It looks like this year’s crop of cherries will come earlier, bringing us larger fruits and possibly prices. The Northwest was hit with cool, windy weather and crops are expected to be smaller, hence higher prices for their crops.
Michigan & California cherries, on the other hand, had fabulous weather and it looks like a longer season in California, so with any luck the cherry market will balance out and prices will remain stable.
Beside cherries being delicious, why should we care? Well, cherries are FABULOUS for your health! New research supports the existing body of research that shows cherries play a significant role in reducing inflammation, arthritis and improving heart health. I’ve read that cherries can be as effective as aspirin!
Did you know that cherries naturally contain melatonin? Melatonin is responsible for a good night’s sleep, so top off your night with a bowl of cherries for a better night’s sleep.
Recent studies show that they impact stroke-related complications and support bone health. And, it’s not just reducing bone loss, but actually showing increased bone growth during aging in mice that has researchers excited. Bone loss affects nearly 44 million women in the United States.
A University of California at Davis study found that 28 days of regularly eating cherries resulted in a decrease in biomarkers for inflammation, including a 25 percent reduction in C-reactive protein (CRP), the most commonly used marker of inflammation. Elevation of CRP in blood is associated with an increased risk of heart disease and stroke.
Another UC-Davis study found that a single serving of cherries resulted in reduced uric acid. Elevated uric acid is the cause of gout. Cherries have been used as a folk treatment for gout for centuries!
As a more and more scientists are learning it’s rarely one component of a food that is responsible. That’s why it’s important to eat the whole fruit, or at the very least use 100% juice.
During cherry season nothing tastes better than fresh, juicy cherries but you can extend that into the following months by purchasing them on sale and freezing them whole. Just take out of the freezer and eat frozen for a delicious summer snack! (Don’t forget to watch for pits!)
When all of your frozen cherries are gone, you can buy them frozen to add to your smoothies, or buy juice to use as a part of the smoothie base. Whatever your preference, adding cherries to your diet on a regular basis is an ideal way to support your system to better health!