Saturday, April 19, 2014

Fruit and Your Health - Part 1 - Cherries


I saw a pin on Pinterest that referred to fruit and how it could benefit us.  That gave me an idea to do a little more research of my own to see just how beneficial fruit can actually be.  I'll be listing different fruits with each post in this series and giving you the link so you'll know exactly where my info came from.  Hope you enjoy learning as much as I have.

According to LifeScript

These little fruits have been appreciated for their delicious pies, but new research suggests that cherries may have the power to combat a stunning array of diseases.  The compound thag gives them their color may also be responsible for neutralizing free radicals and preventing the inflammation that contributes to so many serious health conditions.  Plus, they are packed with fiber. 

Even though they are referred to as berries, cherries are actually a member of the stone fruit family and are related to apricots, peaches, plums and almonds.  They are classified as either sweet or tart and each variety has its own uses and benefits.  Sweet cherries are sold fresh in the produce section and are a favori8te for snacking on raw.  Tart cherries are usually dried, frozen, made into juice or canned for pies and cooking.  Both types get their deep red color form potent antioxidants called anthocyanins which have been shown to hold anti-inflammatory properties that protect the body from an array of serious health conditions including heart disease, diabetes and arthritis. 

According to FoxNews -

Cherries help ease arthritis pain - for those who suffer from arthritis and gout, you will be relieved to find out that adding cherries to your diet can greatly decrease the intense pain associated with those ailments.  Excess uric acid in the blood is the culprit behind the excruciating pain and causes swelling, tenderness and inflammation.  A study done by the USDA found that uric acid can be reduced by as much as 15% by eating 2 cups of Bing cherries.  Cherries can also help reduce painful inflammation by decreasing the amount of C-reactive protein produced.

Cherries help fight cancer - The deep red pigment comes from flavonoids which is a powerful antioxidant that helps fight free radicals in the body.  Cyhanidin is a flavonide from the anthocyanin group found in cherries that helps keep cancerous cells from growing out of control.  For cherries with the most anthocyanins go for the sweet cherries with the deepest pigment - crimson-purple rather than bright red.

Cherries help you sleep -  If sipping a cup of chamomile isn't enough to induce restful sleep try having tart cherry juice before bed.  Tart cherries contain melatonin, a hormone that helps make you feel sleepy.  Two tablespoons of tart cherry juice has been shown to be just as effective as a melatonin supplement.

Cherries and blood pressure - Cherries are an excellent source of potassium, which helps to lower blood pressure by getting rid of the excess sodium in our body.  Eating cherries helps keep potassium and sodium in balance and can prevent hypertension from occurring.  One cup of cherries has the same amount of potassium as a banana making it a great substitute. 

Cherries help keep you trim - Eating cherries can help you lose weight and stay trim.  A cup of cherries is less than 100 calories and packs in 3 grams of fiber, which will keep you feeling full longer.  Also, they contain many B-vitamins such as thiamin, riboflavin and vitamin B6.  These vitamins are crucial for metabolism and convert nutrients into energy.


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