Did you know that cherries contain over 17 antioxidants, all of which act to lower your risk for heart disease?
All the scientific evidence suggests that cherries are one of the most nutritious fruits you can eat. Not only do they contain high levels of antioxidants - the unique combination of antioxidants you get in cherries is not found in other fruits.
Cherries are also rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, iron, fiber and folate. They also contain high levels of anthocyanins, which block inflammatory enzymes - this may be why cherries ease symptoms of arthritis and gout, along with reducing risk for heart disease and diabetes.
Obesity, inflammation and insulin resistance are all part of metabolic syndrome, a condition that raises risk for developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease. A 2009 study looked at the effects of regular tart cherry consumption on rats bred specifically with a predisposition towards obesity and insulin resistance, known as the Zucker fatty rat model of obesity and metabolic syndrome.
For 90 days, these rats were fed a high fat diet which was supplemented either with 1% freeze-dried, whole tart cherry powder or with a calorie- and macronutrient-matched control diet.
Study authors noted that regular consumption of the high fat diet supplemented with whole tart cherry powder actually lowered total weight, body fat, especially belly fat, cholesterol levels and markers for both systemic and local inflammation.
These new findings are very encouraging, given what is known about the complex interactions between inflammation, blood lipids, obesity and body composition - all of which are powerful risk factors for the development of heart disease and diabetes.
Clearly, the combination of the cherry’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties packs a knockout one-two punch in the fight against heart disease.
No wonder cherries - both the sweet and tart varieties - are called ‘super fruits’, thanks to their nutritional value and unique combination of healthful antioxidants.
Source: Cherries Boost Heart Health and Lower Diabetes Risk.