Ah, the early ‘90s. When hair bands were cool, rock-n-roll reigned and song lyrics held deep meaning like “She’s my cherry pie. Cool drink of water such a sweet surprise”, “pour some sugar on me, and my favcrite “cotton candy sweet to go let me see that tootsie roll.” OK, it’s time for me to stop reminiscing of my junior high days and move forward to today’s healthiest food challenge, cherries. Yeah, I know, eating cherries is not much of a challenge. In fact, I was surprised to find them on the list because I had been misinformed that cherries were one of the “fattening fruits” that didn’t hold much nutritional value.
Boy was I wrong.
The benefits of cherries “warrant” adding them to your diet. In fact, a Newsweek article actually stated “The day when doctors say ‘take 10 cherries and call me in the morning’ may not be far off.” Cherries are loaded with anti-inflammatory, antiaging and anticancer compounds. Cherries also contain a tri-factor of cancer-fighting agents, including ellagic acid, perillyl alcohol and a flavonoid called quercetin. Quercetin is a potent anticancer agent and is a fabulous supplement for anti-inflammatory activity, benefitting those with allergies and asthma. Ellagic acid has also been shown to inhibit the growth of tumors caused by certain carcinogens. In fact, an article from the American Cancer Society stated that ellagic acid stands out as a cancer fighting agent because it causes the death of cancer cells without affecting the healthy, normal cells. The perillyl alcohol in cherries also inhibit tumor growth.
The only downside to cherries – they made the list of the top twelve foods most contaminated by pesticides. The solution: buy organic or use the fruit and vegetable wash that I blogged about last week.
I love to eat fresh cherries and dried cherries in my oatmeal and trail mix. I also love to make a cherry breakfast parfait that is super easy.
- ¼ cup frozen cherries
- ½ cup Greek yogurt
- ¼ cup granola or GoLean cereal
Layer the yogurt, cherries and granola in a tall glass. The frozen cherries will partially freeze the yogurt, giving a delicious texture and flavor!
Do you have a favorite recipe with cherries? Please share!