Cherries are an incredibly nutrient dense fruit high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. Many of us don’t associate cherries with high antioxidants, we may think of them as being a topping for an ice-cream sundae. Such as maraschino cherries, which are cherries stored in heavy sugar syrup and dyed with artificial coloring. I’m not referring to these kinds of cherries; I’m talking about all natural, ruby red, juicy, and slightly tart cherries.
5 Facts about Cherries:
- May help delay muscle soreness and pain post-exercise! Drinking tart cherry juice (not sugar-sweetened cherry juice) showed less muscle soreness post-exercise and also increased strength gains while drinking tart cherry juice for consecutive weeks.
- Contains more variety of antioxidants than blueberries (which are noted as one of the top fruits in antioxidant content). Cherries contain a long list of antioxidants including: 6 kinds of anthocyanins, 6 types of flavanols, 9 types of polyphenols such as melatonin, chlorogenic acid, and gallic acid.
- Potent natural anti-inflammatory fruit, which may help reduce inflammation related to cardiovascular disease. A true heart healthy fruit!
- Contains vitamin A, vitamin C, copper, potassium, manganese, and fiber. Just 1 cup of cherries contains roughly 40% DV of vitamin A and 26% DV of Vitamin C.
- Comes in a few delicious varieties including sweet and tart/sour! I prefer the tart cherries because of the slightly sweet but sour taste and enjoy using these in both sweet or savory dishes.
Ways to use:
- Use frozen cherries in smoothie, sorbets, or ice creams
- Tart cherry juice as a juice or mixed with sparkling water for an all natural “soda”
- Dried cherries as a topping for yogurt, oatmeal, porridges, in cookies, breads, savory dishes such as pilaf
- Fresh cherries as a snack or sliced into a fresh salad for a burst of flavor and sweetness
- Cooked on the stovetop into a reduction sauce for proteins or other dishes
- Made into a jam/jelly/spread for toast
- Fresh cherries dipped into chocolate for a easy dessert
What are your favorite ways to eat cherries? Share below! Hope everyone has a sweet Valentine’s Day and great weekend,
With lots of love,
McKel Hill, MS, RD, LDN
Nutrition Stripped [nutritionstripped.com]