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Cherries Pack a Healthy Punch

Published on Jul. 26, 2022

bowl of cherries

Living in Michigan means we can take advantage of all of the fresh, local produce we’re able to access during the growing season. And the cherry on top is that cherries themselves are chock full of nutritious benefits.

What potential benefits can you expect from this delicious fruit?

"Montmorency tart cherries have a high concentration of anthocyanins, an antioxidant that may offer cardio-protective benefits and decrease inflammation in the body," says Munson Healthcare Community Health Coordinator Tara Rybicki, MS, RDN.

Keep reading to learn the many benefits you can get from snacking on cherries.

Ease Soreness After Exercise

Tart cherries can help with muscle pain after working out. Researchers also theorize that the antioxidants and anti-inflammatory traits in tart cherry products may reduce exercise-induced muscle damage.

Limit Arthritis Symptoms

Arthritis affects about 1 in 4 U.S. adults. A recent review in the journal Nutrients reported that cherries have anti-arthritic properties and may lower the frequency of arthritis flare-ups.

Cut Down on Your Chances for Gout Attacks

handful of cherriesGout is a condition caused by too much uric acid building up in the joints. Affected joints experience extreme pain and swelling. The Nutrients review cited a study in which gout patients who ate fresh cherries or drank cherry extract for just two days showed a 35 percent lower risk for gout attacks.

Control Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors

A study in the journal Food & Function found that drinking tart cherry juice for 12 weeks can lower systolic blood pressure and LDL (bad) cholesterol in older adults. High blood pressure and high LDL levels can put you at risk for heart disease.

Boost Sleep

Melatonin is a hormone that helps control sleep-wake cycles. It’s found in tart cherry juice and whole tart cherries. A nightcap of cherry juice could help ease you to sleep quicker.

Manage Diabetes

Some studies suggest that eating cherries may help promote healthy glucose regulation, which may make them a nutritious option for people with diabetes.

When life hands you a bowl of cherries, eat them! You’ll reap the healthy rewards* in no time. Remember to consult your provider before making changes to your diet, including adding a large amount of fresh cherries or cherry juice.

*Please note that studies on the nutritional benefits of cherries include a high daily dose of cherries.

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