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Food and Nutrition Author: Staff Editor Last Updated: Jun 11, 2014 - 2:58:04 PM



Fresh Cherries for Your Diet

By Staff Editor
Jun 11, 2014 - 2:53:19 PM



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(HealthNewsDigest.com) - YAKIMA, Wash., -- A recent study published in The Journal of Nutrition has found that consuming fresh cherries may provide an array of health benefits and anti-inflammatory properties. Low on the glycemic index, cherries are a naturally sweet component in a healthier diet and may play an important role in fighting the severity of chronic diseases such as arthritis, cardiovascular disease, blood pressure and cancer.

According to the results of a recent study conducted at the USDA-ARS Western Human Nutrition Research Center, researchers found that consuming about 45 (280 g) cherries daily may significantly decrease circulating concentrations of specific inflammatory biomarkers in the blood. Because of the link between inflammatory markers and some chronic diseases, the changes in the identified biomarkers suggest that consuming cherries may reduce risk or modify the severity of inflammatory diseases. The findings of the study were published in The Journal of Nutrition and are indicative of good news for those who want to reach for healthier snacks and ingredients on a daily basis.

Rich in fiber, potassium, melatonin, vitamin C and more, cherries are taking center stage as a healthful addition to the diet. Cherries are widely available nationwide during their summer season and don't need added sweetener in order to be delicious. Cherries are easily eaten fresh out of hand, appeal to children, athletes, and adults and are an easy and convenient addition to the diet. They also make a flavorful and fiber rich addition to salads, salsas, soups, sauces and smoothies.

The 2014 cherry season is looking promising as the crop is progressing strongly and on target for an early harvest.  James Michael of the Northwest Cherry Growers reported that the 2014 season could be the third largest and one of the tastiest crops on record. He explained, "We are gearing up for an early start to a strong harvest this year, thanks to ideal weather all spring, which also contributes to deeper flavor and a sweeter cherry.  With our recent USDA study clearly indicating how cherries may play a role in fighting debilitating conditions such as diabetes, arthritis and cardiovascular disease, we are excited to be pushing out such a naturally sweet fruit to health conscious consumers!" Harvest should begin in the last few days of May, so look for fresh Northwest cherries in the produce section at your favorite neighborhood soon.

Consumers interested in working more cherries into their diets can find resources and recipes at www.nwcherries.com.

About Northwest Cherries 
Founded in 1947, the Northwest Cherry Growers is a grower's organization funded solely by self-imposed fruit assessments used to increase awareness and consumption of regionally-grown stone fruits.  The organization is dedicated to the promotion, education, market development, and research of stone fruits from Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Utah and Montana orchards.  Collectively, the Northwest growers produce 2/3 of all U.S.-grown sweet cherries.


SOURCE Northwest Cherry Growers

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