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5 surprising health benefits of cherries.

by Courtesy of Brandpoint Enjoy a bowl of super fruit cherries today.

Have you ever said no to a cherry? Probably not. This summertime treat is simply delicious. And if you're looking for another reason to indulge, you'll be pleased to know that cherries are surprisingly good for you. Recent research indicates that this summer's super fruit offers a variety of health benefits, including the five outlined below. Reduced risk of heart disease and diabetes Heart disease and diabetes threaten the health of millions every year, and cherries can help. Research from Michigan State University found that 20 cherries provide 25 milligrams of anthocyanins, which reduce inflammation by shutting down the enzymes that cause tissue inflammation. This helps protect the arteries from the damage that leads to heart disease. Further research shows that those same anthocyanins also help lower blood sugar levels in animals, leading scientists to speculate that a similar blood sugar lowering effect could occur in humans. In addition to being packed with anthocyanins, cherries also have a low glycemic index, making them a good choice for people with diabetes. Foods with a high glycemic index cause blood glucose to soar and then quickly crash. In contrast, foods with a low index, like cherries, release glucose slowly and evenly, helping you maintain a steady blood sugar level -- as well as leaving you feeling full longer and potentially helping you maintain a healthy weight. Combating arthritis and gout More than 8.3 millions suffer from gout, a form of arthritis characterised by severe pain, redness, and tenderness in the joints. This condition is commonly associated with elevated levels of uric acid in the blood. A study conducted by researchers at the University of California at Davis found that people who ate sweet cherries showed reduced levels of uric acid. In addition, research from the Boston University School of Medicine showed that people who ate cherries had a 35 to 75 per cent lower chance of experiencing a gout attack. Sleep support via melatonin Everyone understands the value of a good night's sleep, but sometimes your body simply doesn't want to cooperate. When you find yourself wide awake and restless, your melatonin levels might be low. Melatonin is the chemical that controls your body's internal clock to regulate sleep and promote overall healthy sleep patterns. Studies show that cherries are a natural source of melatonin, and researchers who have studied the melatonin content of cherries recommend eating them an hour before bedtime to help stabilise your sleep cycle. Fibre for weight loss Many Americans struggle with weight issues, and poor diet is often identified as a major culprit. But although there is a great deal of discussion about what people shouldn't be eating, there isn't as much talk about what people should be eating, like fibre. Most Americans' diets are fibre-deficient, falling short of the 25-35 grams per day recommended by the USDA Dietary Guidelines. These guidelines recommend two cups of fruit daily, and cherries are an easy and delicious way to meet that target. Enjoy a bowl of super fruit today In addition to all these health benefits, cherries also possess cancer-fighting properties, according to a study by the USDA's Western Human Nutrition Research Centre. So whether you're looking to boost your health or you enjoy the taste of this juicy treat - or both - there are plenty of reasons to reach for a bowl of cherries for your next snack or to add them to the menu at your next meal. Whatever your preference, be sure to get them quickly before cherry season is over.

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Publication:Times of Oman (Muscat, Oman)
Date:Jul 29, 2017
Words:609
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