Whether you prefer them sweet or tart, cherries are beloved for their small round shape, lush colour and wonderful flavour. And while you probably know they’re good for you, you may not have realized some of their most interesting health benefits.
Adding cherry powder to your diet allows you to eat cherries every day without having to worry about always being able to find them fresh! Organic cherry powder can be added to your smoothies, baking, and sauces or seasonings… but our favourite way by far to add in cherry powder is in our DIY gummies. Just add the cherry powder to the melted gummy before pouring, and stir to incorporate, and you’ll be giving yourself a little boost of cherry power with every gummy!
So what’s so great about cherry powder? Let’s get to it:
Cherries are Loaded with Nutrients
You’ve probably figured out that cherries, like most fruits, are full of vitamin C, but that’s not all they offer. While cherries ARE high in the always-important vitamin C, which supports skin and immune system health, they’re also a good source of other vitamins, such as B vitamins and vitamins A and K as well. Additionally, cherries provide some important minerals like magnesium, potassium, manganese, calcium, and copper. Cherries are also a good source of choline, an essential nutrient that the body uses to support cell membranes and metabolism.
As if that wasn’t enough, cherries include the potent antioxidants beta-carotene and anthocyanins, flavonoids that are important for their role in seeking out and destroying health-damaging free radicals in the body.
Cherries are a Food Source of Melatonin
Melatonin is a hormone that’s best known as the sleep regulator. Your body releases melatonin in response to environmental cues to help you fall asleep, and stay asleep, at night.
Cherries are one of the few food sources of melatonin, and also one of the highest sources of melatonin. While our brains produce as much melatonin as most of us need, the extra doesn’t hurt for a good night’s sleep. Plus if you’re one of the 33% of people who suffer from occasional or chronic insomnia, it’s definitely worth a try.
Cherries Contain Powerful Antioxidants
Cherries have a lot of anthocyanins, a type of pigment found in vividly coloured fruits – not just cherries, but also blueberries and blood oranges as well. While the name might sound scary, this pigment also doubles as a powerful antioxidant, fighting free radicals and helping to protect your cells from damage. Free radicals are unstable atoms that attack healthy cells, causing damage and inflammation in the body. Free radicals are produced in the body in response to irritants like pollution, smoking, or alcohol consumption. A diet high in antioxidants fights free radicals and helps protect against the formation of disease and age-related degeneration.
Anthocyanins also help lower inflammation and boost your immune system, making cherries and other anthocyanin-rich foods a very smart addition to your diet.
Cherries Are Great for Heart Health
Cherries, like most fruits, contain pectin, which has been shown to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol by binding to acids in your small intestine. One study showed that consumption of tart cherry juice helped lower both LDL cholesterol and systolic blood pressure in participants. Since both cholesterol levels and high blood pressure can lead to further complications including heart disease, including cherries in your diet may be a delicious way to help keep your heart healthy in the long run.
Additionally, the anthocyanins in cherries are helpful in lowering and managing inflammation in the body. When low-level inflammation becomes chronic, it in turn puts strain on the heart and vascular system, which has to work harder to do its job. Chronic inflammation can lead to heart attack or stroke down the line, and Johns Hopkins says that reducing chronic inflammation in the body should be as much a goal as managing blood pressure or glucose for long-term health.
Cherries May Help Lower Blood Sugar
While like most fruits, cherries contain natural sugars, they’re still a safe choice in a sugar-balanced diet! In fact, cherries may actually help lower blood sugar levels. Researchers from Michigan State university found that anthocyanins extracted from cherries helped pancreatic cells produce insulin by up to 50%. A 2017 review found that anthocyanins target insulin resistance and help increase sensitivity to insulin. While this is a long way from being able to cure diabetes, it’s an exciting development in diabetes and blood sugar related research.
Eating More Cherries is Great for Your Skin
Adding more cherries to your diet can help your skin stay healthy and looking great.
The antioxidants in cherries helps push back on the damage from free radicals, which can lead to premature signs of ageing and even greying hairs. Meanwhile, the vitamin C in cherries helps skin heal faster and be more resilient.. Vitamin C helps even out skin tone and texture, and even helps your body produce more collagen, which keeps skin plump and hydrated. Vitamin C even helps protect your skin from sun damage - although you’ll still need a sunscreen!
Additionally, the vitamin A in cherries turns to retinol in your liver and is then transported through your lymphatic system and into your skin. Retinol is needed to help stimulate production of new skin cells and keep your existing ones from becoming dehydrated.
Bonus Reason: Cherries Might Help Improve Memory and Cognitive Function
In case you needed a bonus reason, research has indicated that cherries may help to improve short-term memory. A study done on 37 people who drank either cherry juice or a placebo juice found that those who drank cherry juice performed higher on cognitive and memory assessment tests. The cherry juice group processed information faster, made fewer errors, and were better able to sustain their focus than they were prior to the study. While this was a small study and more research is warranted, the results are exciting for those interested in dietary nootropics.