Cherries come into season starting in June and continue throughout the summer months. There are several types of cherries, with different nutritional benefits. For instance, sweet cherries are high in fiber and vitamin C; whereas, sour or tart cherries have higher amounts of both vitamin C and vitamin A per serving.
The main health benefits that tart cherries provide actually come from phytochemicals. Phytochemicals are the natural chemicals within the plant or fruit that produce its color. Cherries contain anthocyanin, the cause of their red pigment. This anthocyanin is supported by research to have pain relieving components and act as a natural anti-inflammatory. Due to the decreased inflammatory factors in blood, it may help to decrease the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. The anthocyanin found in tart cherries, has also been associated with lower cholesterol levels and weight-loss.
Go ahead and add tart cherries to your anti-gout arsenal! Cherries contain an enzyme that inhibits purine metabolism, one of the main symptom producers in the painful condition of gout. A 2012 study published in Arthritis & Rheumatism found that patients with gout, who consumed just ½ cup (or 10-12 cherries) up to three times per day, over a two-day period, showed a 35% lower risk of gout attacks.
Adding cherries to your diet may also aid in getting better sleep. Drinking 30ml of cherry juice 30 minutes after waking and 30 minutes before your evening meal, may increase your exogenous melatonin intake by 85mcg/day. Thus, helping you sleep better at night!
So why not add this delicious fruit into your diet? It’s a natural and inexpensive way to gain important nutrients and health benefits, with no adverse side-effects!