Did you know that February is National Cherry Month in the US? Also, you can eat cherries in salads? (I didn’t!) Read on to see what are the 6 fruity health benefits of cherries.
4 Minutes read.
A Few Facts About Cherries.
The word ‘cherry’ comes from the ancient Greek town of Cerasus, now Giresun in Turkey, which is currently the world’s leading producer of cherries. Turkey produces approximately 535,000 tons per year.
Archaeologists found fossilised cherry pits in prehistoric caves throughout Europe and Asia. The earliest written record of cherries comes from a Greek author, Theophrastus, who included them in his History of Plants in 300 BCE.
Roman soldiers eat cherries as part of their rations. Trees grew from the pits that they discarded.
An average cherry tree can produce up to 7,000 cherries (or the equivalent of 28 cherry pies!) and can survive around an impressive 100 years.
Cherry Blossom trees don’t actually produce cherries!
The trees belong to the rose family and reach maturity after 7 years.
There are 1000 different varieties; including Lamberts, Lapins, Rainers and Royal Anns. More than 500 varieties are sweet and this is the similar number for the tart ones and only 20% are used in commercial products. They are often used in the cosmetic and perfume industries because of their lovely smell.
The world record for cherry-pit spitting is currently at 93 feet, set by Brian Krause in Michigan in 2004.
In Oliver, British Colombia, the world’s heaviest cherry pie was baked. It weighed 39,683 pounds or 18,000 kg! This record has not yet been beaten. Check out this YouTube video for more.
6 Fruity Health Benefits of Cherries
There are some unusual benefits but, bear in mind, more research is needed. Cherries could:-
- Lower inflammation in your body. Participants in 11 out of 16 studies who ate cherries or cherry products, showed lowered inflammatory markers when tested. However, there weren’t many people taking part in those studies.
- Improve your brain health. A study with older people with mild to moderate dementia who drank cherry juice every day for 13 weeks, found their memory had improved. This could be due to cherries containing chemical compounds called ‘anthocyanins’ which have been associated with better brain health, thinking and memory.
- Help you to fight heart disease. Not only cherries are high in polyphenols (group of plant chemicals which have been recognised to help fight heart disease and certain cancers) but they are also a good source of potassium that helps to keep a regular heartbeat and remove excess sodium from your body which helps your blood pressure.
- Improve symptoms of arthritis and gout. Cherries can lower uric levels in your body. In a study of 633 people who had gout, 35% had fewer gout attacks when they ate fresh cherries for only 2 days then those who didn’t eat them.
- Help you sleep better. Cherries contain melatonin, a hormone that is important to help you sleep. However, you would need to eat 25 sweet or 100 tart cherries a day for this effect. Therefore, drinking concentrated cherry juice is recommended.
- Help fight muscle damage from exercise. A study of marathon runners recovered better who drank tart cherry juice for a few days pre and post-race than those who didn’t. Another study found that runners who drank tart cherry juice twice a day for a week before a long run, experience less pain from running.
Ideas how to include cherries in your diet.
Obviously, you can eat them as a snack, in baked goods, smoothies, juices; (be careful of the sugar content), and in salads. Why not check out this Cherry Couscous and Arugula salad with Balsamic Vinegar recipe? It contains olive oil, lemon juice, mustard, honey, sliced almonds, and goat’s cheese (optional.) It takes about 25 minutes to prepare.
Being a runner, I’m definitely going to try cherry juice to help me.
Thank you for reading. It’s good to be back.
Sources: tasteofhome.com, mentalfloss.com, justfunfacts.com, seriousfacts.com, mobile_cuisine.com, express.co.uk, webmd.com, healthline.com, bbcgoodfood.com, medicalnewstoday.com, cookieandkate.com
13 thoughts on “6 Fruity Health Benefits of Cherries”
Hi Rachel. Fantastic article about cherries . Cherries are one of my favourite fruits to eat. Keep the hard work up. Tony
Thank you, Tony. X
I had no idea cheeries contained melatonin. I’ll have to make time to look into that, as anything that could help me sleep would be really useful
I hope it helps. 😀
My family and I love cherries. Especially my Dad. Cherries heal his gout. Btw, I did not know that there’s a Cherry month in the USA. I wish we have a fruit month in Malaysia too.
That’s great cherries helping your Dad. Thank you for commenting. 😀
Welcome back Rachel! I hope you had a refreshing break. I do like cherries, although I’m not a fan of cherry pie for some reason.
Thank you, Michelle. I love them in scones. 😀
You teach me that cherries are good for gout. I will recommend this to a friend of mine who suffers from it. It is a fruit that I do not eat often but I will make an effort now that I know its benefits. 🍒🍒🍒
Thank you, Francine. I hope they help your friend. 😀
Fantastic article about cherries.I had no idea cheeries contained melatonin.You teach me that cherries are good for gout. I will recommend this to a friend of mine who suffers from it.
I hope they help them. Thank you for commenting.