It seems I can’t drive anywhere in town these days without passing a roadside stand selling cherries.Guess what? That’s a good thing. Besides all of these local entrepreneurs competing for my patronage, the grocery stores are overflowing with these sweet (and tart), delicious fruits. Living in California, and the fertile San Joaquin Valley, I take it for granted that most of the time something fresh and tasty and locally grown is going to be on sale. Right now…
My lovely wife is a major cherry aficionado, which simply means she digs those chewy pitted babies. We can’t drive past one of those aforementioned stands without her begging for us to stop and grab a box. Me? I wasn’t all that into them until I met her, but eventually her enthusiasm, and that fresh, juicy fruit, wore me down. Oh, and another thing:
CHERRIES ARE GOOD FOR YOU!
Actually, the more I researched the health and nutritional benefits of cherries the more impressed I became. In fact, cherries are now considered one of the SUPER FOODS. This revelation excited me so much, I made this video:
* loaded with anthocyanins, a powerful antioxidant linked to their red color, many scientists believe a diet rich in cherries can reduce inflammation, lower bad cholesterol, and decrease belly fat * they may help ease arthritis pain and gout * one ounce of cherry juice contains the daily recommended amounts of antioxidants required to help fight cancer and heart disease * cherries contain more anthocyanins (one of the strongest of the antioxidants, by the way) than raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, and blueberries * one of the few food sources rich in melatonin, a natural body hormone that helps you sleep better and can reduce jet lag * they help lower your body fat, thus help you lose weight * can help control diabetes
Wow, after looking at that list only one word comes to mind: SUPER!
How do you like your cherries? My favorite way to eat them is the same way I enjoy almonds: by the handful. But unlike almonds, cherries are not nearly as fattening. One serving of cherries (one cup, with pits) has less than 100 calories (around 87), while offering up 3gs of fiber and zero fat or sodium. They are also a very good source of vitamin C and iron.
All this talk about super foods and health and nutritional benefits almost made me forget to mention:
CHERRIES ARE DELICIOUS!
Fresh-from-the-branch, pop-in-the-mouth delicious! Cherries can also be added to oatmeal, salads, desserts (cherry pie or cherries jubilee), as well as complimenting savory foods like pork and chicken. Serve them up anyway you like, but serve them up as often as possible.
Cherries come in dozens of varieties, both sweet (Bing, Lambert, and Tartarian) and sour (Morello, Montmorency, and Early Richmond), in various shades of colors.
Like George Washington said, all those years ago when he chopped down that cherry tree, “I cannot tell a lie.” Neither can I, so I can honestly say that I didn’t realize how super cherries were until I did the research for this post.
The next time my lovely wife and I are driving around town and we pass by a cherry stand and she yells, “Stop, cherries!” I’m going to stop and pick up not one, but two baskets. Why? Because super foods like these don’t grow on trees…uh, well, in this case they do, actually. I guess, what I’m trying to say is:
EAT CHERRIES, THEY’RE GOOD FOR YOU!
Until next time…
Still hungry for information about cherries? Check out this cool site, a very helpful resource for this post.