jar of cherriesCherries, a Delicious Summer Snack, Health Benefits Included

Packed full of delicious flavor ever so sweet, who could have possibly thought a bowl full of cherry bliss, would provide such many health benefits? Rich in antioxidants and cholesterol free, cherries provide a plethora of nutrients. Here are five ways you can enjoy a healthy treat this summer while reaping its benefits:

Cherries fight arthritis. Arthritis is painful and its severity may increase during the dry days of summer. The pain, tenderness, and inflammation of arthritis is caused by excess uric acid in your blood stream.  Did you know uric acid in your blood stream can be reduced by at least 15 percent by eating two cups of cherries a day?  Pretty cool, huh! Those who suffer from arthritis can alleviate the pain simply by incorporating two cups of cherries into their daily diet.  Coincidently, cherries are grown in the short span of July through August, just when the pain of arthritis is at its peak.

Cherries are rich in antioxidants. Cherries are among the fruits with the highest levels of antioxidants.  What does this mean for you?  The antioxidants packed in this super fruit are called anthocyanins. Anthocyanics aid in reducing the chances of the number one cause of death in the United States, heart disease. They also help prevent cancer and protect against obesity.

Cherries aid in weight maintenance.  Cherries are high in fiber. Eating foods high in fiber keep your body feeling full for a longer period of time, hence being a high contributor to weight loss. Cherries also contain different types of B-vitamins which contribute towards a healthy metabolism.

Cherries help you sleep. Yes, you heard me right. Are you one who has trouble sleeping at night? Cherries, especially tart cherries, contain melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone which affects your sleep and wake cycle. Enhance your melatonin levels by drinking a small glass of natural cherry juice or enjoy a serving of cherries as a treat before bed time.

Cherries aid in beauty and eyesight. Melatonin does not only help regulate sleep, but also contributes to healthier looking skin. Melatonin guards the formation of wrinkles. Many of us see aging skin as a huge beauty concern, so why not try a serving of sour cherries? These contain beta-carotene, an antioxidant packed with A-vitamins crucial to maintaining healthy skin and good eye sight.

Keep an eye out for some fun recipes by the Canning Diva which incorporate Michigan cherries.  If you are interested in learning how to home can jars of yummy summer fun, be sure to take a look at the Diva's class calendar online at www.CanningDiva.com.