Cherries, Healthful and Cute

CherriesWhen it comes to cute, cherries are up there with kittens and tiny Japanese erasers.  Cherries have always been one of my favorite things to eat, and as a former champion of Ms. Pacman, I have fond memories of fleeing ghosts in hot pursuit of bouncing cherries and bonus points.

Cherries, it turns out, have real-life bonus points too.  A study out of the University of Michigan indicates that eating one and a half servings of tart cherries could significantly boost antioxidant activity in the body.


Previous studies  in animals have demonstrated that a cherry-enriched diet can lower blood cholesterol levels and reduce triglycerides, reduce body weight, and the belly fat which is associated with increased heart disease risk and type 2 diabetes.

And here’s more good news about cherries for athletes and long distance runners (especially if they run low during exercise): Research from Oregon Health & Science University revealed that runners who drank cherry juice twice a day for seven days prior to and on the day of a long-distance relay had significantly less muscle pain following the race than those who drank another fruit juice beverage.  Researchers believe cherries’ post-exercise benefits are likely because of the fruit’s natural anti-inflammation properties.

Most importantly for people with diabetes, cherries are low in carbohydrates.  One cup of fresh cherries has 20-25 grams of carbohydrates (depending on how sweet they are).  They also have a low glycemic index.  Summer is peak season for cherries, so open-wide like Ms Pacman and  indulge.  Cherries make a perfect snack or dessert.  No sweetener necessary.

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