12 Healthy Things You Never Knew about Cherries

Photo credit: bigstock

Photo credit: bigstock

If you are looking for a “new” superfood that has amazing health benefits but tastes good as well, then perhaps cherries are what you are looking for.

They are so deliciously sweet it doesn’t seem possible that they could really be super good for you, but they are! In the UK, cherries are so popular that have National Cherry Day every July 16th. Its growing season is short, though, so try to get them fresh while you can. You can buy them almost all year long frozen, but fresh is always best. Also, because cherries are one of those crops that tend to get sprayed with pesticides more than most, they are almost always on the dirty dozen list. Conventional cherries have been found to have more than 40 different toxins from pesticides sprays, including 14 chemicals that cause the death of honeybees, so always buy organic cherries. The good news, however, is that cherries are not GMO products, so we are safe for now. Rumor has it that there is research being done to try to create a GMO cherry that has no pit, but cherries are natural as of this writing.

Take a look at 12 healthy reasons why you should eat more cherries while they are in season.


1.  Cancer Prevention

The compounds in tart cherries reduce the formation of certain carcinogens that develop from charring meat. When researchers added tart cherries to burned ground beef patties, the tissue in the cherries slowed down the oxidation deterioration of meat lips and reduced the formation of carcinogens. Cherries contain high amounts of anthocyanins that prevent certain cancers such as cancer of the colon.


2. Great for Diabetics

Sweet cherries have a low glycemic index of 22, which is much lower than grapes, which have a glycemic index of 46, plums at 39, apricots at 57, blueberries at 40, or peaches at 42. This means cherries are a much better choice as a snack for diabetics than many other fruits.


3.  Helps with arthritis

A study involving twenty women between the ages of 40 and 70 with inflammatory osteoarthritis reported less pain and discomfort from swollen joints when they drank tart cherry juice twice a day for the three week study period.


4.  Helps with Insomnia

Drinking cherry juice can help stop you from tossing and turning at night. These delicious fruits are a good source of melatonin and have been found to help reduce the effects of jet lag. Drink a glass of cherry juice about 30 minutes after you wake up and again about 30 minutes before you eat dinner. By following this routine, study subjects increased their amount of melatonin and slept better at night.

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