Even though there are over 1,000 different types of cherries, they are
separated into two classifications: sweet and sour.
Typically, sweet cherries are the ones you’ll be snacking on by the pool
this summer or found as a garnish for your cocktails.
Sour cherries are often used for cooking mouthwatering desserts or manufacturing that classic cherry syrup used in medicine to mask the original flavor.
No matter how you choose to enjoy cherries, here are some great health
benefits you’ll experience in the process.
Health Benefit #1 –
Cherries contain antioxidants.
We’ve all heard this word before, but what does it actually mean?
Antioxidants fight the oxidation of other molecules.
Even though oxidation is a natural process, too much of it isn’t
Oxidation creates something called free radicals which are unstable
molecules that steal electrons from other molecules.
Once that happens, those molecules also become free radicals which start a chain reaction. In short: it damages cells.
Because of this, the antioxidants in cherries can help in numerous ways.
It lowers the risk of some types of cancers (including colon, pharynx,
larynx, mouth, and lung cancer), and battles mental diseases related to
dementia (like Alzheimer’s).
Even if you may not need any of this now, prevention is always better than a cure.
Luckily, in this case, prevention is also delicious!
Bonus tip: the antioxidant levels decrease in frozen cherries, and even more so in canned cherries, however, the level remains noteworthy.
Health Benefit #2 – Not only do they
feed your stomach, but your brain too!
Cherries contain a compound called flavonoids which shield the fruit from both insect and microbe damage, thus
better preserving the many health components.
Moreover, flavonoids are likely to prevent neurons from dying and even strengthen their attachment to other neurons.
One specific antioxidant compound they have, anthocyanin, includes
These features are known to be inhibitory for brain deterioration,
enhance cognition, and improve memory.
Additionally, consuming the nutrients naturally instead of through
manufactured medicine, the contents will not have any negative side effects on
Health Benefit #3 – They can help
Everyone knows the best way to cure a hangover is to prevent one in the
But sometimes you get caught up and wake up the next day regretting your
choices anyway – it happens to the best of us.
While there is no known hangover “cure,” there are ways to make it a
little more tolerable.
Not only will they help you replenish the lost electrolytes, but
cherries contain natural fructose which is believed to quicken the metabolism
of alcohol in the body.
Only time can completely cure a hangover, but with cherries that time
may be shortened.
Health Benefit #4 – They help you
bounce back after a workout.
After a long workout (or even a short one) one of the worst parts is the
soreness you feel the next day.
It can be difficult to get into a routine of going to the gym when you
continually feel the side effects of your previous exercise.
The anti-inflammatory properties from the anthocyanin help speed up the
recovery process by repairing your muscles quicker.
Eating cherries also results in less muscle damage in the first place.
This links back to the antioxidants which produce more oxygen in your system.
This also means you will experience less muscle pain and tenderness
Health Benefit #5 – Cherries help you
with weight loss.
Surprisingly enough, cherries are rich with dietary fiber which helps
you feel full quicker.
Eating a bowl of cherries before a meal will help you eat less overall
and help speed up your metabolism.
This also means cherries make a great snack for in between meals or
satisfying your craving for sweets.
Even with all their benefits, one cherry contains about 5 calories, so
be sure to keep track of just how much you eat, otherwise using cherries to
lose weight will backfire
Health Benefit #6 – Cherries can help
you fall to sleep, and stay asleep.
The list of natural food that contains melatonin is short, and cherries
happen to be on it.
Melatonin is a natural hormone found in the body, but certain habits can
prevent it from producing enough to sleep well.
On average, there are 13 nanograms of melatonin per gram of cherry.
While this may sound like an insignificant amount, studies have shown
that it’s enough to make a difference.
Drinking a glass or two of tart cherry juice 30-60 minutes before bed
and bringing more melatonin into your system will make it easier to not only fall
asleep at night, but stay asleep.
As you can see, the diverse utility in such a tiny fruit is impressive!
With a delicious taste to match, it’s easy to incorporate into your
So the next time you’re at a grocery store or better yet, farmers market,
be sure to pick up a batch of these tasty red health boosters.