With many different types of cherries growing in several parts of the United States, it is no surprise that this fleshy fruit is a popular with many people. Cherries have been well known throughout history, dating back to the Biblical times. This “fleshy drupe (stone fruit)” (Wikipedia), is a popular ingredient for many pies, cakes, cobblers, jams, jellies and juices as well as a delicious topping for ice cream. While this is a delicious fruit to eat, the cherry provides many health benefits to our bodies when we eat them.
Cherries get their red color from a pigment called anthocyanins. This pigment is a strong antioxidant. We need antioxidants to help the body get rid of free radicals. These free radicals are damaged cells in your body which attack the healthy ones.
High cholesterol and high blood pressure go hand in hand. Eating foods that aid in lowering your cholesterol also has a direct impact of lowering your blood pressure. The American Heart Association states that food that contains high fiber content plays a key role in reducing blood pressure. Cherries contain a soluble fiber that absorbs fat and cholesterol and helps remove it from the body. This type of fiber also fills you up and makes you feel full for a longer period of time. Since cherries are also high in potassium, they are excellent if you are watching your blood pressure since both of these minerals play a role in lowering blood pressure.
“Diabetes tends to lower “good” cholesterol levels and raise triglyceride and “bad” cholesterol levels, which increases the risk for heart disease and stroke” (heart.org). Known as diabetic dyslipidemia, diabetics have a higher chance of dying from heart related diseases than those who do not have diabetes. Since it is already known that cherries lowers bad cholesterol and triglycerides, people with diabetes will have double the benefits of including this fruit in their daily diets.
Cherries are high in iron. Not only does this fruit increase the number of red blood cells and make them stronger, it improves the circulation of blood and oxygen throughout the entire circulation system. If you suffer from anemia, eating cherries will help build up your red blood cell count.
Cherries boost the immune system because they contain Vitamin C. If you have a cold or the flu, eating this fruit can help fight the symptoms. You can even prevent yourself from getting sick in the first place by including cherries in your diet.
Cherries are a natural pain reliever because of their anti-inflammatory properties. People who suffer from headaches, migraines, menstrual cramps, muscle spasms, toothaches, arthritic pain, gout, sprains and joint and muscle pain can find immediate relief by including this fruit in their diet.
Cherries are excellent to include in your diet if you want to lose weight and or want to maintain your weight. Not only is it low in calories, it is an excellent source of protein. If you work out at a gym, you want to have protein in your diet. The protein is needed to build muscle mass and to maintain it. When you have larger muscles, the body burns more calories. Even if you are not into body building, if you want to lose weight, including body toning exercises with your diet will help you burn off that body fat faster.
Since cherries have a short season, you may not be it of find these year-round in your local grocery store. To find out land cherries are in season in your area, ask your local grocer. He will be able to tell you the best times to purchase cherries. However, since cherries can grow in most parts of the United States, you can always purchase fresh cherries through mail order.