A delicious, seasonal stone fruit, cherries are tasty and well-loved. But are they actually good for you too? Yes! These shiny little mouthfuls are jam-packed with nutrients, making them a healthy addition to your diet, as well as a delicious one
Cherries are a great source of:
• Fibre: at around 1.5g per 100g, cherries can make a significant contribution to your recommended intake – the recommended fibre intake for Australian adults is 25g per day for women and 30g per day for men.
• Antioxidants: particularly one group called anthocyanins – these give cherries their natural red colouring and are linked to all sorts of benefits, such as potentially lowering the risk of heart disease and some cancers.
• Vitamin C: works as an antioxidant to protect your body from damage, and also contributes to immune system health, good skin and hair, helps iron absorption and all round body function.
• Potassium: essential for your heart function and healthy blood pressure.
Tart cherries have some interesting properties; it’s claimed they can improve the symptoms of conditions like arthritis and gout, help your immunity, improve sleep quality, and may even have some ability to protect brain function and reduce the risk or severity of dementia and related conditions.
Cherries are versatile too; they can be used in pies and smoothies, chopped up in fruit salads, on cheese platters, and just eaten fresh as a tasty treat. If you’re giving cherries to small children, remove the stones and chop cherries in half first. Small, round and firm cherries are a potential choking hazard for the little ones.
Cherries are also a sweet treat, which can help stop you reaching for empty-calorie snacks – replacing one unhealthy food in your diet with a healthy equivalent is a great step towards reaching and maintaining a healthy weight as well as promoting allround health.