Sweet Cherry Compounds May Protect Against Weight Gain | Medicine

8 Hidden Health Benefits of Cherries for Weight Loss, Heart Health {amp}amp; Good Sleep

Highlights

  • Cherries contain a hormone called melatonin which facilitates good sleep
  • Cherries are low in calories and contain vitamins that boost metabolism
  • Cherries are believed to be one of the most energy boosting fruits

Everybody enjoys indulging in juicy red cherries during the summer season. This vibrant red fruit is a great blend of sweet flavours with a tingle of sourness and adds the perfect pop of colour to your desserts. Cherries can be eaten raw or can also be used in a variety of recipes such as cakes, tarts, pies and cheesecakes. They are a wonderful topping for a bowl of yogurt or your breakfast cereal. But not many know that this delicious fruit has numerous qualities that are good for your health.  Dubbed as one of the healthiest superfoods, cherries  have «the highest medicinal value because they are rich in antioxidants , are a good anti-inflammatory , and are useful in the prevention and treatment of gout. They are also one of very few fruits to contain melatonin, which can help treat insomnia, » notes the book ‘Healing Foods’ by DK Publishing House. 

1. Relives Insomnia                                            

Cherries contain a hormone called melatonin which facilitates good, peaceful sleep. Melatonin is a hormone produced by the pineal gland in the brain. It is known to regulate your sleep and wake cycles and control the internal body clock.

(Also Read: What to Eat to Sleep Better?)

sleep

Cherries contain a hormone called melatonin which facilitates good, peaceful sleep

2. Facilitates Weight Loss

If you are planning to shed some weight, don’t forget to add cherries to your diet. Cherries are low in calories that means that around a cup of cherries would be less than 100 calories (according to the USDA). They are rich in vitamins that strengthen your metabolism and have a moderate water content that flushes out the toxins from your body. 

(Also Read: 5 Morning Rituals for Weight Loss)

weight loss

If you are planning to shed some weight, don’t forget to add cherries to your diet

3. Lowers Hypertension

Cherries contain a good amount of potassium, and thus, help in removing excess sodium content from the body and balances the amount of both potassium and sodium which automatically helps in maintaining your blood pressure levels. 

(Also Read: High Blood Pressure? Follow The DASH Diet That May Help Regulate And Manage Hypertension)

blood pressure

Cherries contain a good amount of potassium which helps in regulating blood pressure 

4. Prevents Cardiovascular Diseases

The antioxidants present in cherries called anthocyanins help in reducing bad cholesterol levels, regulate the blood pressure and fight free radicals that may cause inflammation. This reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke.

(Also Read: Heart Health — What to Eat and Avoid)

healthy heart

5. Anti-Ageing Properties

Cherries are rich in antioxidants and as we know antioxidants fight the free radicals which make the skin look dull. This makes your skin feel younger and healthier. Cherries can help in removing dark spots from your skin that can appear due to sun damage. Just puree some cherries and mix them with a pinch of turmeric and a teaspoon of honey. Apply this paste for 10-15 minutes and then rinse off. It lessens dark spots and improves your skin tone. 

beauty

6. Promotes Healthy Locks 

Struggling with your dull and lifeless locks? Cherries contains Vitamin B, Vitamin and Vitamin C that prevents hair damage and breakage and keeps the scalp hydrated. Vitamin C also imparts a natural glow to your skin. 

(Also read: 7 Amazing Hair Growth Foods)

hair 620

7. Maintains pH Balance

Cherries are alkaline in nature. Whenever there is an increase in the acidic content of the body, cherries can come in handy to balance the Ph levels by neutralizing it and preventing stomach problems like acidity or indigestion

indigestion

8. Energy Fruit

Cherries are believed to be one of the most energy boosting fruits. They can help in building blood cells which automatically eases circulation and boosts our energy levels. 

So, you must enjoy these juicy delights of the season till it lasts and reap all the benefits. If you don’t have any medical condition, you can add half a cup of cherries to you daily meals.

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CHERRIES: SIX HIDDEN HEALTH BENEFITS OF THIS SUPERFOOD

By Dr. Natasha Turner ND

With a wide range of health benefits, cherries — and more specifically, tart cherries — are an oft-overlooked superfoods. But whether it’s insomnia, joint pain or belly fat you’re dealing with, cherries may be just what the doctor ordered. Here’s why.

Cherries battle belly fat. Researchers found that tart cherries have significant weight management benefits for animals, including reduced belly fat. In the study, rats that received whole tart cherry powder mixed into a high-fat diet didn’t gain as much weight or build up as much body fat as rats that didn’t receive cherries. Their blood also showed much lower levels of certain inflammation markers linked to heart disease and diabetes. And, in addition, they had significantly lower blood levels of cholesterol and triglycerides than their cherry-deprived counterparts.

Cherries cut your chance of getting gout. If you have ever felt the agonizing pain of a gout attack (swollen toes and all) it quickly becomes something you don’t want to experience again. For gout sufferers, tart cherries may be another solution to add to their anti-gout arsenal. A 2012 study published in Arthritis {amp}amp; Rheumatism found that patients with gout who consumed cherries over a two-day period (yes, just two days!) showed a 35% lower risk of gout attacks compared to their fruit wary counterparts. In addition, the risk of gout flares was 75 per cent lower when cherry intake was combined with the uric-acid reducing drug, allopurinol. And if you are wondering if you will have to start your own cherry farm, the participants consumed just ½ cup (or 10-12 cherries) up to three times per day.

Cherries combat post-workout soreness. Find yourself having trouble walking down the stairs (or even sitting down) after a hard workout? If you’re looking for a healthy way to fight post-exercise soreness, cherries fit the bill. Studies suggest a cup and a half of tart cherries or one cup of tart cherry juice can significantly reduce muscle inflammation and soreness (remember that a good workout actually causes muscle damage, resulting in inflammation).

In one study a group of marathon runners drank tart cherry juice or a placebo drink twice daily for seven days prior to their race. The cherry juice group reported significantly less post-race muscle pain. Remember to have it immediately post workout (i.e. with your whey protein) when your muscles are primed to absorb excess insulin in the bloodstream.

Cherries provide natural osteoarthritis relief. If you can’t shake the pain and discomfort of swollen joints and you are frustrated with the side effects of the standard prescription of ice and NSAIDs you can choose to stock up on tart cherries either in juice, pill or fruit form.

In a study of twenty women ages 40 to 70 with inflammatory osteoarthritis, researchers found that drinking tart cherry juice twice daily for three weeks led to significant reductions in important inflammation markers – especially for patients who had the highest inflammation levels at the start of the study, It certainly beats the side effects of many pain medications.

Cherries reduce stroke risk. Researchers from the University of Michigan Health System found that tart cherries provide cardiovascular benefits equal to some medications, and can improve the result even when taken with prescriptions. They believe that anthocyanins — the pigments that give the tart cherries its red color — may activate something called PPAR in bodily tissues, which in turn regulate fat and glucose levels and therby reduce risk factors for high cholesterol, blood pressure and diabetes. Not a bad gig for such a small fruit!

Cherries help you get some sleep. Perhaps the most common complaint that I hear from new patients has to do with sleep. Whether it stems from unbalanced hormones, excess stress, a busy mind or unhealthy habits, a large portion of us are left tossing and turning each night in desperation–but cherry juice could help. In one study participants drank 30ml of cherry juice 30 minutes after waking and 30 minutes before their evening meal, thereby boosting their exogenous melatonin intake by 85mcg/day.

The results? There were significant increases in time in bed, total sleep time, and sleep efficiency total with cherry juice supplementation. So reach for some cherry juice instead of the sleeping pills! I recommend drinking half to one cup an hour before bed.

(Image courtesy of Unsplash)

Cherry salsa is a foodie favorite that offers the benefits of cherries along with the anti-inflammatory benefits of onions, garlic and tomatoes. To make the salsa, which can be used in tacos, wraps and as a dip for vegetables and chip, roughly chop up 1 pint of black bing cherries and combined with chopped red onion, 2 large cloves of garlic, lemon juice and a handful of cilantro and mix it all together. You can also add four chopped up tomatoes and a bit of virgin olive oil to taste.

Sweet Cherry Compounds May Protect Against Weight Gain | Medicine

Black Bing cherries go best in salsa.

Are there fruits to avoid?

Allidina recommends staying away from dried fruit. “For weight loss stick to whole fruits as opposed to dried fruit. Dried fruit has no water content and is a high concentration of sugar, so a little goes a long way.” She also isn’t a fan of fruit juice as your daily serving of fruit.

“Juices, even the all natural kind, is a form of sugar,” she continues. “In most juices, the fibre and skin has been removed and it contains less nutrition compared to whole fruits.”

READ MORE: 10 nutrient-packed autumn fruits and veggies you should be eating

Nielsen, on the other hand, doesn’t believe in cutting out any fruit, unless there are medical reasons.

“If you have IBS, be wary of apples. They are high in fructose and polyols, two FODMAPS [short chain carbohydrates] that draw water in the gut and can loosen things up. Go for an orange instead.”

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