to combine cherries in your daily diet?
Cherry is a very tasty fruit and extremely versatile for recipes. A single cup, or about 21 cherries, contains less than 100 calories and makes up to 15% of your daily vitamin C intake. They are available in varied versions in the market, like frozen cherries, dried cherry powder, tart cherry juice, and preservative-free dried cherries.
Enjoy them as a sweet snack or create a cherry compote out of frozen tart or sweet cherries. Mix a spoonful of the compote with yoghurt, chia pudding, or any of your ideal breakfast cereals. You can add some frozen cherries or powder into smoothies, or use them to garnish your bowl of oatmeal. Add it to overnight oats or mix some dried cherries into homemade nut butter. You can sprinkle some onto salads, use them to make cakes, tarts, pies, and crumbles.