Cherries are in season and are high in antioxidants. Antioxidants help the body fight inflammation and cell damage. Research has shown that tart cherries or tart cherry juice may help reduce inflammation and lower uric acid levels (high levels lead to gout). Some markers of inflammation associated with heart disease, such as C-reactive protein, also were reduced by tart cherries. In addition to vitamins C and A, cherries, like other red and purple foods, also contain anthocyanins (an antioxidant) pigments. In addition to heart health, cherries may benefit overall muscle recovery, including post-workout.
Cherries contain about 80 calories per cup, 2.5 grams of fiber and are a good source of potassium. You can simply snack on cherries, or you can try using them in new ways in your cooking:
- I recently made a delicious cherry sauce for grilled steaks on Father’s day.
- Add chopped, pitted cherries to your oatmeal or other whole grain cereal in the morning.
- Add sliced, pitted cherries to one scoop of vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt for a refreshing dessert.
- Try a glass of tart cherry juice to start you morning, or use it with club soda and ice to make refreshing spritzers this summer.
- Put a bowl of freshly washed cherries on the kitchen counter, and encourage everyone to take some as they walk by!
- Cherries are a perfect fruit to pack for a picnic. Simply wash them and seal them in a zipper storage bag, keep them chilled in a cooler, and enjoy.
The Cherry Marketing Institute has more information about the health benefits of this summer fruit. Add some cherries to you next shopping cart.