Cherries – Put one on top for your health


“With a cherry on top” is something so many of us have said when it comes to desserts and beverages for a little added bonus. Cherries are a fruit that many people enjoy the flavor of. Sweet and tart are the two types of cherries and either come in a variety of colors, not just red. They’re actually nutritious, but that of course depends upon how you consume them. From pies to alcohol, cherries are used for many purposes. Here’s how they are healthy for us.

One cup of cherries has about 97 calories in it. We benefit from the fiber, potassium, and vitamin C they contain. We need potassium for nerve and muscle function, and we need vitamin C for good immunity and skin. Fiber is needed for digestion. Cherries also have magnesium, vitamin K, copper, and vitamin B.

A great reason to eat cherries is because of the number of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds they contain.  Antioxidants ward off oxidative stress which in turn helps prevent pre-mature aging and chronic disease. They have polyphenols which help fight cellular damage and reduce inflammation. Cherries have polyphenol antioxidants which include flavanols, catechins, and anthocyanins. These all keep the heart healthy.

Many athletes drink tart cherry juice to help with exercise recovery because of the anti-inflammatory property in cherries. This helps with soreness and muscle pain. In turn, some advocate that tart cherries can improve training performance because of better recovery.

The anti-inflammatory properties of cherries also aid with symptoms associated with arthritis and gout. They can reduce uric acid levels in the body. They also break down proteins that lead to arthritic pain.

Cherries can also help you sleep better. They contain melatonin which helps with sleep duration and quality. People with insomnia drink cherry juice to help them get to sleep when needed.

Adding cherries to your diet isn’t hard. They can be used in sauces, on salads, eaten raw, put in baked goods and smoothies, and even added to water (as well as other beverages). We might think of cherries as just a bit of sweet or tart taste, but there’s actually good reason to eat a handful of cherries from time to time.

Effect of Tart Cherry Juice Consumption on Body Composition and Anthropometric Measures: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials – PMC (

Cherries and Health: A Review: Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition: Vol 51 , No 1 – Get Access (

A Review of the Health Benefits of Cherries – PMC (

Novel insights in health-promoting properties of sweet cherries – PMC (

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Dr. Megan Johnson McCullough owns a fitness studio in Oceanside CA called Every BODY's Fit. She has a Doctorate in Health and Human Performance, M.A. in Physical Education & Health Science, and she's an NASM Master Trainer & Instructor. She's also a professional natural bodybuilder, fitness model, Wellness Coach, and AFAA Group Exercise Instructor. She has 6 books on Amazon too,.