The weather is warming up outside and I have summer fruits on my mind already! Particularly the Cherry… and wow for a little fruit these sweeties sure do boast an abundance of health benefits.
Cherries are a stone fruit from the Rosaceae family of small tree fruits like plums, apricots and peaches and while there is quite the list of different cherry varieties, we can usually separate them into two distinctive groups, Sweet & Sour.
Sweet cherries are perfect for eating just as they are and sour cherries are usually used for cooking. Both varieties have wonderful health benefits and perfect to add to your summer list of summer produce.
So what is so sweet about the Cherry?
Improve your sleep
Cherries are a great source of melatonin. Melatonin helps to regulate our sleeping patterns, allowing us to have a more restful sleep. It has also been said to help with calming down the bodies nervous system when irritable, which can be one of the main contributing factors for conditions like insomnia. Improved quality of sleep helps us to rest and regenerate which is vital for our mind and our body to perform at its peak.
Reduce your risk of stroke
Cherries are rich in pigment which contains compounds called anthocyanin. Anthocyanins are red, purple or blue in colour and have great antioxidant properties which help reduce inflammation and plaque promoting good heart health. They are also a source of zinc & potassium which are heart-healthy minerals that help regulate our heart rate and blood pressure and reduce the risk factors that can cause high cholesterol.
Cherries are 75% water, packed with fibre and are low in calories making them a great snack for those who are weight conscious. The water & fibre allow you to feel fuller for longer while helping to regulate our elimination process, which we know is super important in maintaining a healthy weight.
Slow down the aging process
Rich in antioxidants that help fight free radicals, cherries can help slow down the aging process of our skin. They are also rich in Vitamin A which is particular good as an antibacterial for skin conditions like acne or rosacea. It helps to remove the toxins from the blood that can often be the underlying cause of these skin problems.
Improve brain health
Antioxidants make cherries one of the best brain boosting foods you can consume. Flavanoids and procyanidin help protect neuronal cells reducing the oxidant stress and helps to fight dementia.
Phytochemicals and anthocyanins found in cherries help prevent inflammation causing enzymes acting like anti-inflammatory agents. Including cherries in your diet can help with painful experiences of gout, arthritis and sports injury.
Cherries are perfect for eating anytime of the day, whether it be breakfast, lunch, dinner or dessert or even as a delicious sweet treat when you have those sweet tooth cravings.
Cherry Chocolate Fondue
- 2/3 cup water (add more if needed)
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 10 cherries (Pitted)
- 1 block dark chocolate
- 1 tsp shredded coconut
- Put all the ingredients into the Vitamix 2L container in the order listed and secure the lid.
- Select Variable 1. Turn the machine on and quickly increase the speed to 10, then override to High.
- Use tamper really well to press the ingredients into the blades.
- Continue to use the Tamper whilst blending for 3 minutes or until steaming hot.
- Stop the machine and serve.