Are you one of those people that cannot stop eating cherries after the first handful?
Alongside watermelon and melon, cherries remind me of the long summers spent on the beach in Portugal and my grandma’s trips to the farmer’s market every saturday morning to buy the juiciest, sweetest and biggest cherries of all times.
It never stops amazing me how much food brings up past memories and how much our emotions can be connected to how and what we eat.
As the summer begins cherries start to be part of every fruit basket or summer picnic staples.
Cherries are classified as fruits and divided into 2 main varieties: sweet and tart.
This fruit highly nutrient dense, with relatively low caloric content and a powerhouse of important nutrients and bioactive compounds such as (Kelley et al. 2018):
- Vitamins C & E
- Minerals: potassium, phosphorus, calcium & magnesium
- Antioxidant compounds: carotenoids & anthocyanins
- Hormones: serotonin the ‘happy hormone’ & melatonin the ‘sleep hormone’
- Aminoacids: tryptophan needed to produce serotonin which is then converted into melatonin
Cherries’ Health Benefits:
The consumption of cherries has also been associated with reduced risk of several diseases as well as health-boosting benefits (Kelley et al. 2018):
- Cardiovascular disease (CVD)
- Decreased markers for oxidative stress and inflammation, exercise-induced muscle soreness/loss of strength & blood pressure
Also, did you know that cherry consumption may improve sleep, mood and cognitive function (Yurcheshen et al. 2015)?
- Improvements on sleep quantity – go for the tart variety for a higher melatonin content!
- Reduced cortisol and anxiety
- Improved mood
For a refreshing and nourishing taste of summer and childhood memories (this iced drink is traditionally made with red currant syrup and served before going to bed during hot summer nights) try my Summer Cherry Cheerful Iced Drink. Cheers!
Would you like to have a healthier and balanced life? I’m here for you. Get in touch and let’s talk about how I can support you creating healthier habits for a happier life.
Kelley, D. S. Adkins, Y. Laugero, K. D. (2018). ‘Review of the health benefits of cherries’, Nutrients, 10, pp.2-22.
Yurcheshen, M. Seehuus, M. Pigeon, W. (2015). ‘Updates on nutraceutical sleep therapeutics and investigational research’, Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, pp.2-9.