Everybody loves cherries in the summertime, the fresher the cherry, the higher the flavor and nutritional content.  Their growing season runs from late April to late August. Cherries are an excellent source of potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, vitamins A, C, B6, E, folic acid and anthocyanins; antioxidants that help ease joint inflammation, lowers blood pressure and protects against heart disease.  Let’s make a pit stop and examine three of the most popular and their nourishing benefits.

Bings – are grown primarily in the United States. They are plump, dark, sweet and about 82% water.  One cup of these fresh cherries contains 87 calories, 22 grams of carbs, 3 grams of fiber, and 17 grams of sugar.  Bings are an excellent source of potassium.  Careful, one cup of frozen presweetened cherries are super high in calories.

Rainer – July 11th is National Rainer Cherry Day!  These light-golden color cherries are grown in Washington and California. Their season is the beginning of June through the beginning of August. Rainers have high sugar content.  One cup of Rainiers has 91 calories, 23 grams of carbs, 18 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of fiber.   These cherries are an excellent source of vitamin A, C, and iron.  A Ranier contains quercetin; an anti-cancer flavonoid, and melatonin which helps induce sleep.

Montmorency’s – are small, bright red, and tart!  Monts have a short growing season.  It starts in the middle of June and ends in late August.    If you are looking for a one-stop food that has anti-inflammatory, pain relief, muscle relaxing qualities, and sleep-inducing abilities then go for these cherries.  The unique flavor of tarts means that many prefer it as a juice. An 8-ounce glass contains 119 calories, 28 grams of carbs, 5 grams of fiber, and 2 grams of protein.  Compared to sweet cherries, tarts have 20 times more vitamin A, and their antioxidant levels are 5 times higher too. Polyphenols found in tart cherry juice appears to reduce blood pressure.

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