02 Sep 2020: #HealthBytes: Benefits of eating cherries
Each cherry tree produces about 7,000 fruits every harvest season, which come in variety of colors ranging from yellow to black and of course, red.
Apart from a distinct taste, cherries also offer great nutritional value and can be added to your diet easily, in the form of juices, pies, tarts and more.
Here are some benefits you can reap from consumption of cherries.
Fact: Cherries contain antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds
Cherries are really high in antioxidants. The pigments that give cherries their color signify that they have a lot of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. Eating cherries daily can reduce markers of inflammation associated with chronic diseases as well.
Heart: Eating cherries may benefit heart health
Increasing your intake of nutrients-dense fruits like cherries is a tasty way to protect your heart as they are rich in compounds that can promote cardiac health.
Cherries can help in ensuring optimum potassium intake needed in maintaining a regular heartbeat and regulating blood pressure.
The powerful polyphenol antioxidants, including anthocyanins, flavonols, and catechins in cherries may protect your heart from cellular damage.
Sleep: These red fruits promote better sleep cycle
Cherries, particularly tart cherries, contain high concentrations of key phytochemicals including melatonin that helps in regulating our sleep cycles.
One study on people suffering from insomnia found that compared to a placebo, eight ounces of tart cherry juice in the morning and one to two hours before hitting the bed can increase your sleep time by an hour and 24 minutes.
Recovery: For improving athletic performance, reducing muscle damage
Consuming cherries, especially tart cherry products like juice and powder, may improve athletic performance and reduce muscle damage and soreness after intense workout.
Research shows that the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds in cherries may help in relieving these exercise-induced issues.
For example, a study found that drinking tart cherry juice for seven days before and during a strenuous running event minimized post-run muscle pain.
Gout: Consumption of cherries may improve symptoms of gout
Due to their anti-inflammatory effects, cherries may reduce symptoms of gout, a type of arthritis caused by the build-up of uric acid that causes extreme swelling, inflammation, and pain in the joints.
Cherries help inhibit oxidative stress and decrease inflammation that can not only reduce symptoms of arthritis, but also decreases uric acid levels in the body, which is beneficial for those with gout.