Sweet Cherries are usually ready around the end of June.
Health Benefits of Cherries
Sweet cherries contain fiber, vitamin C, carotenoids, and anthocyanins, each of which may help play a role in cancer prevention. Cherries, which are members of the same fruit family as peaches, plums, apricots, and almonds, are often regarded as a “dessert” fruit for use in pies, or perhaps as a garnish for cocktails (the maraschino cherry).
But cherries have a healthy side too, one that may actually offer therapeutic benefits to your health, as cherries are rich in antioxidants and many other health-promoting compounds.
There are two primary varieties of cherries you should know about: sweet and tart (also known as sour cherries). Sweet cherries, such as Bing cherries, are best eaten fresh (and raw), while sour cherries develop a fuller flavor when they’re used in cooking (which is why they’re often used for baking).
Sweet cherries contain a small amount of quercetin, which is among the most potent in terms of antioxidant activity and a wide range of other health-promoting properties.
Sweet cherries contain fiber, vitamin C, carotenoids, and anthocyanins, each of which may help play a role in cancer prevention.
Cherries contain natural melatonin, which is a powerful antioxidant and free radical scavenger that helps “cool down” excess inflammation and associated oxidative stress. It also plays a vital role in sleep and bodily regeneration.
Based on daily environmental signals of light and darkness, your pineal gland has evolved to produce and secrete melatonin to help you sleep. Research suggests that consuming tart cherry juice not only help increase your melatonin levels but may also improve time in bed, total sleep time and sleep efficiency.
How to Pit a Cherry Inexpensively in Seconds
Cherries are one of those fruits that take a labor of love to consume, as you have to remove the pits before you can enjoy them (or else be careful to spit them out as you eat). A simple trick? Use a paperclip as an instant cherry pitter. Simply bend the clip open, push it into the stem end of the cherry, rotate it around and pop out the pit. Check out the video above for a demonstration.
A Brief Cherry History and Fun Facts
Cherries have been enjoyed for centuries and were enjoyed in ancient Rome, Greece, and China. It’s thought that sweet cherries originated in Asia and were likely carried to Europe by birds. It wasn’t until the 1600s when English colonists brought cherries to the US, where they are now grown in the Northwest as well as in Michigan. Interestingly, while cherry trees begin producing fruit after they’re about five years old, it takes 10 to 15 years for the plant to reach maturity.
At that time, one cherry tree may produce more than 100 pounds.