Oh my gosh! We are smack in the middle of cherry season here in Washington State! The big luscious Bings and the super sweet local Rainiers (yummy). How could I not take this opportunity to talk about one of my favorite “fruits in season”!
Aside from tasting great, here are 6 Smart Reasons to get those fresh cherries:
1) They are fresh right now! Cherries are nutritionally dense fruits. A cup of cherries is only about 90 calories and contains 3 grams of fiber. Cherries contain a good amount of Vit C, Vit A and potassium, tons of health promoting phenolics and even melatonin which can help us get a better night’s sleep!
2) They have a very low glycemic index score of 22! What … you don’t remember the details about glycemic index? Here you go. Basically, 22 is low and low is good. An apple is 39 and watermelon is 72. They are both super healthy too, just not as sweet as that sweet cherry!
3) Improves recovery time after exercise! A review out of the UK covers “the role of cherries in exercise and health”. Basically, athletes who eat cherries or take a cherry juice supplement recover quicker and experience less pain!
4) Cherries contain special phytonutirients that protect nerve and brain cells. Researchers have identified a group of phenolics in cherries that have a strong anti-neurodegenerative effect (that’s a scientific way of saying they protect our brains)!
5) Research shows that sweet Bing cherries decrease several blood markers of chronic inflammation. The main marker that we follow with my patients is CRP. In this study, CRP went down 20%! Chronic inflammation is directly associated with heart disease, cancer and many other health conditions.
6) A Study out of Boston shows a 35% lower risk of suffering a gout attack. People with gout are called “gout sufferers” for a good reason … gout hurts like crazy! For folks on anti-gout medicine, the added cherries drop attacks by 75%!
Now, if you have health or medical conditions, or food allergies, talk to your doctor about how you should manage those issues. I am not prescribing cherries for you. I am recommending cherries for all of us who can enjoy this tasty fruit. We are fortunate to have organic cherries readily available here. For me … it’s organic all the way!
I figure out all sorts of ways to enjoy these cherries. At this time of year pretty much everything is finished with a “cherry on top” (or at least in a bowl on the table)!