Hello and welcome to today’s installment of Cooking with Fey! On this beautiful sunny Friday we are going to continue exploring iconic summer foods and dive into another delicious warm weather food, cherries.
Aside from comforting thoughts of delicious pie, cherries have health benefits to add to your diet such as: reducing free radicals in the body, help us sleep better at night, battling certain cancers and assisting with the management of heart conditions or diabetes. Cherries are also an excellent source of Vitamin C, Potassium, antioxidants that fight free radicals inside the body and melatonin.
Vitamin C, which is an important nutrient linked to immune system health. Having a strong immune system helps the body ward off illness or recover faster from sickness. Vitamin C is also great for the heart. In a research study published by the Harvard School of Public Health, the diets of 126,399 adults were examined over the course of many years to reveal that for every serving of fruits and vegetables a person consumed, there was a 4% reduction in their risk of developing coronary heart disease. Vitamin C also increases iron absorption in the body, so if you suffer from an iron deficiency or anemia, then cherries might be the answer you’ve been looking for.
Meanwhile, potassium helps the body maintain a normal blood pressure and nerve function. Just one cup of this fruit contains approximately the same amount of potassium as a small banana, and can help the nervous system regulate muscle movements more effectively. Sweet cherries are also rich in beta carotene, vitamin C, anthocyanins and quercetin, which some scientists are discovering mix together in a powerhouse cocktail to combat certain forms of cancer.
As you may know, cherries are a stone fruit that contains a fantastic source of antioxidants to fight off free radicals in the body. As you may remember from a previous blog on strawberries, antioxidants have been shown in studies to delay cognitive issues like memory less, fight some cancers and decrease your chances of developing heart disease or diabetes.
These same antioxidants also keep our skin looking young and beautiful. Science is starting to show that consuming antioxidants can help slow the onset of wrinkles, age spots or decreased elasticity in our skin.
Science is also starting to show that the antioxidants found in cherries’ antioxidants protect against free radicals that can be created from intense exercise. Meaning gym goers such as myself can heal and recover faster from vigorous training at the gym.
Moreover, cherries have a much lower glycemic index than many other fruits. This means that they don’t the same spikes and subsequent crashes in blood sugar or insulin levels. Which is amazing for both protective against diabetes and for managing the condition if a patient is already living with it.
Cherries are also a natural source of melatonin, which is the hormone responsible for helping us get a good night’s sleep. For this, tart cherries appear to have higher concentrations of melatonin than their sweet counterparts. Even drinking a cherry concentrate is an all-natural alternative to melatonin supplements. So try tart cherries the next time you’re having difficulties getting to sleep at night.