A bowl of deep red cherries is the perfect summertime snack. But, did you know these delicious little fruits have lots of health benefits? Here, Gabriel Patterson, fitness trainer and nutrition expert, shares five reasons to add cherries to your diet:
There are many ways to add cherries to your meals; the most obvious way is to eat them raw. However, dried cherries mixed with other fruits and nuts make a great trail mix. You can also add fresh cherries to desserts and pastries. For a more savory dish, make barbecue sauce or salsa with cherries. It is easy to experiment with new recipes with the fruit.
Full of Nutrients
Cherries are loaded with fiber and essential vitamins and minerals. A cup of cherries has less than 100 calories and lots of Vitamin C, which is good for skin and your immune system. The fiber in cherries helps promote a healthy digestive system and encourages the growth of beneficial bacteria in your body.
There have been a few recent studies conducted on the effect of cherries on sleep. The fruit is known to contain melatonin, which naturally regulates your sleeping cycle. In the study, patients with insomnia were given concentrated cherry juice before bed. After the study was completed, many participants reported falling asleep faster and staying asleep for longer after drinking the juice. By adding more cherries to your diet, you may be able to achieve the same results.
Good for Your Heart
Studies have shown that diets rich in fruits are good for your heart; overall, your risk for heart disease decreases if you eat a lot of fruit and vegetables. Cherries are rich in potassium, which helps prevent strokes. They also contain polyphenols, which reduce cellular damage in your heart tissue.
Assist in Exercise Recovery
As you exercise, your muscles develop tiny tears; this is why you are often sore after a hard workout. Cherries contain anti-inflammatory compounds that can reduce pain after physical activity. There are several products containing cherries that are given to athletes to help them recover and get back to peak performance. Tart cherries work best for athletes, but sweet cherry is also beneficial.
The next time you are at the grocery store, consider picking up some cherries. These tiny fruits are tasty and have many health benefits. Follow these tips from Gabriel Patterson to help easily incorporate cherries into your daily diet.