I love cherries in smoothies, in pies (yes once in a great while, a little pie won’t kill you), or just out of a bowl for an awesome healthy snack.
They are full of healthy antioxidants and are an excellent fat burning food.
But did you know that cherries can actually help your workout?
Cherries, especially tart cherries, have actually been proven to get rid of the aches and muscle soreness that come from an intense workout. And, cherries are also extremely effective for arthritis pain, gout, hemorrhoids, allergies, and helping you sleep better.
These little red powerhouses contain phytochemicals called “anthocyanins” that give them their deep red color. Scientists at Johns Hopkins University found that the powerful antioxidants called anthocyanins in tart cherries were as effective at decreasing inflammation as anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen, aspirin and Tylenol.
And inflammation is what makes your muscles ache after working out.
Cherries also help you sleep more soundly because they are one of the only foods that contain a natural substance called ‘melatonin’. Melatonin is a hormone in the body that regulates sleep cycles.
Tart cherries contain high levels of melatonin.
Just two tablespoons of concentrated tart cherry juice has been found to promote good quality, deep sleep necessary for healing and repair of the body.
Did you know a good night’s sleep is proven to help you burn fat better too? And melatonin contains powerful antioxidants that helps reverse aging as well.
Cherries also help you burn fat, since they are full of antioxidants and high in fiber, as well as chock full of vitamins and minerals. Because they are a filling and satisfying snack they will fill you up and reduce cravings.
So there you have it—three GOOD reasons to make cherries a part of your everyday diet.
While sweet cherries are effective, tart cherries contain even more of the powerful antioxidants that burn fat, help with muscle aches and soreness and help you sleep more soundly. Enjoy cherries in your next smoothie, on top of your breakfast oatmeal, or just plain for a sweet, satisfying snack! One of my favorite snacks is frozen organic cherries mixed with raw almonds, and sprinkled with a little bit of cinnamon.
Give it a try!
Till next time,
Stay healthy, lean and energetic!
See more great healthy, fat burning foods in The Fat Burning Kitchen. And look for the Fat Burning Kitchen Superfood Recipes coming in July!
[note this link takes you to my co-author's page where you can order the book–plus free bonus videos.]
Catherine (Cat) Ebeling RN BSN, is a back to basics diet and nutrition specialist.