Cherries are not only delicious but also offer several health benefits due to their unique nutritional profile and natural compounds. Here are nine ways cherries can be beneficial to human health:
Cherries are packed with antioxidants, particularly anthocyanins and quercetin, which help neutralize harmful free radicals in the body. Free radicals can damage cells and contribute to various health issues, including inflammation and chronic diseases.
The anthocyanins in cherries have potent anti-inflammatory effects, which can help reduce inflammation and its associated symptoms in the body. This makes cherries particularly beneficial for people with conditions such as arthritis or gout.
Cherries may positively impact heart health due to their anthocyanin content. These compounds have been associated with lower blood pressure and reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.
Cherries are a natural source of melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep-wake cycles. Consuming cherries or tart cherry juice may help improve sleep quality and manage sleep disorders, such as insomnia.
Some studies suggest that tart cherry juice can help reduce muscle soreness and speed up recovery after intense physical exercise. The anti-inflammatory properties of cherries are believed to be responsible for this effect.
The antioxidants in cherries, especially anthocyanins, may help protect brain cells from oxidative stress and support cognitive function. They may also play a role in reducing the risk of neurodegenerative diseases.
Cherries are relatively low in calories and high in fiber, making them a satisfying and nutritious option for those trying to manage their weight. The fiber content can also support healthy digestion.
Cherries have a lower glycemic index compared to many other fruits, meaning they cause a slower rise in blood sugar levels. This property can be beneficial for individuals with diabetes or those looking to maintain stable blood sugar levels.
The antioxidants in cherries can help protect the skin from damage caused by environmental factors and aging. They may also support collagen production, which is essential for maintaining skin elasticity and reducing wrinkles.
1. Kelley DS, Adkins Y, Laugero KD. A Review of the health benefits of cherries. Nutrients. 2018;10(3):368.
2. Rees M. 5 benefits of cherries for gout, sleep, and more. 31 Mar 2021. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/benefits-of-cherries. Accessed 31 Jul 2023.