Cherry Health - Where do we begin?
For some time now, nutritionists, dieticians, doctors and scientists alike have recognized the amazing health benefits packed in the diminutive cherry fruit.
One of the first illnesses that was recognized to respond to cherry health benefits was gout. Gout is caused by the inflammation of the joints due to the body’s inability to breakdown uric acid from meaty diets; cherry fruits are packed with antioxidants and flavonoids which help patients break down the uric acid before they find their way to the joints of gout sufferers.
From gout, cherry health benefits expanded into other medical conditions due mainly to the cherry’s high content of vitamins and minerals like vitamin C, vitamin A, melatonin, bioflavonoids, perillyl, anthocyanins, beta carotene and ellagic acid. Cherries also contain high concentrations of magnesium, iron, potassium, antioxidants and fiber to aid in digestion. On top of that, cherries are excellent snacks because they have very low calorie content compared to most foods. A single cherry fruit has only 4 calories; a medium-sized cup only adds up to 74 calories in total. Thanks to this multitude of reasons, cherries, essential epitomize the concept of health in a cup.
From these nutrients and minerals, cherry health benefits include lowering one’s risk towards cancer, promoting weight loss through healthy diets, preventing diabetes and other cardiovascular illnesses such as heart attack, stroke, and atherosclerosis. Others claim that cherry health benefits extend to mental health as it helps to prevent memory loss.
The best thing about cherries is that there are nearly unlimited options to consume them. There are two cherry varieties to choose from depending on your preferences and your intended mode of consumption. Tart cherries, also known as sour cherries, are typically found in frozen or canned form for later use in pies and a host of other desserts. Sweet cherries, on the other hand, are best eaten fresh as they have a juicy texture and sweet taste making them healthy bite-sized snacks even without the addition of cream, sugar or other food additives.
Another option for gaining cherry health benefits is by incorporating cherries into your daily diet. Start the day off right by making cherries an essential component of your breakfast by adding them to your oatmeal or cereals. Cherries also taste great with salads and yogurt and can even be made into a granola bar or added to trail mix for a sporty taste.
To make home-made granola bars, simply add chopped cherries to oats, wheat germ, flour, cinnamon, honey, olive oil, salt, nuts, eggs, and other ingredients that you love. Mix it all together into a batter and bake in the oven for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Once it cools down and hardens, you have a health granola snack made from ingredients that you specifically chose, not to mention packed with cherry health benefits and perfect for any occasion.
Doctors and dieticians recommend 1-2 servings of cherries per day to maximize the cherry health benefits that one can get from eating cherries. Typical serving sizes are 1 cup frozen or fresh, half a cup if dried, a cup of cherry juice or 2 tablespoons of extract in concentrate form.
The cherry is a cheap and readily available super-fruit that can grant you many health benefits. Start incorporating cherries into your diet and see for yourself why cherries are one of the most valued and well-recognized health foods today.
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