6 tempting benefits of cherries: From reducing muscle pain to maintaining heart health

Cherries are packed with vitamins and minerals. Read on to know more about the health benefits of cherries and the best ways to eat them!
A bowl of cherries
There are 900 cherries available in the market, and they all have their different tastes and uses. Image courtesy: Freepik
Anjuri Nayar Singh Published: 3 Jun 2024, 13:15 pm IST
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Cherries are small in size, but big on benefits! These little red wonders are packed with vitamins and minerals and can help with overall wellness as well as skincare. Do you know there are more than 900 types of cherries available for consumption globally? The ones that we eat the most are called Bing. These are dark red and have a rather sweet taste. There are also black cherries, and tart cherries available in the market. Cherries can also be had in their dried forms. Read on to learn more about the benefits of cherries, side effects and how to eat them.

Cherries nutrition

According to the US Food and Drug Administration, 100 grams of cherries have the following nutritional values:

Calories: 97
Protein: 2 grams
Carbs: 25 grams
Fiber: 3 grams
Vitamin C: 7 mg
Potassium: 222 mg

Health benefits of cherries

1. Cherries are rich in vitamins and minerals

Cherries are packed with the right vitamins and minerals and are great to meet your daily requirements. A 100g of cherries can make up for 18 per cent of your daily value, while it can make up for 10 percent of your daily value of potassium. According to a study in the Indian Journal of Clinical Biochemistry, vitamin C helps to prevent diseases as well as treat chronic illnesses. On the other hand, potassium helps in muscle contraction, as well as blood pressure regulation, states a study, published in Advances in Nutrition.

2. Cherries are antioxidative and anti-inflammatory

One of the best cherry benefits is that they contain antioxidants and are anti-inflammatory. A study published in Foods suggests that cherries are rich in flavonoids, and this protects against oxidative stress as well as inflammation. This can help with better heart health. The study also suggests that cherry extract has the same qualities as well. Cherries also contain polyphenols, which help in treating cell damage, and promote overall health.

3. May help with muscle pain

Exercise-induced pain and recovery are something that cherries can help with. One of the benefits of cherries is that it can relieve inflammation and pain. Tart cherries are best for this. They can help quicken the recovery of muscles, as well as decrease pain. It also helps to stop strength loss, states a study, published in Molecules. Cherries can also enhance performance.

4. Keeps your heart healthy

Cherries are rich in potassium, which helps with heart health. One cup of cherries has 10 per cent of the daily requirement of potassium. This helps to maintain your heartbeat, regulate your blood pressure, and remove excess sodium from your body, states this study, published in Seminars in Nephrology. This also decreases the risk of heart attacks as well as strokes.

5. May reduce uric acid

Uric acid is body waste. High levels of uric acid are associated with high blood pressure, kidney stones, as well as heart failure. A study published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine suggests that the ingestion of cherries can help with lowering uric acid levels as well as gout, sudden pain and swelling in joints. The research observed the conclusions of six studies that reported that there was a decrease in incidents of gout after cherries were eaten, or juice was had. Also, uric acid levels were reduced.

A bowl of cherries
Cherries can help you sleep better, have better skin and also has pain relieving qualities. Image courtesy: Freepik

6. May help you sleep better

Cherries contain melatonin that can improve your quality of sleep. It can also regulate your sleep-wake cycle. A study published in the European Journal of Nutrition was conducted amongst 20 people who were either given a placebo or tart cherry juice for seven days. The group which had the cherry juice reported elevated levels of melatonin, besides longer sleep duration and better sleep quality.

How to add cherries to your diet?

It is very easy to add cherries to your diet. While you may enjoy cherry as a fruit, it can be added to several desserts. Besides this, you may combine dried cherries with chocolate chips and coconut for a good on-the-go snack. Cherries can also be added to various fruit salads. They also make wonderful additions to smoothies! As for savoury recipes, cherries can be added to cheese platters, or can simply be roasted as well.

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Side effects of eating cherries

It is easy to pop too many cherries in a go, but beware! There are some risks to eating too many cherries. If you have a sensitive stomach, don’t go overboard with cherries as you might end up with diarrhoea, gas and bloating. You may have allergic reactions to cherries as well. If you suffer from diabetes, then consult your doctor before having cherries.

Cherries on a chopping board
Cherries can be added to salads, desserts and many other dishes. Adults can eat up to 15 cherries in a day. Image courtesy: Freepik

How many cherries can I eat in a day?

For adults, 15-25 cherries a day are enough, while 15-20 cherries a day can be had by kids and adolescents. Eating too many cherries can cause digestive problems, so make sure you don’t have more than these.

Summary

Cherries are a powerhouse of nutrition. The benefits of cherries include better heart health, pain relief as well as enabling better sleep. However, an overdose of cherries can lead to many digestive issues.

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About the Author

Anjuri Nayar Singh has over 12 years of experience in writing for various topics including lifestyle, films, television and OTT. She also writes on art and culture, education and human interest stories. ...Read More

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