Cherries are one of the most popular fruits, and for a good reason. They are not only tasty, but also pack nutrients with potent health benefits.
A cup (154 grams) of sweet, raw, cherries provides:
- Calories: 97
- Protein: 2 grams
- Carbs: 25 grams
- Fiber: 3 grams
- Vitamin C: 18% of the Daily Value (DV)
- Manganese: 5% of the DV
- Potassium: 10% of the DV
- Copper: 5% of the DV
The high concentration of plant compounds in this fruit may be responsible for its health benefits. Although the type and amount vary depending on the variety, all cherries are loaded with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds.
Here are some of the top benefits of cherries:
- Thanks to their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties cherries may help with prevention and treatment of inflammatory-related conditions like arthritis.
- It has been scientifically proven that cherries reduce the risk of heart attacks, strokes, and heart disease.
- Cherries relieve pain after exercising and promote muscle recovery.
- Cherries improve memory, concentration, and overall brain function.
- They lower the risk of colon cancer.
- Thanks to their fiber content, cherries are a great tool in the process of losing weight.
- Cherries are packed with vitamin A, providing more than strawberries and blueberries. As such, they promote skin and eye health.
- Cherries are beneficial for the digestive system and known to reduce blood cholesterol levels.
- They boost energy levels and help with depression.
Eating cherries on a regular basis may also help improve sleep quality. These sleep-promoting properties may be due to its high concentration of plant compounds. Additionally, cherries contain melatonin, a compound which regulates sleep-wake cycle.
A 2-week study in elderly individuals with insomnia found that consuming a cup of tart cherry juice before bed increased sleep time by 84 minutes.
How to add cherries to your diet?
Cherrie are quite versatile and can be used in many different ways. Both tart and sweet varieties go well with many foods.
- Add frozen cherries to smoothies
- Whip up a cherry salsa with diced cherries and basil to serve with savory meals
- Make cherry barbecue sauce to use with poultry and meat dishes
- Add pitted cherries to a fruit salad
- Add dried cherries to baked good for natural sweetness
- Mix dried cherries with dark chocolate chips for a healthy dessert
- Make a cherry compote out of frozen sweet cherries and a spoon of chia pudding
- Enjoy them fresh as a sweet snack