(NaturalNews) Along with the summer months come more of a preference for a variety of seasonal fruits, ranging from peaches to watermelon. Perhaps though, one fruit tops the list of quintessential summer foods: cherries.
They're a common sight at farmers' markets this time of year and a healthy food that many people enjoy. Not only do they taste great, but they're extremely healthy, having the ability to help heal and boost overall health.
Health benefits of cherries
Published studies have found that cherries naturally contain melatonin, a substance necessary for regulating sleep cycles and ensuring uninterrupted rest. (1)
Considering that most adults get significantly less than the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep nightly and that regular lack of it actually has the potential to change genes, consuming cherries is a great way to improve the ability to fall, and stay, asleep. (2)
Lower risk of gout attacks
Abut 8.3 million U.S. adults suffer from gout, which is often a very painful condition. (3) However, research has shown that cherries have properties that dramatically reduce gout flare-ups, by as much as 75 percent.
The lead author of this particular study, Dr. Yuqing Zhang, Professor of Medicine and Public Health at Boston University, said, "Our findings indicate that consuming cherries or cherry extract lowers the risk of gout attack. The gout flare risk continued to decrease with increasing cherry consumption, up to three servings over two days." (3)
Cherries boast cancer-fighting nutrients like beta-carotene, boron, vitamin C and anthocyanins, a class of antioxidants that's been linked to helping keep cancer from growing out of control. (4) Choose dark, sweet cherries versus tart, lighter-colored ones, as the dark ones have been shown to have higher antioxidant levels.
Regulate blood pressure
Move over, bananas! Cherries have large amounts of potassium, which plays a role in regulating blood pressure. (4) Furthermore, cherries are also good for blood vessel health; they contain quercetin, an antioxidant that keeps them functioning well.
About the author: Raw Michelle is a natural health blogger and researcher, sharing her passions with others, using the Internet as her medium. She discusses topics in a straight forward way in hopes to help people from all walks of life achieve optimal health and well-being. She has authored and published hundreds of articles on topics such as the raw food diet and green living in general. >>> Click here to see more by Michelle