The Potential of Cherries

If you want to live longer you should consider adding red blue and black fruits such as cherries, raspberries, strawberries, blueberries and blackberries to your diet. These fruits all contain high levels of anthocyanins and other phytochemicals that delay aging and stop certain cancer cells from growing, according to research. In some trials they even managed to kill cancer cells that had already started growing in mice and other laboratory animals.

Cherries for your Skin

Cherries in particular contain inflammation-fighting anthocyanins and also melatonin according to Allison Tannis, author of * Feed Your Skin, Starve Your Wrinkles."T . Melatonin may boost UV protection and cell growth keeping wrinkles at bay. The sour variety tend to be highest in melatonin and particularly efficient in fighting cancer.

Eating a portion of any variety each day can make your skin clearer and less prone to water retention.

Cherries for Arthritis

Known for its bright red colour, this fruit is particularly rich in anthocyanins – compounds that researchers have linked to reduced inflammation in the body. “It’s no surprise that people have sworn by the juice for years for arthritis and gout relief. Science is finally supporting what they’ve known all along,” says Dave Grotto, registered die titian and author of the book 101 Optimal Life Foods (Bantam, 2010), which recommends a food-first approach to many of the problems associated with aging.

Grotto recommends an “Anti-Arthritis Menu-Plan” which includes avocados, soy and ginger, but his favourite food for managing the inflammation and pain of arthritis is sour cherries.

And the growing body of science is telling. Just one study from the collection, conducted by researchers at Baylor Research Institute in 2007, found that a daily dose of the tart variety (in extract form) helped reduce osteoarthritis pain by more than 20 percent for the majority of men and women in a 12-week pilot study.

This fruit’s anti-inflammatory properties can also be beneficial for active adults who are trying to manage the aches and pains of physical activity as they age. The latest science linking the fruit to powerful anti-inflammatory benefits shows that drinking the juice of the tart variety may help runners recover more quickly and effectively from post-race pain.

To help active adults train to manage pain, the US Cherry Marketing Institute teamed up with nutrition experts to create the Red Recovery Routine, which offers pain relief and performance tips on reducing inflammation, staying hydrated and fuelling with proper foods like tart cherries before, during and after workouts.

To learn more about the anti-inflammatory properties of this wonderful fruit and to download the Red Recovery Routine visit

A Remedy for Jet Lag

According to Russel J. Reiter, Ph.D, one of the world’s leading authorities on melatonin, these red berries are believed to be one of the most concentrated food sources of melatonin.

The body of research conducted by Reiter at the University of Texas Health Science Center, revealed that a handful contains more melatonin than what is normally found in the blood, helping your body get in sync with the new time zone while you travel.

“Travelers will often consume melatonin supplements to help regulate their sleep-wake cycle during long-haul flights,” said Reiter. “But choosing this delicious fruit may be a natural alternative.”

Studies suggests melatonin works best when consumed one hour prior to the desired sleep time on the plane and for three or more consecutive evenings after arrival, depending on the number of time zones crossed.

Cancer Prevention

Research shows that potent compounds found in the sour variety can help combat cell aging and cancer-causing oxidative damage.

Mind and Brain

This versatile fruit also help the mind and brain. The anthocyanins found in this delicious summer fruit may also protect brain-cells.

Alzheimer’s Disease

The phenolics in this fruit, particularly anthocyanins, appear to protect brain cells from neurodamaging oxidative stress -- the kind seen in Alzheimer's disease. The sour variety may be particularly protective as they are thought to contain a higher anthocyanin amounts than the sweeter varieties.

Cardiovascular Disease

Anthocyanins also may help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, but more research needs to be done to prove this theory.


Researchers are also hoping that the health-promoting compounds found in this fruit might one day help in the fight against diabetes.

Early research indicates that anthocyanins may help boost the secretion of insulin, a hormone important for blood sugar control. All red, blue or purple fruits and vegetables contain these helpful compounds and we should eat as many servings as possible to help a variety of problems and keep us healthy into old age.More research is needed to confirm the link between anthocyanins and insulin secretion. (Sources: Real Age Etube, June 2010 - Website and Press Releases from The Cherry Marketing Institute (CMI) )


If you have diabetes or insulin resistance, keeping your blood sugar under control is a top health concern. Proven methods of controlling blood sugar include eating low-glycemic index foods and exercising regularly. Some people also need to take insulin regularly. Follow your healthcare provider's advice. For more information read our section on diabetes.

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