Delicious and sweet, dark-red cherries are a traditional summer favorite, and they're great for you! A single serving of fresh cherries contains 87 calories, which makes cherries a perfect snack for the weight-conscious as summer winds to an end. One of the most popular superfruits, cherries come with an impressive list of health benefits.
Fresh cherries are still on the shelves of your local produce center, don't miss this great seasonal treat!
- Maintain Healthy Tissue: Vitamin C, a natural antioxidant, is present in dark-red cherries. It helps repair tissue and produce collagen, and is vital for maintaining healthy skin, strong tendons and ligaments, blood vessels and cartilage. It is also absolutely required for healing wounds and maintaining bone strength. A single cup of dark-red cherries contains 9.7 milligrams of vitamin C, between 8 and 13 percent of the recommended dietary intake for adults.
- Weight-loss Aid: Cherries are rich in fiber which aids in weight loss and healthy weight management. Fiber calories are not fully digested or absorbed in the body and create a sense of satiety. A single cup of cherries provides approximately 3 grams of fiber.
- Cardiovascular Disease Protection: The anthocyanins which give cherries their dark red color can significantly reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease; it does this by protecting your body's lipids from damage caused by inflammation, cardiovascular plaque and nitric oxide formation.
- Fight Cancer: The fiber, vitamin C, carotenoids and anthocyanins are all important anti-cancer factors found in sweet cherries, while the cyanidin in cherries increases free radical scavenging of the body, which also helps prevent and fight cancer.
- Diabetes Protection: Researchers are looking at the role of the anthocyanins found in cherries in reducing insulin resistance and glucose intolerance. Cherries also have a moderate glycemic index of approximately 22, making it a good fruit snack.
- Inflammation Prevention: A study in the published in the Journal of Nutrition found that sweet cherries reduce inflammation -- a known factor raising the risks of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and arthritis. Recently, studies have also linked obesity to elevated inflammatory responses.
- Promote Healthy Sleep: Sweet cherries contain melatonin, which helps regulate circadian rhythms and promotes healthy sleep patterns. A 2002 study indicated that melatonin could be effective in reducing jet lag.
- Reduce Risk of Hypertension and Stroke: A serving of cherries contains 270 mg of potassium, offering important help in the reduction of the risk hypertension and stroke.
- Alzheimer’s Disease Protection: Studies indicate that compounds found in sweet cherries help protect neuronal cells that aid brain function and may reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease.
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