Are cherries a superfood?

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(NaturalNews) If the definition of a superfood is a food with fantastic health benefits as well as some remarkable healing properties, then cherries certainly fit the bill.

Cherries are good for anti aging, gout, reducing muscle pain, blood pressure, osteoarthritis, colon cancer, insomnia, metabolism, Alzheimer's, and preventing strokes.

Health Benefits, Natural Remedies and Disease Prevention with Cherries

Anti-Inflammatory - Cherries, especially tart cherries (or tart cherry juice), reduce muscle soreness and are an amazing supplement for DOMs (delayed onset muscle soreness), arthritis, fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, working out, and other such issues that cause muscle soreness. In fact, 1 cup of cherries has the same effect as one regular strength ibuprofen.

Fat Metabolism - Researchers found that when rats were fed whole tart cherry powder along with a high fat diet, they gained less weight than rats that did not consume cherry powder on an otherwise identical diet.

Insomnia - Cherries are a good source of natural melatonin, imperative for healthy cognitive function, circulatory strength, and proper sleep cycles. This can help also alleviate jet lag and insomnia.

Antioxidants - The antioxidants found in cherries are said to boost memory and may help prevent Alzheimer's disease. Antioxidants also help slow aging in many other ways, including appearance.

Cardiovascular Health - The anthocyanins in cherries help regulate genes that are involved with fat and glucose metabolism, which should help reduce the risk for such health issues as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Cherries are also very high in potassium, which is known to help regulate heart rate and lower blood pressure.

Cancer Prevention - In addition to the anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants that help prevent cancer, studies have shown that the anthocyanins prevents cancer (and there are a host of other benefits to individual cells as well).

Gout - Due to their anti-inflammatory properties, and their alkalizing effects, cherries and cherry juice should be a staple for anyone suffering from gout.

Sweet Cherries vs. Tart Cherries

With the health benefits listed above, tart cherries come out the winner every time. Tart cherries have more of the best health properties and a little less sugar. If you cannot find fresh, tart cherries, try tart cherry juice. Black cherry juice is well known for its proven health benefits.

Are there Genetically Modified Cherries?

At this time there are not any genetically modified cherries. There is some research being done on producing a GMO cherry that has no pit.

Organic Vs. Conventional Cherries

Cherries are one of those crops that gets an extremely heavy dose of pesticides. They were on the "Dirty Dozen" list for 2010, a report put out by the Environmental Working Group that picks the 12 most toxic laden, heavily chemically treated crops.

There are more than 40 toxins found on conventional cherries from pesticide sprays: 20 known hormone disruptors, 7 neurotoxins, 8 toxins that effect reproduction and development, and 14 chemicals known to contribute to the death of honeybees.

Things You Didn't Know About Cherries

  • In the United State the consumption of fresh cherries increased by 150% from 2000 to 2009.
  • Because the fruit has a very short shelf life, cherries are brought to market quickly.
  • In the United States, there are more than 1,000 different varieties of cherry tree.
  • In addition to their wonderful fruit, the cherry tree is known for its beautiful flowers.

Sources and Further Reading:

About the author:
Michael Edwards is the founder, owner, editor-in-chief, and janitor for Organic Lifestyle Magazine and Green Lifestyle Market. At age 17, Michael weighed more than 360 pounds. He suffered from ADHD, allergies, frequent bouts of illness, and chronic, debilitating insomnia.

Conventional medicine wasn't working. While he restored his health through alternative medicine he studied natural health and became immersed in it.

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