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Superfood of the Week: Health Benefits of Cherries
During the summer months of June to August, grocery stores flourish with bright red cherries! When looking for a versatile, easy-to-pack snack that is often on sale (an added bonus) during these months, I often turn to this week’s super food: Cherries!
Cherries have always been an American favorite and science continues to support the claim that cherries are a “super fruit” with many potential benefits. Not only are cherries a good source of vitamin C, fiber, and potassium, but they also have been linked to decrease the risk of diseases and conditions including:
- certain cancers
- cardiovascular disease
- inflammation associated with arthritis
- side effects of oxidative stress
Cherries contain phytonutrients known as anthocyanins, which are responsible for giving cherries their red color and for the above health benefits!
This antioxidant rich super fruit is available year round in dried, frozen, and juice forms so you don’t have to travel to an exotic island to reap the benefits of cherries. Plus, by eating cherries you will support the “eating local” trend as 95 percent of cherries are grown in the United States with Michigan being the top producer of tart cherries and Washington producing more than half of the sweet cherries sold!
How Can You Increase Your Cherry Consumption?
With an estimated 80 million Americans living with some form of heart disease, try incorporating this not so average fruit into your daily diet with these simple ideas! For more recipe ideas visit www.choosecherries.com.
- Add sweet cherries to yogurt, cereal, oatmeal, pancakes, muffins, pies.
- Add dried tart cherries to salads, fruit salads, and chicken salad.
- Add dried tart cherries to give your trail mix an added bonus!
- Frozen cherries are ideal for baking or making sauces and jams.
- Add cherries to grains such as rice pilaf or orzo for a healthy, carbohydrate-rich side dish!
- Cherry Juice concentrate and 100 percent ready-to-drink cherry juice are great options to add to a smoothie after a work out or as part of an antioxidant rich breakfast!