Life may not be just a bowl of cherries, but don’t forget to put some on your plate!
I love it when the grocery store is filled with fresh cherries. My favorite ones are the Bing variety. I also like the variegated Rainier cherries, but given the choice, I always pick Bing. Luckily, I pick them often.
Sweet or tart, cherries are filled with good things like vitamin C and potassium. They also contain boron – a mineral that is used for building strong bones, treating osteoarthritis, as an aid for building muscles and increasing testosterone levels, and for improving thinking skills.
And the goodness doesn’t stop there. Those delicious little morsels contain melatonin – a free-radical scavenger and wide-spectrum antioxidant that is sometimes beneficial to those with autism. Some studies indicate that melatonin may act as an anti-aging agent (perhaps because of its phytoestrogen properties), it increases REM sleep time, and it may help some women stave off type 2 diabetes. Whew! That’s quite a healthy punch to pack in a such a tiny package.
But wait, there’s more…I know, I feel like one of those cheesy infomercials, but there really IS more. According to research from Michigan State University, tart red cherries have an anti-inflammatory benefit that can relieve pain more effectively than aspirin. Lead researcher Muraleedharan G. Nair, Ph.D., Professor at Michigan State University College of Agriculture & Natural Resources, notes about this cherry effect, “It is as good as ibuprofen and some of the nonsteriodal anti-inflammatory drugs.” This is great news for those of us who have pain, but cannot tolerate the effects of ibuprofen.
Another study from University of California at Davis found that regular consumption of cherries for 28 days produced a decrease in biochemical signs of inflammation in the blood including the marker that indicates increased risk of heart disease and stroke.
After years of feeling absolutely miserable due to inflammation, I always feel grateful to learn about simple dietary changes that can relieve discomfort and lessen my risk for heart disease and arthritis. Without even realizing it, I’ve been choosing an incredibly healthy food just because I love the way it tastes. That’s some serendipity I can get behind. How ’bout you?
Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”