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When was the last time you ate a cherry? It’s more than just a fancy garnish on a sundae. If you’re not eating cherries, you’re missing out on the fantastic health benefits that cherries have to offer.

These tasty fruits are often overshadowed by fruits like the popular banana and traditional apple. This is truly unfortunate, so I think it’s time the health benefits of all cherries, both tart and sweet, are well known!

1. Cherries Help To Prevent Cell Damage

Like apples, cherries are high in a commonly consumed flavonoid called quercetin. Quercetin has a strong antioxidant capacity, and antioxidants neutralize free radicals to prevent damage to bodily cells and tissues.

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You don’t need to eat a whole basket of cherries to enjoy their benefits either. Just 3.5 ounces of cherries have a Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) of 580, which is similar to that of citrus fruits.

2. Cherries Can Reduce Your Risk of Developing Heart Disease

In addition to preventing cell damage, and according to the American Society for Clinical Nutrition, the quercetin in cherries has the potential to prevent the formation of blood clots, thus reducing the risk of heart failure and stroke.

Cherries also have a high level of phytosterols, with 12 milligrams of phytosterols per 100 grams of cherries. These compounds are known for their cholesterol lowering effects for bad cholesterol (LDL) without affecting the levels of good cholesterol (HDL).

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Another cholesterol-lowering property of cherries is the vitamin C it contains. Sweet cherries are high in vitamin C, with 100 grams of cherries containing seven milligrams of vitamin C, which is 12% of your daily recommended vitamin C based on a 2,000-calorie diet. Vitamin C has been related to a lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease.

3. Cherries Reduce Your Cancer Risk

The quercetin in cherries can even inhibit tumor growth! Eating foods rich in this compound could reduce your risk of lung cancer and inhibit the growth of cancer cells from breast, colon, prostate, ovarian and endometrial tumors.

4. Cherries Can Help With Pain Relief

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If you’re suffering from cancer, you should know that cherries have been studied for their ability to relieve cancer pain. Cherries are both a cancer prevention and cancer-coping method. These delightful fruits even have anti-inflammatory properties that can relieve arthritis symptoms, including gout.

5. Cherries Help You Get Better Sleep

Tart cherries can help you get to sleep because they contain melatonin, a hormone that helps you sleep and influences sleep patterns according to the US National Library of Medicine.

6.Cherries Can Help You Lose Weight

Raw, sweet cherries contain 2.1 grams of fiber per 100 grams, which will give you 8% of daily recommended soluble fiber. Soluble fiber can also lower bad cholesterol, plus fiber can help you lose weight by making you feel satiated for long periods of time and helping with bowel movements.

What are you waiting for? Snack on some cherries, juice them, cook them, toss them in a salad or bake with them! The health benefits are yours to consume, and the delicious taste is just the cherry on top!

Sources:

http://www.healthnewslibrary.com/the-flavorful-benefits-of-cherries/

http://www.i-cholesterol.com/cherries/

Image Source:

https://homeeducatedmom.files.wordpress.com/2011/07/dsc_0777.jpg

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