Cherries have a lot of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. The pigments that give cherries their great color also signify that they have a lot of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds.
Anthocyanins, for example, are a type of polyphenol that give foods a deep red colour and act as an antioxidant in the body.
Those antioxidants pack a punch. Drinking eight ounces of tart cherry juice (about the same as eating 50 cherries) daily for four weeks can significantly reduce markers of inflammation associated with chronic disease, according to a study published in the journal Food & Function.
They might boost your heart health. The benefits of cherries’ polyphenols don’t end with fighting inflammation. Diets rich in polyphenols may help protect against conditions like heart disease.
How? Drinking eight ounces of tart cherry juice daily may help lower triglycerides (high levels of which can raise your risk of heart disease), found another Food & Function study.
They could help you sleep. Cherries contain melationin, a hormone that helps control your sleep-wake cycle.
Though getting proper sleep is complicated (and involves way more than just eating cherries), the fruit can help promote healthy sleep and regulate your circadian rhythm.
If you’re struggling with sleep, good sleep hygiene (avoiding screens before bed, keeping your room cool and dark) is crucial, but incorporating more cherries or cherry juice into your diet could also help.
Cherries can boost your exercise performance (and recovery). Tart cherry juice has been shown to boost exercise performance and post-workout recovery. In fact, research has been looking into this benefit for years.
One older study for instance, found that runners who drank tart cherry juice before and after long-distance races recovered faster than those who drank something else. Cherries’ antioxidants may also help decrease soreness after you exercise. Plus, a more recent meta-data (which analysed the data of multiple studies), found that consuming tart cherry juice or powder before biking, swimming, or running significantly improved exercise endurance.
Cherries can even help with weight loss. Cherries are flavourful, and a lot of people find that they satisfy their desire for something sweet.
One unique perk of this sweet treat is that they take a while to eat, which slows down your eating. If you struggle with mindless snacking, cherries are good for that.