Geriatrician, Hospitalist, Patient Advocate, Healthcare Educator

Cherries Have Health Benefits

Photo by Quaritsch Photography

February is National Cherry Month as well as Heart Month making it a good time to showcase this rounded slightly heart shaped tiny fruit and the many health benefits it offers.

Nutrient facts of 1 cup or about 20 cherries on an average:

  • Calories-90
  • Protein-1.5 grams
  • Fiber-3 grams
  • Carbohydrates-22 grams
  • Sugar-17 grams
  • Sodium-0 mg
  • Cholesterol-0 mg
  • Vitamin C -9.7 mg
  • Potassium-300 mg
  • Calcium-17.9 mg
  • Magnesium-15.2 mg
  • Copper-0.08 mg

Benefits of cherries:

  • Heart healthy as it contains potassium and polyphenol antioxidants which help reduce blood pressure, protect against cellular damage, reduce inflammation, and reduce risk of heart disease
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Helps reduce cholesterol
  • Reduces inflammation(which helps in arthritis)
  • Rich in antioxidants(anthocyanins which imparts deep red color of cherries, polyphenols, beta-carotene, vitamin C) so reduces oxidative stress
  • Improves blood sugar as has a low glycemic index
  • Improves quality of sleep due to anti-inflammatory compounds, melatonin which regulates sleep-wake cycle, and serotonin which makes melatonin
  • Reduces exercise-induced muscle soreness due to anti-inflammatory effect and helps in recovery

Cherries are versatile and can be used as an addition to a nutritious diet. You can eat them as a snack, in a smoothie, add them to your salad, yogurt, or oatmeal, or enjoy in a savory dessert.