Cherries Are Good For You!

Box of cherries

By Sports Nutritionist, Anita Bean

Sports Nutritionist, Anita Bean


“Cherries are powerhouses of nutrients, packed with vitamins, minerals, fibre and phytonutrients. They offer numerous health benefits and eating them after exercise may help you get more out of your workout,” says Anita Bean, Sports Nutritionist.

Here are Anita’s top six health benefits from eating cherries:

1 “They are a good source of vitamin C. A 150g portion provides 14mg vitamin C, which is 35% of your daily requirement.”

2 “They are a perfect post-workout snack. Cherries may help reduce muscle soreness and inflammation after an intense workout, as well as speed up muscle recovery. This is thought to be due to their high concentration of anthocyanins, which have powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.” (Note: although most of the studies were done with tart cherry juice, which has a higher level of anthocyanins, sweet cherries will have similar benefits.)

3 “They may help you get a better night’s sleep. Cherries contain melatonin, a hormone that helps regulate our sleep patterns. Researchers found that drinking cherry juice 30 minutes after waking and 30 minutes before the evening meal boosted sleep time by 84 minutes and improved sleep quality in people with insomnia.” (Note: there is a higher level of melatonin in tart cherries compared to sweet cherries.)

4 “They can help reduce inflammation. Cherries contain powerful anti-inflammatory compounds. A growing body of scientific research indicates that inflammation contributes to diseases such as heart disease, arthritis and obesity. One study found that regular consumption of 280g sweet cherries for 28 days lowered levels of inflammatory compounds in the blood, including C-reactive protein (CRP). A high level of CRP in blood is associated with an increased risk of heart disease and stroke.”

5 “They may ease arthritis and gout. The compounds that give cherries their red colour (anthocyanins) may act in a similar way to anti-inflammatory drugs, such as aspirin, by blocking the actions of certain enzymes. According to studies, eating cherries may offer potential benefits for conditions such as gout, osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia and sports injuries.”

6 “They may reduce blood pressure. People who drank cherry juice concentrate experienced a 7% drop in blood pressure within 3 hours. This is thought to be due their high content of anthocyanins and phenolic compounds, which help relax blood vessels.”

To find out more about cherries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and blueberries . . .

Moira Chisholm

I'm the Health Editor on My Weekly and am always interested to hear what's new in this fascinating field. I also deal with the gardening, shopping pages, general features, our website content and the Ask Helen problem page. I have a special interest in Christmas content because I'm on the team for Your Best Ever Christmas Magazine, too!