Upping our berry intake is firmly on the to-do-list, but maybe it’s time to put a little focus on the cherry. Cherries can put a smile on your face ten miles wide, so you’re in luck that they’re coming into season. They’ve got a multitude of nutritional benefits, not to mention they taste delicious too.Sleep
As we head into summer, realising that we may have left the beach fit regime a little late (again), we may fall victim to the sleeping pressures that come with flights, jet lag and time zone hopping. Well, the Montgomery cherry contains melatonin, a hormone that supports your circadian cycle; when raised it helps you to snooze off. A 2012 study saw the consumption of tart cherry juice increase exogenous melatonin, improving sleep duration and quality in healthy men and women, stating that it might be of benefit in managing disturbed sleep. So if you find yourself unable to sleep post-holiday, tapping your fingers in bed wondering how long it’s socially acceptable to live around a half unpacked suitcase in the corridor, perhaps try and introduce daily tart cherry juice from concentrate. Vitamin C
There are hundreds of varieties of cherries – sweet, sour and hybrid. But one thing they have in common is their fantastic levels of antioxidants and vitamin C. Just 100g of raw Arcola cherries contains roughly 1670mg of vitamin C; in comparison 100g of orange contains around 52mg. Go on, boost your immune system and have a delicious time doing it.Anti-inflammatory
That irresistible red is the by-product of the phytonutrient anthocyanins, which also contributes to the sweet and sour taste. This flavonoid has shown in research to reduce oxidative stress and inflammation in athletes. Furthermore, a 2013 a study published by the American Society of Nutrition claims that sweet cherry consumption selectively reduced several biomarkers associated with inflammatory diseases. And the cherry on top (excuse the pun)? They could reduce blood pressure too, as this recent study suggests.
Words by Hannah Aldersonwww.spoonfulofme.com