Call us biased, but cherries truly are a superfood.
Not only are these beautiful fruits delicious, but they also provide a range of other benefits that you may not have known about.
Here are 10 reasons why you might want to make sure cherries are a part of your diet.
1. Full of beneficial vitamins and nutrients
Cherries are well known for their nutritional benefits, being a good source of vitamins and minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, vitamin C, beta-carotene and folate.
A single serving of cherries is 1 cup (138g) and packs 3 grams of fiber, 22 grams of carbohydrates (17.7 grams from sugar), 1.4 grams of protein, and less than a ½ gram of fat.
At only 87 calories per serving, this makes a helping of cherries a filling, low glycemic, and vitamin-packed healthy addition to your day.
2. Packed with antioxidants
Cherries have a high anthocyanin content which is what gives cherries their dark red colour, particularly in tart cherries.
Anthocyanins are a powerful antioxidant which protect the body’s cells against free radicals which cause oxidative damage, a condition linked to a number of chronic diseases and premature aging.
3. Rich in anti-inflammatory compounds
In addition to antioxidants cherries boast a high concentration of polyphenols, which help to fight cellular damage and reduce inflammation.
This is a big one, because inflammation can be tied to a huge number of health conditions including arthritis, diabetes, and certain cancers. Diets high in polyphenols have been shown in studies to protect against chronic inflammation and diseases such as these.
Check out some testimonials from people already using Tabletree cherry juice to help their inflammation-related problems (INSERT LINK)
4. Can provide arthritis relief
As an extra benefit of being packed with anti-inflammatory compounds cherries can help a number of issues caused by inflammation, such as arthritis. The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of cherries help to inhibit the oxidative stress and inflammatory proteins that cause arthritis flare-ups.
A study in 2013 showed a link between cherry intake and arthritis relief where participants drank two 8oz bottles of tart cherry juice, equivalent to 1/2lb of cherries per bottle in this study, per day for 6 weeks. The results of the study showed that the participants reported a significant improvement in their pain levels, stiffness, and physical function.
5. Can aid in preventing gout attacks
Gout is a kind of inflammatory arthritis caused by uric acid crystallising in the joints causing extreme pain and swelling.
Studies have shown that eating three servings cherries over a two-day period reduced the risk of gout attacks by around 35% which was then increased to around 75% when combined with Allopurinol, a prescription gout medication.
This is due to the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds found in cherries, such as anthocyanins, and help to reduce the levels of uric acid in the blood.
6. Post-Exercise Recovery
Another benefit of the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds found in cherries, they can help to relieve the muscle pain, damage, and inflammation caused by exercise. Tart cherries in particular have shown to be effective for exercise recovery, but these benefits also apply to sweet cherries.
Studies have shown that athletes taking cherry products experience faster muscle recovery, decreased exercise-induced muscle soreness, as well as preventing strength loss in elite athletes. Some studies have even suggested that cherries can enhance exercise performance, which is most likely related to their effect on exercise recovery.
7. Beneficial for weight loss
In keeping with the benefits they pose to exercise, cherries may have other ways to aid you in your fitness goals.
In addition to being a good low-calorie snack (less than 100 calories per 1 cup serving), cherries are full of vitamins and minerals that help to improve your metabolism.
Cherries are also full of fiber, which is both an essential part of healthy bowel function, and slows down digestion which helps to keep you from feeling hungry.
8. Improve your sleep
Cherries can be a surprisingly good choice to help with sleep. They contain melatonin, which is known to regulate your sleep cycle.
Multiple studies have been undertaken to show the effects of cherries on sleep quality, and one in particular found people drinking tart cherry juice showed significant increases in melatonin levels as well as sleep duration and quality. Another study found that adults with insomnia taking just one cup of cherry juice before bed increased their sleep time by around 84 minutes.
9. Supports blood pressure
In addition to the above benefits cherries also contain a high amount of potassium and phenolic acids, which in turn helps your body to remove excess sodium, which is a major contributor to hypertension.
10. Easy to incorporate into your diet
Out of all of the things you can add into your day for a health benefit, cherries are certainly one of the easier ones to incorporate. When in season, fresh cherries are an excellent healthy snack on their own, or are well suited to add to other foods such as in sauces or baking. When out of season, preserved cherries are a great choice - either canned or dried - and can be eaten year round. Frozen cherries were a particular favourite of mine growing up!
Unsurprisingly, we recommend using Tabletree Cherry Juice for your year-round cherry intake. In addition to being shelf-stable for up to three years, each 8.5oz (250ml) bottle of Tabletree Cherry juice contains the equivalent of up to a pound of cherries or just over eight servings per bottle.