Are cherries a super food? Should they be added to your diet? Consider the following reasons to eat cherries. Then consider adding them to your routine eating habits.
1. They Fight Inflammation
Cherries are proven to be a low inflammatory food. They contain anthocyanins which give cherries that deep red color. The anthocyanins have proven to be as effective in reducing inflammation as do the drugs aspirin, Tylenol, and Ibuprofen. Also, studies have illustrated that Ibuprofen and Tylenol are harmful, particularly to the liver, and are actually quite toxic. So do yourself a favor and try something actually good for your system.
Try adding cherries to help your workout. They have been shown to reduce aches and pains and muscle soreness from a difficult workout. This effect has been shown to be the result of cherries’ anti-inflammatory characteristics.
2. Reduce Gout and Arthritis
Osteoarthritis is experienced by over 33 million Americans. Arthritis physically affects the joint. This means lots of pain and suffering when the joint cartilage wears out. In a test, 58 osteoarthritis patients at an Osteoarthritis Research Center drank 16 ounces per day of cherry juice for 6 weeks. The result of this test was a significant decrease in the index measuring osteoarthritis.
Another version of arthritis that is quite painful is gout, which usually affects the big toe. Major inflammation in the big toe is caused by the accumulation of uric acid crystals in the toe. In a test affecting gout, a survey of 633 persons with gout problems were treated over a 2-day period with cherry extract. The result was a 35% reduction in risk of gout. When the cherry intake was added to allopurinol (a medication for kidney stones and gout), the result was a 75% reduction in risk of gout!
3. Fight Cancer
The anthocyanins in cherries have a significant anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effect. The anthocyanins have been shown to reduce tumor accumulation in mice, and also reduce the presence of colon cancer cells in humans. In a study on mice which had a risk of colon cancer, a treatment of anthocyanins and tart cherries helped prevent tumor growth and colon cancer.
One major study done with cherry extract on humans showed both a reduction of growth in colon cancer as well as a reduction in breast cancer cells.
4. Have an Improved Sleep
A hormone named melatonin in the human helps you deeply sleep and regulates your sleep cycles. Melatonin is found in cherries, one of the few human foods to contain this natural hormone. Tart cherries will be found to contain among the highest levels of melatonin, as opposed to sweet cherries. Try taking 2 tablespoonfuls of cherry juice (tart) before going to sleep. You should experience a deeper sleep, helping your body to repair and heal itself.
Powerful antioxidants are contained in the hormone melatonin. These antioxidants help reduce aging as well as cause the other powerful effects, such as having a very good night’s sleep. A very good night’s sleep has been shown to reduce cortisol. Cortisol helps you burn fat at a faster rate.
In a special study, 20 volunteers drank either a placebo or a tart cherry juice concentrate for 7 days. The result of this particular treatment showed significantly increased total melatonin content in the group getting tart cherry juice. These results suggest eating tart cherries regularly, which should increase your melatonin levels.
5. Protect Your Heart
Tart cherries can protect the heart from attack and reduce stroke risk. University of Michigan research shows that tart cherries activate a substance in the body called PPAR (meaning peroxisome proliferator activating receptors). These receptors have connections with fat and glucose mechanisms and can help reduce cardiovascular disease and heart attacks. There are medications which have these same effects on the body, but which can cause severe side effects like stroke and heart attacks, which we’re trying to prevent!
Though sweet cherries can be effective, tart cherries are even more so. They contain more of the antioxidants that help alleviate muscle aches and soreness, getting a sound sleep, and burning up fat. You can put cherries on your breakfast cereal, put them in a vegetable salad, or use them as a sweet, enjoyable snack.
The above explanations are reasons we should eat cherries. Cherries may actually be a super food. Try them!