Saint Peter’s Better Health

Sponsored by Saint Peter’s Healthcare System

When you see nothing but cherries across the board, it’s no wonder you feel like you’ve hit the jackpot. Cherries may lower your risk for certain diseases, including arthritis, cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.

Research shows that these healthy prizes have many other potential benefits, too. However, keep in mind that most studies use a high daily dose of cherries. Check with your health care provider before adding large amounts of fresh cherries or cherry juice to your diet. And ask him or her if increased cherry consumption can help you:

Ease Soreness After Exercise

Tart cherries can help with muscle pain after working out. Researchers also theorize that the antioxidants and anti-inflammatory traits in tart cherry products may reduce exercise-induced muscle damage.

Limit Arthritis Symptoms

Arthritis affects about one in four U.S. adults. A recent review in the journal Nutrients reported that cherries have antiarthritic properties and may lower the frequency of arthritis flare-ups.

Cut Down on Your Chances for Gout Attacks

Gout is a condition caused by too much uric acid building up in the joints. Affected joints experience extreme pain and swelling. The Nutrients review cited a study in which gout patients who ate fresh cherries or drank cherry extract for just two days showed a 35 percent lower risk for gout attacks.

Control Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors

A study in the journal Food & Function found that drinking tart cherry juice for 12 weeks can lower systolic blood pressure and low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or “bad,” cholesterol in older adults. High blood pressure and high LDL levels can put you at risk for heart disease.

Boost Sleep

Melatonin is a hormone that helps control sleep-wake cycles. It’s found in tart cherry juice and whole tart cherries.

Manage Diabetes

Some studies suggest that eating cherries may help promote healthy glucose regulation, which may make them a nutritious option for people with diabetes.

When life hands you a bowl of cherries, eat them! You’ll reap the healthy rewards in no time.


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