Cherries are full of delicious nutrition. They give you a mouthful of essential vitamins and nutrients, including potassium, copper, vitamin C and polyphenols. Cherries also promote recovery after training, help fight free radicals and even sleep better, among other benefits. In addition, they are both frozen and fresh. Who knew this little fruit was so good for you? Read on to discover the health benefits of cherries, as well as delicious recipes for putting cherries to work.
WHAT DO CHERRIES DO FOR YOUR BODY?
Instead of looking for a potassium-filled banana to balance your electrolytes and eliminate muscle cramps after a run, take two handfuls (1 1/2 cups) of cherries to get the same boost of potassium. A single cup of cherries provides more copper than chinook salmon, more than half the magnesium of raw spinach and vitamin C of half a lemon.
In addition to the filling fiber, cherries are also loaded with polyphenols, melatonin, carotenoids and vitamins E and C. These vitamins and nutrients have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory powers that reduce many serum plasma levels (blood markers ) for oxidative stress and inflammation.
5 HEALTH BENEFITS OF CHERRIES
1. ACCELERATE RECOVERY OF THE EXERCISE
Looking for a boost to speed up recovery after your workout? Pass the cherries – in particular, tart cherries. Research shows that tangy cherry juice helps reduce sore muscles and promotes recovery after workouts. Another study has shown that athletes regain their strength more quickly thanks to the antioxidant power of Montmorency cherry juice, a particular variety of tart cherry.
2. SUPPORT A HEALTHY INFLAMMATION RESPONSE
Cherries contain polyphenols, micronutrients that give many fruits and vegetables their color and make these foods powerful antioxidants. It has been found that a type of polyphenol, anthocyanin, which gives black cherries their color, suppresses the release of inflammatory proteins by the body, causing pain and aches. Studies have also shown that tart cherry juice is effective in reducing the accumulation of painful uric acid in the extremities, such as the feet or ankles, experienced by people with gout.
3. HELP YOUR BODY FIGHT FREE RADICALS
Cherries contain a powerful antioxidant punch. You want antioxidants in your diet to help fight the free radicals your cells produce when they use energy or are exposed to oxidative stress. Too many free radicals can damage cells and contribute to inflammation. Antioxidants help support healthy inflammation and an immune response.
Studies have shown that cherry polyphenols help protect your body from disease. Monoterpenes, substances that give cherries their scent, can prevent cancer cells from multiplying successfully. Pretty impressive for such a small fruit.
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4. HELP YOU SLEEP BETTER
Do you want more restful sleep? Add cherry juice to your diet. Cherries contain melatonin, a hormone that synchronizes your body’s adrenal and digestive systems, balancing your circadian rhythms and helping your body regulate sleep. In a study of volunteers who drank tart cherry juice concentrate for one week, participants reported that they slept longer and better than participants who received a placebo.
5. HELP BALANCE BLOOD SUGAR
Of all the fruits, cherries are among the lowest fruits in the glycemic index and glycemic load. Cherries have a glycemic index of 22, which will increase your blood sugar by about half that of an apple or an orange. By comparison, pure sugar ranks 100. This means that cherries will not increase your blood sugar as much as other fruits. Maintaining a stable blood sugar level is a lifestyle factor that reduces your risk of insulin resistance, a precursor to diabetes.