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5 Health Benefits of Cherries
Cherries are a popular fruit, with the average American eating 2.6 pounds of cherries each year.1 Cherries are a versatile fruit that can be added to many different recipes, from salads to desserts. Some ways Americans consume cherries are in pies, fruit salads, shakes, cakes, and sauces.
Here are 5 health benefits that you can get from eating cherries.
Cherries Help in Exercise Recovery
When you exercise, your muscles stretch and endure microscopic tears. These tears help your muscles strengthen themselves as they rebuild themselves with new protein strands, which increases your overall muscle size and strength.2
Cherries have been found to aid in muscle repair because they contain anthocyanins, which have been linked to having anti-inflammatory properties. One study found that after consuming tart cherries, the participants had reduced inflammation and oxidative damage from exercising, which allowed them to recover faster.3
Another study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine looked at male college students to research the link between cherry juice and the effects on the muscles. The researchers found that muscle strength loss was down 4% with the cherry juice versus 22% without.4
Cherries are a great fruit to add into your everyday diet if you are looking for a way to help your muscles recover faster after exercising. This can be a natural way to help boost your muscle strength because cherries can help repair muscles and reduce their oxidative damage.
Cherries Can Help Heal and Repair Wounds
Cherries contain vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, which helps our body repair wounds and build tissue.5 One cup of cherries (154 grams) contains 18% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C.6 Our bodies cannot naturally produce vitamin C, and one of the only ways to get vitamin C is through food.
Vitamin C has been found to help promote collagen creation. Collagen is a protein that helps builds our tissues, skin, bones, and cells, and it plays a role in wound repair as well as keeping skin youthful and healthy. One way vitamin C influences the body’s collagen levels is it can help promote the creation of hyaluronic acid, which aids the body in creating collagen.7
A study looked at 26 patients to test the effects vitamin C had on wound healing after a biopsy. The result was those who took the supplement healed their wounds 17% faster than those who didn’t. Vitamin C was one of the four components that was determined to play a role in this wound recovery. Rutin was another one of the components, which is a nutrient that can help intensify the effects of vitamin C.8
Eating foods with Vitamin C can keep your skin healthy by helping your body heal wounds. Consider adding cherries into your diet as a source of vitamin C.
Cherries Can Prevent Disease
As you age, it’s important to eat a healthy diet to protect yourself from cancer and other chronic diseases. The antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds in cherries have been found to help protect the body against different age-related diseases.
One way cherries can prevent diseases is they can reduce the body’s levels of inflammation. For example, cherries have been found to decrease the body’s blood levels of C-reactive proteins and nitric, which are a risk factor for cardiovascular disease.9
Another way cherries help protect the body against disease is their antioxidants have been linked to reducing oxidative stress.10 When the body has too much oxidative stress, free radicals are more likely to cause damage to your body and cause disease.11 This can lead to high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.
Eating cherries can be one way to stay naturally healthy and protect your body from harmful diseases.
Cherries Might Improve Sleep
It’s important to get enough sleep each night, and cherries have been linked to improving sleep quality. Getting enough sleep is linked to improving concentration during the day, controlling your mood, improving reaction times, and strengthening immunity.12
Cherries contain melatonin, which is a hormone that controls our body’s day and night cycle. One study looked at melatonin levels after drinking tart cherry juice. The results found that those who drank the cherry juice not only had an increase in melatonin levels, but they also improved in sleep time and efficiency.13
Another two-week study looked at the link between cherry juice and insomnia. The results found that the cherry juice improved sleep time by 84 minutes.14
While cherry juice alone won’t be able to stop insomnia, eating more cherries may help you improve your overall sleep quality.
How to Include More Cherries in Your Every Day Diet
Cherries are a versatile fruit that make a great addition to many different recipes and dishes. Here are some ways you can start incorporating more of this tasty fruit into your diet:
- Bake homemade cherry pie, cookies, and other baked goods
- Make a fruit salad and add cherries in as one of the fruits
- Make homemade cherry jelly for your toast
- Eat cherry flan
- Top your meats, such as chicken, with cherries
- Add cherries into your veggie wraps
- Make ice cubes with cherries to flavor your water
- Use cherries as one of your ingredients in a smoothie
- Serve cherries with rice pudding
- Add cherries into your oatmeal or cereal
- Add cherries alongside your trail mix
- Eat cherries with your cheese and graham crackers
- Top your sundae with cherries
- Drink cherry juice
- Add cherries into your yogurts
Eat More Cherries Today!
With all the health benefits of cherries in mind, you can start incorporating more of this fruit into your meals.
Here at Saber Healthcare, our dietary teams work to provide our residents with nutritious meals that meet their daily vitamin and mineral needs. Our teams work to serve a variety of options that not only taste great, but provide a balanced diet as well.
To learn more about our company and the services we provide, click here.
Saber Healthcare is an organization dedicated to providing consultant services to long term care providers. This article is for informational purposes and is not meant to be seen as professional advice. Please consult with a medical expert before relying on the information provided.
- “Real Food Encyclopedia | Cherries.” GRACE Communications Foundation, FoodPrint. Accessed 10 December 2021. Link: https://foodprint.org/real-food/cherries/
- Sherwood, Chris. “What Happens to Your Muscles When You Work Out?” Livestrong. Accessed 14 December 2021. Link: https://www.livestrong.com/article/533248-what-happen-to-your-muscles-when-you-work-out/
- Coelho Rabello Lima, Leonardo et al. “CONSUMPTION OF CHERRIES AS A STRATEGY TO ATTENUATE EXERCISE-INDUCED MUSCLE DAMAGE AND INFLAMMATION IN HUMANS.” Nutricion hospitalaria 32,5 1885-93. 1 Nov. 2015, doi:10.3305/nh.2015.32.5.9709 Link: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26545642/
- Connolly, D A J et al. “Efficacy of a tart cherry juice blend in preventing the symptoms of muscle damage.” British journal of sports medicine vol. 40,8 (2006): 679-83; discussion 683. doi:10.1136/bjsm.2005.025429 Link: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16790484/
- “Vitamin C.” National Institute of Health. 26 March 2021. Accessed 14 December 2021. Link: https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminC-HealthProfessional/
- Kubala, Jillian. “7 Impressive Health Benefits of Cherries.” Red Ventures, Healthline Media. 19 June 2021. Accessed 14 December 2021. Link: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/cherries-benefits
- “5 Scientifically Proven Benefits of Vitamin C.” Saber Healthcare Group. 4 September 2020. Accessed 14 December 2021. Link: https://www.saberhealth.com/news/blog/5-vitamin-c-benefits
- Kirchheimer, Sid. “Supplement Speeds Wound Healing.” WebMD. 8 July 2004. Accessed 14 December 2021. Link: https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/news/20040708/supplement-speeds-wound-healing
- Ferretti, Gianna et al. “Cherry antioxidants: from farm to table.” Molecules (Basel, Switzerland) 15,10 6993-7005. 12 Oct. 2010, doi:10.3390/molecules15106993. Link: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6259571/
- Kelley, Darshan S et al. “A Review of the Health Benefits of Cherries.” Nutrients 10,3 368. 17 Mar. 2018, doi:10.3390/nu10030368. Link: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5872786/
- Eldridge, Lynne. Paul, Dora. “Free Radicals: Definition, Causes, Antioxidants, and Cancer.”Dotdash, VeryWellHealth. 2 February 2020. Accessed 14 December 2021. Link: https://www.verywellhealth.com/information-about-free-radicals-2249103
- “7 Reasons Why Getting Enough Sleep is Important.” Saber Healthcare Group. 16 August 2021. Accessed 14 December 2021. Link: https://www.saberhealth.com/news/blog/why-sleep-is-important
- Howatson, Glyn et al. “Effect of tart cherry juice (Prunus cerasus) on melatonin levels and enhanced sleep quality.” European journal of nutrition 51,8 (2012): 909-16. doi:10.1007/s00394-011-0263-7. Link: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22038497/
- Losso, Jack N et al. “Pilot Study of the Tart Cherry Juice for the Treatment of Insomnia and Investigation of Mechanisms.” American journal of therapeutics 25,2 (2018): e194-e201. doi:10.1097/MJT.0000000000000584. Link: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28901958/