Why You Should Eat More Tart Cherries
By Sara Butler
Tart cherries may live in the shadow of their more popular cousin, but they’re starting to get the attention they deserve. While the regular sweet cherries you eat are good for you and pretty tasty, tart cherries have all of the same nutritional benefits, plus a few more! Here are some of the benefits of tart cherries and how you can incorporate them into your diet.
They Are Packed with Nutrients
The bright color of tart cherries doesn’t just make them pretty, it makes them good for you! Their bright red hue is caused by a type of antioxidants that helps your body control oxidative stress, called anthocyanins. Cherries are also high in fiber, Vitamin C, potassium, and carotenoids -- all while being relatively low in the calorie department. One serving of tart cherries has just 70 calories.
They Can Help Your Sleep
If you have trouble falling asleep at night, you’re in good company. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about one-third of adults have trouble falling asleep at night. Not getting enough sleep can cause diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, and other major health problems.
Tart cherries, and more popularly their juice, are used by many people as a natural sleep aid. Tart cherries are naturally high in melatonin, which is a hormone naturally produced by your body to help regulate your sleep cycle. Studies have shown people who drink tart cherry juice before bed sleep better than those who don’t. Just be careful, tart cherry juice by itself isn’t that good. You can mix it in with a smoothie to help make it more palatable.
They Might Help with Joint Pain
Tart cherries may help you if you suffer from gout, a type of arthritis. Studies have found that tart and sweet cherries can help to reduce flare-ups in people who suffer from gout and may also help to lower the inflammation in the body that can trigger a flare.
How to Enjoy Tart Cherries
You may find that tart cherries aren’t so great on their own because, well, they’re sour! But you can add juice to your post-workout smoothie, make preserves out of them, or toss them in with regular cherries when making a cherry pie. In the summer, you can easily find fresh tart cherries at the supermarket or farmer’s market.
Try out some tart cherries and see what you think!
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Mesa, Ariz.