Around the country, cherry trees are bearing fruit. From bright red sours to blushing Rainiers and crimson Bings, cherries are a short-season treat that are a boon to your tastebuds and your health.
First, the basics. Cherries are rich in fiber, potassium, melatonin and vitamin C. And like many fruits and vegetables, they have a unique blend of phytochemicals that confer even more health benefits. One of the primary benefits is that cherries can help quell inflammation — a main driver of several chronic diseases, including Type 2 Diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
You may have heard of research stating that sour cherry juice can help aid muscle recovery after exercise. (If you haven’t tried sour cherry juice, by the way, try it now — it’s refreshingly tart and pairs perfectly with fizzy seltzer.) The sour cherry juice is thought to ease inflamed tissue, lessening soreness and helping muscles bounce back after strenuous activity. Other research has shown that tart cherry juice can also help mitigate chronic pain in non-athletes with inflammatory disease.
Recent research published in the Journal of Nutrition suggests that sweet cherries offer a similar benefit. Participants who ate two cups of fresh cherries a day for a month lowered their markers of inflammation.
So make the most of cherry season and add them to your shopping carts. You can try them in these recipes: