Wednesday, June 3, 2009

I Cannot Tell a Lie, Cherries Are Good For You

It seems I can’t drive anywhere in town these days without passing a roadside stand selling cherries.Guess what? That’s a good thing. Besides all of these local entrepreneurs competing for my patronage, the grocery stores are overflowing with these sweet (and tart), delicious fruits. Living in California, and the fertile San Joaquin Valley, I take it for granted that most of the time something fresh and tasty and locally grown is going to be on sale. Right now…

IT’S CHERRIES!

My lovely wife is a major cherry aficionado, which simply means she digs those chewy pitted babies. We can’t drive past one of those aforementioned stands without her begging for us to stop and grab a box. Me? I wasn’t all that into them until I met her, but eventually her enthusiasm, and that fresh, juicy fruit, wore me down. Oh, and another thing:

CHERRIES ARE GOOD FOR YOU!

Actually, the more I researched the health and nutritional benefits of cherries the more impressed I became. In fact, cherries are now considered one of the SUPER FOODS. This revelation excited me so much, I made this video:

Cherries: Another Super Food!



Why are cherries super?

* loaded with anthocyanins, a powerful antioxidant linked to their red color, many scientists believe a diet rich in cherries can reduce inflammation, lower bad cholesterol, and decrease belly fat
* they may help ease arthritis pain and gout
* one ounce of cherry juice contains the daily recommended amounts of antioxidants required to help fight cancer and heart disease
* cherries contain more anthocyanins (one of the strongest of the antioxidants, by the way) than raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, and blueberries
* one of the few food sources rich in melatonin, a natural body hormone that helps you sleep better and can reduce jet lag
* they help lower your body fat, thus help you lose weight
* can help control diabetes

Wow, after looking at that list only one word comes to mind: SUPER!

How do you like your cherries? My favorite way to eat them is the same way I enjoy almonds: by the handful. But unlike almonds, cherries are not nearly as fattening. One serving of cherries (one cup, with pits) has less than 100 calories (around 87), while offering up 3gs of fiber and zero fat or sodium. They are also a very good source of vitamin C and iron.

All this talk about super foods and health and nutritional benefits almost made me forget to mention:

CHERRIES ARE DELICIOUS!

Fresh-from-the-branch, pop-in-the-mouth delicious! Cherries can also be added to oatmeal, salads, desserts (cherry pie or cherries jubilee), as well as complimenting savory foods like pork and chicken. Serve them up anyway you like, but serve them up as often as possible.

Cherries come in dozens of varieties, both sweet (Bing, Lambert, and Tartarian) and sour (Morello, Montmorency, and Early Richmond), in various shades of colors.

Like George Washington said, all those years ago when he chopped down that cherry tree, “I cannot tell a lie.” Neither can I, so I can honestly say that I didn’t realize how super cherries were until I did the research for this post.

The next time my lovely wife and I are driving around town and we pass by a cherry stand and she yells, “Stop, cherries!” I’m going to stop and pick up not one, but two baskets. Why? Because super foods like these don’t grow on trees…uh, well, in this case they do, actually. I guess, what I’m trying to say is:

EAT CHERRIES, THEY’RE GOOD FOR YOU!


Until next time…


peace,

Mike

Still hungry for information about cherries? Check out this cool site, a very helpful resource for this post.

36 comments:

Jennifer said...

One of the things I love about coming here is that you are so often discussing my favorite foods. Ahhh, cherries. My son and I have been eating them by the handful lately.

Vegetation said...

I love cherries. I lived in the Cherry capital of Australia for about 10 years as a teenager! They were amazing on a warm day right off the tree.

Yira said...

I never knew that about cherries and I love them. It seems that Berries of all kinds have those powerful antioxidants and the beautiful thing is that they are easy to eat...just pop them in like candy. Thanks again for a great post.

LisaNewton said...

When I was a kid, we used to go to a local market and buy pitted cherries in 20lb containers. We'd bake pies, cook jam, and then freeze the leftovers. Nothing tastes better than fresh cherry pie at Thanksgiving................:)

Sagan said...

Mmmm delicious. So glad that they're coming into season.

Anna said...

I LOVE cherries and I would be eating them right now, but the current cost is about $6/pound! I'm going to the market today and see if they have more in and if the price has gone down!

Mike Foster said...

jennifer: seems to be that time of year, thanks for stopping by...

vegetation: now that's something I'd like to try--right from the tree...

yira: i truly believe that antioxidants are the secret to a long life

lisa: that's my wife's favorite; me, i'm a pumkin pie kind of guy...

sagan: mmmmmmm, is right

anna: that's a shame, they are very reasonable here...maybe they will go down in price...


peace,

mike

Mama Zen said...

My daughter loves cherries. It's good to know that they are so good for her!

Robin Easton said...

I just love love love cherries. I've not had any yet this year, so now I am craving them. I did not know all the benefits of cherries. I mean I knew they were healthy but did not know about the melatonin/sleep thing. Now, I HAVE to go buy some.

Watching you eat them is making me go berserk. I'm sitting looking at the clock typing as fast as I can to get this done and see if I can get to the health food store and grab some cherries before it closes. You think I'm kidding, NOT!!! LOLOL!!!

Love this post and the vid. This is SUCH a cool site. I always want to eat whatever you are talking about!!! Thank you mike. Catch you later, I'm off to find some cherries. I've simply CRAVING them now. Hugs, Robin :))

betchai said...

Oh, we love cherries too, and especially when they are on sale :) You are right, we are lucky to be near so many fruit farms, some of my friends envy me for the avocados we can get very cheap sometimes.

Anna said...

Woohoo! Went to the market and they were a much more reasonable price so I grabbed some! I think I've already eaten half my little stash! YUM!!!

Mike Foster said...

mama zen: your daughter knows her stuff...

robin: i was surprised about the melatonin too, as well as the low calories...a sweet snack with little guilt...thanks for the nice words...

betchai: cherries are okay, but avocado...don't get me started! Love those guys...

anna: at least you still have half left...


peace,

mike

Mike Foster said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Robin said...

Ahh Mike - what are you doing to me? It's winter here - no cherries. I LOVE them - my mother likes them especially, too. They come into the shops around November. That's SUPER November.

suZen said...

Just bought our first (seasonal here) batch of cherries yesterday and enjoyed them last night! My husband has gout so we are REALLY into cherries - drinking cherry juice is his daily regime. I grew up on farm with a cherry orchard - we made jam and PIES - yummm - well in those days calories were as foreign as credit cards! ha! Great post!

Karen, author of "My Funny Dad, Harry" said...

Finally, something I actually like that is good for me! Yay!!

Mike Foster said...

robin: alas, guess you'll have to wait until November...but I will eat a handful for you...

suzen: i'm thrilled that cherries are so low in calories when eaten as is...it's all that other stuff we add that makes them fattening...and when i was younger calories was a word foreign to me as well...

karen: eat a bunch!


peace,

mike

Morten Pedersen said...

Every time I read your blog I tell myself that I must eat more fruit and especially when you have all that information about all the things that are healthy in it.

Dwacon® said...

I would have enjoyed the video more if you had spit the cherry pit at the camera.

But, seriously folks... I have cherries in the fridge now... but not for long. :-)

Hey, you like those Rainer cherries... the red/yellow ones?

kRiZ cPEc said...

you're a power food guru!

Mike Foster said...

morten: it's easy: see fruit, eat fruit...see? easy...

dwacon: that made me laugh, and since i was eating cherries at the time, i did indeed spit the pit out and hit my laptop...booink!

kriz: i like the sound of that, thanks...


peace,

mike

Jackie said...

Thanks for the info.

Love cherries but due to the high prices here, which I cannot understand as they are local not imported, I don't buy them regularly even when in season.

NoMeatAthlete said...

I love cherries. But for some reason (maybe the pits) I never seemed to eat them, until I found them frozen. Now I put them in my smoothies, along with some greens and other berries, every single day!

Mike Foster said...

jackie: that's too bad about the cost...but i bet you have some very reasonable other options for healthy fruit and veggies

nomeatathlete: sounds like one healthy smoothie...


peace,

mike

Liara Covert said...

No matter how much a person thinks he already knows on a given subject, new perspectives enrich self-understanding. Thanks for sharing this wealth of insight ona luscious, nutritious fruit ofen disregarded. It is also listed as recommended for cancer patients.

Marie Reed said...

I have a cherry tree in my backyard and am going to pick some right now because of this post:) Henry VIII ordered them to be planted all over jolly England after he tasted them in Flanders!

Mike Foster said...

liara: amazing how healthy some foods are...and i was surprised about cherries...

marie: henry viii, huh? cool, old hank must have known something back then...


peace,

mike

John said...

Its great to read this article as I am very much fond of cherry and love to eat. Now it will be more delicious as now I know the benefits of SUPER FOOD. Thanks to you.

Kat said...

I am enjoying a bowl of oatmeal with cherries & almond butter right now (delicious) & was wondering what the nutritional benefits of cherries were, so I came across your post. Thanks for supplying this information - your blog is great!

Bud said...

One of my favorite summer fruits, which I dearly miss when the weather gets cold here in VT.

I read an article on healthy eating for summer barbecues on ConditionNutrition, and, of course, fruits like cherries are a must because they're so easy to pack, carry and keep cool, too.

If you want to read, here's the link: http://www.conditionnutrition.com/reviews/category/metabolic-diet/healthy-eating-diet/


happy eating!

Mike Foster said...

john: thanks for stopping by...

kat: thank you, i've been eating cherries all week...still...

bud: happy eating to you too...


peace,

mike

Hoodia Weight Loss Supplement said...

Recently am hearing much health information on Cherries and berries. Its good to know that all nutrients are available in the simple fruit.

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