A lot of people love cherries. Not only are they are delicious and packed with vitamins, minerals, and plant compounds; they also have powerful health effects.
Here are some health benefits of cherries.
Packed with Nutrients – Cherries are small stone fruits that come in a variety of colors and flavors. There are two major categories — tart and sweet cherries. Their colors can vary from yellow to deep blackish-red. All varieties are highly nutritious and packed with fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Cherries are a good source of fiber, which helps keep your digestive system healthy by fueling beneficial gut bacteria and promoting bowel regularity (1).
Antioxidants and Anti-Inflammatory Compounds – All cherries are packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. This high antioxidant content may help combat oxidative stress, a condition that is linked to multiple chronic diseases and premature aging (2). Cherries are especially high in polyphenols, a large group of plant chemicals that help fight cellular damage, reduce inflammation, and promote overall health (3). Polyphenol-rich diets may protect against many chronic conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, mental decline, and certain cancers (4).
Boost Exercise Recovery – Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds in cherries may help relieve exercise-induced muscle pain, damage, and inflammation (5). Tart cherry juice and concentrate have been found to accelerate muscle recovery, decrease exercise-induced muscle pain, and prevent strength loss in endurance athletics like cycling and marathon running (6).
Improve Sleep Quality – Eating cherries or drinking tart cherry juice may help improve your sleep quality, because cherries contain melatonin, a substance that helps regulate your sleep-wake cycle (7).