What is it?
Cherries are fruits that are often categorized into two different types – sweet and sour. Sweet cherries in the US are grown mostly in Washington, California, Oregon, Wisconsin and Michigan, and sour ones in Michigan, New York, Utah and Washington.
What’s it for?
Aside from being a delicious, seasonal treat that people often look forward to between summer and holiday time, cherries are packed with amazing benefits such as:
~ Antioxidants! Cherries contain flavonoids (important antioxidants) that are anti-viral and some studies even exhibit them as being anti-cancer. The particular antioxidants cherries contain are anthocyanin and cyanidin. These phytochemicals in particular have shown to exhibit more anti-inflammatory properties than aspirin in some studies!
~ Melatonin! Another phytochemical cherries are known for is melatonin. No, they won’t make you sleepy. Rather, they’ll help support your natural sleep-wake cycle. Melatonin helps your body more easily tune into its natural cycle, ie – when it’s dark, you’ll be sleepy, when it’s light out, you’ll wake up. Cherries alone won’t cure your insomnia or fine-tune your circadian rhythm but they do offer some (yummy!) natural help.
~ Potassium! If you’re sick of relying on bananas for potassium (I blame middle school science teachers for this one) then get pumped for another option, cherries! Cherries are also potassium-rich. Just one cup contains about 275mg (that’s roughly 8% of your RDI).
How to make it/consume it?
The easiest way to consume these flavor bombs is just to wash and eat them as is! There’s nothing better than fresh-picked cherries. Lately, my favorite way to get them in is to freeze and add them to my smoothies! (Do you want the recipe for my chocolate cherry protein shake!?). Cherry juice is also delicious! Tart, rich and so smooth.
Where can I find it?
When in season, you can find them at your local farmers’ markets. Usually you can pick from sour or sweet varieties. Year-round you can find them in the frozen fruit section of your grocery. @traderjoes is always stocked in my experience!