These sweet little fruits, often associated metaphorically with a phrase that means “something special added”, are not only fun to eat, they are packed with nutrients that enrich health. The benefits from cherries range from cleansing the liver to aiding sleep to relieving pain.
What are Cherries?
Both varieties of cherries, sweet and sour, grow on trees native to the United States, Europe and Asia. They are one of the first trees to bear fruit in the spring. The fruits can be susceptible to damage from rain and hail, making cherries slightly higher in price at the market, however their delicious flavor and healing properties are well worth the cost.
Cherries are a high fiber food, rich in potassium, carotenoids and melatonin. They also contain vitamin C and the trace minerals zinc and iron. In the produce section at the store, look for cherries that are dark red in color, as they have the most healing benefits.
Healing Benefits from Cherries
Add cherries to the diet, in small daily amounts, to benefit in the following ways.
- High source of antioxidants, easing inflammation and reducing pain. Sour cherries have been shown to inhibit tumor development. They are especially effective against non-Hopkin’s lymphoma, melanoma and glioblastoma.
- Cleanse the digestive tract, relieving constipation, and cleanse the bladder too, alleviating spastic bladder and bladder prolapse.
- Boost the endocrine system, stimulating or suppressing the appetite, making them beneficial for weight loss or weight management.
- Reduce the risks for cardiovascular disease.
- Treat gout, a painful arthritic condition of the big toe, and provide symptom relief for osteoarthritis.
- Regulate the sleep-wake cycle and promote a better night’s sleep.
- Protect the brain from Alzheimer’s, dementia and brain tumors.
- Phytochemical compounds in cherries remove radiation and repair myelin nerve damage. Remove toxins from the reproductive system, reducing fibroids and ovarian cysts.
- Cleanse and rejuvenate the liver, drawing out petrochemicals and toxins from deep within the organ.
When in season, add fresh cherries to salads, smoothies and fruit bowls. They can be eaten alone as well. Easily remove the pit by slicing the cherry in two.
Cherries freeze well and can also be purchased dried, which are great to include in home made granola. Add cherries to healthy treats such as frozen banana nice dream, or drop into freshly made, sugar free lemonades and limeades. Cherry juice is also available. Look for brands without added sugar.
I enjoy adding cherries to fruit smoothies. The rich, sweet or tart taste blends perfectly with other fruits. However, my favorite way to snack on cherries is to grab a handful…and savor each delightful cherry.
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