Cherries are, without a doubt, one of the tastiest fruits on the planet.
Their unique mixture of potent polyphenols, flavonoids, and anthocyanins deliver a truly powerful flavor profile that no other fruit can truly match. They combine sweetness and tartness with a rich aroma that sets your palate ablaze and makes for one heck of a tasty pie.
Oh, and they’re also incredibly good for your health!
Below, we’re going to take a look at eight facts you need to know about cherries—facts that will, by the end, make it clear whether or not you should be adding cherries to your daily diet.
(Spoiler: Despite one minor drawback, they’re definitely a good food choice!)
1. They’re high in sugar -- Let’s get this one “negative” out of the way first: cherries are very high in sugar, with a glycemic index of 62 (for fresh sweet cherries) . What this high GI ranking means is that the sugar in cherries will elevate your blood glucose levels noticeably. It’s important to know that cherries are a concern for those worried about high blood sugar. If you’re going to eat cherries, you should never eat more than a single serving size (of roughly one cup or 21 cherries) at a time to avoid blood sugar spikes.
2. They’re loaded with nutrients – Just absolutely packed, really! A single serving of cherries delivers 2 grams of protein (in a fruit?!), 3 grams of fiber, 25 grams of carbohydrates, 18% of your daily dose of Vitamin C, 10% of your daily dose of potassium, and 5% of both copper and manganese. You also get Vitamin K, magnesium, and B vitamins, making this a truly beneficial fruit indeed.
3. They’re heart-smart -- In one summary of multiple studies , cherries were able to lower blood hemoglobin levels and decrease cholesterol (VLDL and LDL both) and triglycerides in obese and diabetic participants. They can even help to manage blood pressure!
4. They’re an amazing source of antioxidants – All the tart, rich flavor of cherries comes straight from the wide range of polyphenols, flavonoids, and anthocyanins that make the fruit such an amazingly healthy choice. As the above-mentioned study discovered, eating cherries led to a noticeable decrease in inflammation and oxidative stress.
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5. They’re a bodybuilder’s best friend – Those who are trying to build muscle strength and size will definitely want to add cherries into their daily lives. Cherries have been proven to decrease inflammation, including exercise-induced muscle inflammation . Not only that, but they can also prevent muscle function loss, strength loss, and decrease post-workout soreness, all thanks to their anti-inflammatory properties. One study conducted on marathon runners  found that tart cherries helped to increase endurance and decrease muscle soreness. The runners actually completed their races faster thanks to the powdered cherries they were eating for the 10 days leading up to the race.
Whether you take powdered cherries, drink tart cherry juice, or power through a cup-sized serving of tart cherries, these fruits make an amazing post-workout recovery snack that, thanks to their high natural sugar content, will give you an excellent energy boost.
6. They can fight arthritis – In one review of multiple studies , all four of the studies conducted into the effects of cherries on arthritis found that the fruits led to noticeable improvement in the participants’ condition. This is likely because of the anti-inflammatory benefits of cherries, which combat the joint swelling that causes so much pain and stiffness. Cherries’ antioxidant properties can also suppress oxidative stress and the inflammatory proteins that initially trigger the arthritic swelling, making them a preventative measure.
7. They help treat and manage gout – Cherries have another lesser-known benefit: they can help to decrease uric acid levels in your body. This makes them highly effective at treating gout, a condition where uric acid crystals form in the joints and cause a great deal of pain. By lowering uric acid levels, they can decrease the risk of the painful crystals forming in the joints. In fact, one study  found that those who ate fresh cherries for just a couple of days experienced 35% fewer attacks of gout than the control group. When combining fresh cherries with the anti-gout medication allopurinol, the gout attack risk decreased by a whopping 75%!
8. They may help you sleep better – Are you struggling to fall asleep at night? Do you toss and turn in bed, waking up frequently throughout the night? Do you wake up in the morning feeling as tired as when you went to bed? Cherries can help with all these problems!
Tart cherries are packed with melatonin, the hormone that regulates your body’s natural sleep cycle. Just one drink of tart cherry juice before bed can have noticeable effects on your internal melatonin levels , as well as your total sleep time, time spent in bed, and overall sleep efficiency.
What an amazing little fruit! The high sugar content is something to be aware of—and a factor to bear in mind when measuring portion sizes—but you’ll find that otherwise cherries are a truly amazing, health-boosting food that definitely deserves a place in your diet. Your brain, sleep cycle, joints, muscles, cardiovascular system, and even your mental health will drastically improve thanks to these tart and tasty fruits.
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