The health benefits of cherries
All varieties of cherries are highly nutritious and packed with fibre, vitamins, and minerals
With the cherry harvest finally starting, (and because we named our box scheme after them) it seemed only fitting to this week talk about the health benefits of cherries! Cherries are small stone fruits that come in a variety of colours and flavours. There are two major categories — tart and sweet cherries, or Prunus cerasus L. and Prunus avium L, essentially, the morello cherries for cooking or the cherries you see in the shops and in your veg boxes this week!
All varieties of cherries are highly nutritious and packed with fibre, vitamins, and minerals, which includes 18% rda of vitamin C, 10% of potassium and 5% rda of copper and manganese. Vitamin C is essential for maintaining your immune system and skin health while potassium is needed for muscle contraction, nerve function, blood pressure regulation, and many other critical bodily processes
Cherries are rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds (though the amounts vary from variety to variety) This high antioxidant content may help combat oxidative stress, a condition that is linked to multiple chronic diseases and premature aging. In fact, one review found that eating cherries effectively reduced inflammation in 11 out of 16 studies and markers of oxidative stress in 8 out of 10 studies.
They can boost exercise recovery. A study in 27 endurance runners demonstrated that those who consumed 480 mg of powdered tart cherries daily for 10 days before a half-marathon averaged 13% faster race times and experienced less muscle soreness than a placebo group.
Cherries may benefit heart health. Just 1 cup (154 grams) of pitted, sweet cherries provides 10% of the DV for potassium, a mineral that is essential for keeping your heart healthy. It’s needed to maintain a regular heartbeat and helps remove excess sodium from your body, regulating your blood pressure.
They also improve symptoms of arthritis and gout. Many studies show that cherries help inhibit oxidative stress and decrease inflammation by suppressing inflammatory proteins, which can help reduce symptoms related to arthritis. Plus, they can decrease uric acid levels in your body, making them especially beneficial for those with gout.
My favourite fact - cherries improve sleep! Sweet cherries are high in melatonin, a sleep-inducing hormone. Consuming a glass of cherry juice before you're off to bed can reduce the severity of insomnia and increase overall sleep efficiency.
With the rainy weather this month, roughly 50% of our cherries will be split, not great for picking or storing but perfect for juice making! So we’ll get on and pick some more cherries, because I’m sure this article will convince you cherries are the best fruit ever! (not biased or anything)