Health Approach
Superfood : Cherries

Superfood : Cherries

Cherries are full of delicious nutrition. They give you a boost of essential vitamins and nutrients, including potassium, copper, vitamin C and polyphenols. Cherries also bolster recovery from your workout, help fight free radicals, and help you sleep better. Plus, they’re good to eat when frozen or fresh. Well, never ever we expect this little fruit to be so good for you? Read on to discover the health benefits of cherries.

What Cherries Can Do To Your Body?

Instead of taking a potassium-rich banana to balance electrolytes and eliminate muscle cramps after a run, how about substituting if with two handfuls (1 1/2 cups) of cherries to get the same potassium intake. Just 1 cup of cherries provides more copper than Chinook salmon, more than half the magnesium of raw spinach and the vitamin C of half a lemon.

In addition to appeasing the fiber in the body, cherries are also rich in polyphenols, melatonin, carotenoids, and vitamins E and C. These vitamins and nutrients are packed with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory powers that reduce many plasma serum levels (blood markers) for oxidative stress and inflammation.

In Brief, Cherries are a nutritious superfood that provides your body with a dose of beneficial antioxidants. Read on to discover the unique benefits of cherries for your workout, sleep quality and mood.

Health Benefits Of Cherries

1.  Expedite Your Workout Recovery

Are you looking for a boost to speed up recovery after training? Grab those cherries especially the sour ones. Research has shown that tart cherry juice helps reduce muscle pain and supports post-workout recovery.

  • A scientific review of the human health benefits of cherries, focusing on marathon runners, triathletes, and water polo players, has overwhelmingly shown that tart cherry juice reduces the pain of aching muscles recovering from exercise.
  • Another study of 54 marathoners drank a glass of cherry juice or a placebo every day for a week before running a race. Those who drank the cherry juice reported significantly less muscle pain after the competition.
  • In several studies, athletes who drank cherry juice showed lower levels of creatine and lactate, the blood markers that indicate muscle damage after exercise.
  • Another study showed that athletes regained strength faster using the antioxidant power of Montmorency cherry juice, a special variety of pie cherries.

2.  Supports A Healthy Inflammatory Response

Cherries contain polyphenols, micronutrients that give many fruits and vegetables their color and turn these foods into powerful antioxidants. A type of polyphenol, anthocyanin, which gives dark cherries their color, has been shown to suppress the body’s release of inflammatory proteins that cause pain and soreness. Studies also showed that tart cherry juice was effective in reducing the painful uric acid that builds up in extremities, such as the feet or ankles experienced by people with arthritis.

3.  Help Fight Free Radicals In Your Body

Cherries do have a powerful antioxidant effect. You will want the antioxidants in your diet to help fight the free radicals that your cells produce when they use energy or are exposed to oxidative stress. Too much free radicals can damage cells and contribute to inflammation. These antioxidants do help contribute healthy inflammation and an immune response.

Studies have shown that cherry polyphenols help protect the body from disease. Monoterpenes, substances that give cherries their scent, may have the ability to prevent cancer cells from multiplying successfully. These are simply awesome attributes for such a small fruit.

4.  Assist You In Getting A Better Sleep

Everybody does want a more restful sleep, don’t we? And the answer to this is by adding cherry juice to your diet. Cherries contain melatonin, a hormone that synchronizes the adrenal glands and digestive system, balances the circadian rhythm and helps the body regulate sleep. In a study done where volunteers drank tart cherry juice concentrate for a week, those participants reported that they slept longer and better than participants who were given placebo.

5.  Aid Mood

Now, this is a bit offbeat to digest but cherries do have the same relaxing effect as a turkey dinner. The tryptophan in turkey is a major player in the body’s process of producing serotonin, a neurotransmitter that can help improve mood and memory. Cherries contain both tryptophan and serotonin, giving them extra strength to balance brain function and overall mental health. A study has shown that cherries grown in the Spain’s Jerte Valley do have a good source of tryptophan in them.

6.  Helps Balancing Your Blood Sugar

Of all the fruits, cherries are ranked as one of the lowest fruits in the glycemic index and glycemic load. Cherries have a glycemic index of 22, which raises blood sugar by about half that of an apple or orange. In comparison, pure sugar is 100. This means that cherries do not raise blood sugar as much as other fruits. Keeping blood sugar stable is a lifestyle factor that reduces the risk of insulin resistance, the precursor to diabetes.

The Bottom Line is if you just add cherries to your diet, you can be reassured that you are getting more vitamins and nutrients your body needs. This by itself is already a sweet advantage.

Picture Credit

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *