Cherries are a popular snack and go great with dessert.
But perhaps even more importantly, they are one of the healthiest fruits you could choose.
One serving is about one cup, or around 21 cherries if you don’t have a measuring cup handy. In each serving, there are less than 100 calories while still being packed full of nutrients and vitamins.
It is essential to mention the cherry pit, as well, as it should be removed before eating. This can be tricky if you don’t know an easy way to do it. After discussing the health benefits of cherries, you’ll learn how to pit a cherry easily.
Health Benefits of Cherries
1. They are packed full of antioxidants.
Cherries contain anthocyanins, phytochemicals, hydroxycinnamic acid, and perillyl alcohol. All of these work together to provide powerful antioxidants. The benefits are that the antioxidants reduce inflammation and can encourage self-destruction of cancerous cells.
2. Cherries are a good source of Vitamin C.
In a serving of this fruit, you’ll find 18% of the daily recommended amount of Vitamin C. This vitamin is vital for having a healthy immune system and healthy skin.
3. This fruit contains a large amount of fiber and potassium.
In one serving, you will get 3.2 grams of fiber. This makes them a high-fiber food, which can help lower cholesterol, aid in digestive health, and has many other health benefits.
Additionally, you can get 9% of your daily recommended amount of potassium. This is essential because many of your organs need potassium to function correctly, including your heart, kidneys, brain, and muscles. Potassium also reduces the risk of stroke, hypertension, and high blood pressure.
4. They may reduce the risk of cancer.
More specifically, cherries might reduce the risk of colorectal, pharynx, mouth, larynx, and lung cancer. The nutrients and minerals found in this fruit work together to fight cancer cells.
5. This fruit offers protection from diabetes.
The biggest reason that they offer protection from diabetes is because of their low rank on the glycemic index. Because of this, they don’t cause blood sugar and insulin levels to spike or crash. If you already have diabetes, this fruit can help manage it for the same reasons that it can protect others from it.
6. They can improve your sleep cycle.
7. This fruit can offer relief from osteoarthritis.
Studies have shown that consuming cherries or cherry juice regularly can lessen joint pain in those who have arthritis. Make sure the liquid is 100% cherry juice, however, because additives can cause problems and inflammation.
8. They lower the risk of gout flareups.
Millions of Americans suffer from gout, which is inflammatory arthritis. Flareups occur when uric acid crystallizes in the joints, which causes extreme pain and swelling. Consuming this fruit for a couple of days can lessen the risk of a flareup, and consuming them regularly has even more significant results.
9. They can lower cholesterol.
Every small reduction in cholesterol decreases the risk of heart disease by double. Also, having high cholesterol, especially the LDL type (which is the worst type) is one of the leading causes of a heart attack.
10. The fruit lessens the amount of pain you feel after exercise.
Anyone who exercises knows the pain that follows the workout. Eating this fruit lessens the pain while also protecting your cells from the wear and tear caused by exercise. It also helps promote muscle recovery.
Cherry juice and the fresh fruit are so famous for these reasons that professional athletes and bodybuilders regularly consume 100% cherry juice. It also helps with amateur athletes or just those who exercise in their free time.
11. They can help with weight loss.
As stated before, this food is low in calories, which can help with weight loss. It goes beyond that, however, as regularly consuming them can lessen the number of fats in your blood, reduce the percentage of fat in your body, and help with fat in the abdomen.
12. It contains high amounts of potassium.
In one serving of this fruit, you’ll get around 9% of your required daily amount of potassium. This allows your organs to function correctly and leads to heart, kidney, brain, and muscular health.
Ensuring you reach the amount of potassium you need each day can help lessen the risk of stroke and can help your body regulate hypertension and blood pressure. It also reduces muscle cramping and can help strengthen muscles, too.
13. They help with vision health.
By adding this fruit to your diet, you’ll be preventing your eyesight from becoming worse, and you could even be improving your vision. This is because one serving contains a high amount of beta-carotene, which is a direct link to maintaining eyesight.
14. This fruit protects the brain.
The anthocyanins found in cherries have properties that protect against neurodegenerative issues. This can protect against disorders like Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s disease. Another neurological disorder that it can protect against is brain ischemia, a disorder that causes a reduction in blood supply to the brain.
15. They protect against metabolic syndrome.
The same anthocyanins that protect the brain also protect your body from metabolic syndrome. This syndrome is actually more than one condition, and it can include high triglycerides, lipid profile, high fasting blood sugar, high blood pressure, and being overweight. If left uncontrolled, metabolic syndrome can lead to diabetes.
Different Ways to Eat Cherries
You can, of course, consume cherries raw, which is a delicious treat. Other ways you can eat them include poached to make a sauce or dried to top your salad or cereal with. Furthermore, you could eat frozen cherries or add them to your ice cream, drink cherry juice, or use freeze-dried cherry powders.
As you can see, the options are limitless. You could use frozen cherry or the freeze-dried options in smoothies or for an overnight oats recipe. Another delicious treat option is to stir the dried fruit into melted chocolate.
When it comes to cherry juice, you don’t have to drink that straight up, either. Many people add juice to water or sparkling water to add a little flavor while still getting all of the health benefits. It is important to note, however, that for the best results for sleep-aid and benefits after exercise, you should drink 100% cherry juice straight, without mixing it in water or any other liquid.
How to Pit a Cherry
Since the cherry pit (also called a stone) has to be removed, it is essential to know an easy way to do it. There are three different ways to remove the pit.
Cut it out
Rinse each cherry in water that is near room temperature. Then, find the spot on the cherry that has a line that slightly indents. This is the spot you will begin cutting, and you will continue the cut all the way around the cherry.
You should end your cut at the same place you began. Once you have one substantial cut all the way around, twist both sides in opposite directions until they come off of the pit.
Scoop it out
Find a paperclip that is about the size of the cherry pit. Wash the paper clip so that it is clean before touching the fruit with it. Then, rinse each cherry in water.
From the stem side of the cherry, push the paperclip into it, staying as close to the center as possible. Only stop pushing when the paperclip is against the cherry, then twist the paperclip around the pit.
Once you have twisted the paperclip around the entire pit, you should be able to pull the stem of the cherry to get the pit out. If that doesn’t work or if the stem is broken off, you can use the paperclip to pull the pit out.
Push it out
After rinsing each cherry in water, you will need to find a straw that is not any bigger than the cherry pit. Gently grip the cherry between your fingers without squeezing, leaving the top and bottom exposed. Place the cherry against the stem (with the stem going through the hole). Then push through to the other side.
While eating fresh cherries may be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of adding more of them to your diet, there are so many other options to switch it up a bit. This variety will significantly help increase the amount you eat and will help keep them as a regular part of your diet.
Don’t let the cherry pit deter you, it is easy to remove, and you don’t need any special tools. Once you get the hang of removing it, nothing will stand in the way of you and the limitless health benefits of cherries.