Cherries are a colorful fruit whose pigmentation packs an antioxidant punch. In particular, sour or tart cherries have been found to contain high levels of anthocyanins that work to neutralize free radicals and reduce inflammation. Cherries are a good source of beta-carotene, vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, iron, fiber, and folate.
At least two species of tart cherry (Balaton and Montmorency) have been shown to contain melatonin, which may help regulate sleep patterns and help with jet lag. In one study, cherries reduced total weight, body fat (especially the important “belly” fat), inflammation, and cholesterol—all linked to increased risk for heart disease.Nutritional Facts
Ten raw sweet cherries provide 49 calories, 11.3 g carbohydrate, 0.8 g protein, 0.7 g fat, 1.6 g dietary fiber, 146 IU vitamin A, 5 mg vitamin C, 3 mcg folic acid, 152 mg potassium, 10 mg calcium, 13 mg phosphorus, and 7 mg magnesium.