You must add some fresh cherries, which are now in season, to your health routine this week.
I don't know about you, but when my local supermarket runs specials on cherries, I won't leave the store without buying several pounds of these delicious and healthy orbs.
Folklore has long touted the humble cherry as a health-giving food, so it's nice that hard science is now confirming what natural health nuts have known for years.
Dr. Russell J. Reiter, professor of neuroendocrinology at The University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, conducted a five-month study and found that tart cherries contain significant amounts of melatonin - a hormone produced in the brain's pineal gland that has been credited with slowing the aging process, and fighting insomnia and jet lag.
Reiter says, "The combination of antioxidants in cherries can be very beneficial."
Ludwig Blau, Ph.D., claimed he cured his gout by eating six to eight cherries each day. Although he had no scientific explanation for his discovery, he said he could only get out of his wheelchair as long as he ate cherries. He noted that twelve other people with gout who ate cherries and drank cherry juice found relief from the disease.
Cherries are rich in beta-carotene, vitamin B1, C, calcium, copper, iron, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, silicon, flavonoids and the fiber, pectin. Darker cherries are even more mineral rich.
At Forsyth Dental Center a study was done that showed black cherry juice blocked 89% of the enzyme activity that would lead to plaque formation.
One caution, however, and it's an important caution...
Cherries are one of the most chemically contaminated fruits, so be sure to buy organic whenever possible. While shopping, look for fresh green stems with plump, colorful, shiny skinned cherries. Avoid scabby looking cherries that have mold or look like they've been sitting in the store too long.
Cherries are wonderful plain, but they're also terrific in fruit salads, smoothies, and juices.
While I have your attention, how about a fresh cherry smoothie recipe?
Cherry Smoothie Recipe
2 cups tart cherries (seeds removed of course)
1 ripe banana, peeled
1 cup cherry juice (or other juice)
Put cherries, banana and cherry juice blend in your blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Be sure to serve immediately. This recipe makes four 8-oz servings.
And, yes, dried cherries can be enjoyed year round.
Chet Day keeps a close eye on the wild and wacky world of the natural health circus. If you're tired to the same old health news and boring baloney, you'll enjoy Chet's informative and entertaining writing style at http://chetday.com and in his many free newsletters at http://dayzines.com