Cherries Impressive Health Benefits
Cherries are a quintessential summer fruit. Sweet or Tart or both cherries are low in calories, low in sugar, high in fiber, vitamins, minerals and nutrients.
Quite honestly they taste damn delicious!
And I thought I would share why I think you should be including them in your diet.
A little History About the Different Types of Cherries
Wondering what type of cherries you should be buying in the store?
There are more than 1,000 varieties of cherries that fall into 8 types.
Probably the most popular and recognized cherry. Heart shaped, juicy and sweet. These are great for a snack and perfect for dessert dishes. Of course the cherry on top of your sundae is always a Bing.
Darker red to a dark purple in color. They should be enjoyed right from the stem. Also great for baking.
Light red in color, tart in flavor. Grown in Michigan making them a favorite among locals. Not great for snacking but great for using in your cherry pie recipe, or if you would like to make some homemade jam.
Another very tart and sour cherry. Only use these in your favorite tart recipe.
Originally from Washington named after the state’s largest mountain, Mr. Rainer.
Pink and yellow with a super sweet, candy flavor. Great as a snack or added to your favorite salad or breakfast cereal.
When Should You Buy Cherries?
The start of cherry season depends on where you live, but generally, you’ll start to see fresh cherries popping up at farmers’ stands around mid-May.
A few weeks later, around early June, is when you’ll likely see in-season and affordable bags in your local grocery store. July is when the cherry season is in full swing. July is the absolute peak of cherry season.
How to Store Your Cherries
Fresh cherries will last three to four days if kept on the counter and can last up to a week in the refrigerator.
Tip #1: Only rinse cherries right before eating.
Tip #2: Leave stems on cherries until you are ready to eat them. This slows down the ripening process.
Tip #3: Cherries can last longer if frozen properly, keeping for up to six months. I like to pit my cherries, lay them in a single layer on a cookie sheet and place the cookie sheet in the freezer. Once cherries have frozen, remove cookie sheet and place frozen cherries in a freezer bag.
Why should you eat Cherries?
Obviously you want to eat cherries because they are so dang delicious. Fresh in season Cherries are a delicious thing!
The other reason you should incorporate cherries in all their forms into your diet is because of the fabulous health benefits cherries offer.
Research suggests that cherries (in fresh, dried, and juice form) may help reduce inflammation and exercise-induced muscle soreness, lower blood pressure, ease pain in arthritis, improve sleep, and help control blood sugar and lipid levels in people who have diabetes or obesity.
The anti-inflammatory effect of cherries can help to keep your body healthy.
Cherries rank lower than many fruits on the glycemic index. That means they don’t trigger spikes and crashes in your blood sugar and insulin levels.
How to Incorporate Cherries into Your Diet
One of my favorite way to incorporate the health benefits of cherries into my daily diet
is to use a 100% tart Montmorency Cherry Concentrate. I add about 1 tablespoon to a glass of sparkling water. I like to enjoy this after a workout or if I want something a little bubbly with dinner. Add a little squeeze of lime juice for added kick.
I also enjoy adding dried tart cherries to my baked goods and salads. Always good to add in anything with chocolate.
-Double Chocolate Cherry Cookies.
Most salads will improve in taste with a sprinkling of dried cherries.
Smoothies and Yogurt are a great way to add fresh in season Cherries.
What Time of Day is the Best Time to Eat Cherries?
Pretty much anytime.
Great for after a workout.
Researchers have found that the consumption of tart cherry juice improved recovery of isometric muscle strength after an intensive workout.
One theory proposed is that the high levels of polyphenols (including flavonoids and anthocyanins) found in tart cherry juice helped lessen the oxidative damage induced by the exercise.
Great for a small late evening snack.
Studies show that cherries are one of the few foods that are a natural source of melatonin, the chemical that controls the body’s internal clock and regulates sleep. Research indicates you should drink some tart cherry juice — about an hour before hitting the hay to get a good night’s sleep.
Life is just a bowl of cherries, don’t take it seriously, it’s mysterious. Life is just a bowl of cherries, so live and laugh and laugh at love, love a laugh, laugh and love.