How Many Dried Tart Cherries Should I Eat? Dried tart cherries, a staple of trail mixes and runners worldwide, have spent their time in the nutrition shadows. But they’ve come out to play, and they’ve brought with them some serious health benefits. There are two major types of dried tart cherries: Montmorency and Balaton.
Montmorency Tart Cherry
Tart cherries are a healthy whole fruit that is high in fiber, potassium, beta carotene, and antioxidants. One-quarter cup of dried cherries has 15% of the RDA for fiber.
Cherries also contain potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, vitamins A, C, B6, E, and folic acid. Tart cherries have virtually no fat and no sodium.
“Tart cherries have 19 times as much vitamin A and beta carotene as strawberries and blueberries!” By Dr. Alice Jo Rainville.
This variety of nutrients in tart cherries translates into good nutrition. In fact, the nutrient profile of cherries is hard to beat.
Nutrition facts about tart cherries
Many of the health benefits attributed to tart cherries are due to their high antioxidant content—and, specifically, a type of antioxidant called anthocyanins that you will also find in other deeply colored fruits.
In addition, tart cherries are a source of:
- Vitamin A (particularly great source)
- Tryptophan…and more!
Clearly, tart cherries are chock full of important nutrients! But perhaps you’re wondering how the tart cherry’s nutritional profile impacts your health.
Are dried cherries good for inflammation?
Cherries and inflammation
Newer research shows promise for cherries to alleviate symptoms (mainly pain) associated with inflammation-related conditions such as arthritis, gout, and even muscle and joint pain following exercise. The benefits are consistent for fresh cherries, dried cherries and even cherry juice.
Do dried cherries have a lot of sugar?
The biggest health concerns for dried cherries come from their high concentrations of sugar, carbs, and calories. Concentrating these nutrients is a natural by-product of the drying process.
What happens if you eat too many dried cherries?
Cherries may cause digestive distress.
“Cherries are a natural source of salicylates, which some people may be sensitive to. Eating a lot of cherries may lead to diarrhea, gas, or bloating for those who have a salicylate sensitivity,” cautions Leah Johnston, RDN, LDN, a registered dietitian at SRW.
Do dried cherries make you poop?
“Even a single serving of cherries will make you poop—and really quickly,” says Dixon. Cherries are also a natural source of salicylates. You may recognize the word because it’s uber-similar to salicylic acid, the active ingredient in aspirin. “Salicylic acid is one of many different salicylates,” says Dixon.
5 Healthy Reasons to Eat Tart Cherries
Snack on cherries and reap the healthy benefits!
1. Tap into their nutrient power.
When it comes to nutrition, tart cherries offer a lot of nutritional bang for the calorie buck. In fact, when you look at a bright red tart cherry, the nutrition power is staring right back at you! Rich in anthocyanins, a powerful plant nutrient that not only gives tart cherries their sparkly red hue, but has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and pain-reducing properties, too. Tart cherries are also packed with other easier-to-pronounce nutrients, including vitamin A, potassium, and fiber. A half cup of dried cherries provides nearly 50% of our daily recommended amount of vitamin A, a nutrient that’s essential for a healthy immune system, eye health, and that helps preserve healthy skin. And tart cherries are one of the few known natural sources of melatonin, a hormone that is important for promoting a healthy sleep cycle.
2. Optimize your exercise recovery.
More than 50 studies have looked at the health benefits associated with tart cherries, and many have been in the area of sports nutrition and recovery. Consuming tart cherries (in juice and concentrate) as part of a training routine for athletes, from runners to cyclists, has shown to decrease inflammation and oxidative damage and reduce muscle damage and pain and speed recovery from exercise. Now that’s a tart and tasty performance plus!
3. Get more—and better—zzz’s.
A good night’s sleep doesn’t simply come from the number hours your head actually hits the pillow. The quality of that time spent on your mattress matters, and important research has shown that tart cherries can help improve sleep quality, duration, and efficiency in individuals with insomnia. With more than 30 percent of Americans suffering from sleep disturbances, finding natural ways to help has become a priority. Studies in which adults consumed tart cherries twice daily for period of time have shown benefits ranging from speeding up that challenging transition from ”restless to rest” (falling asleep!) to less waking up during the night. Research has even shown to help increase the overall duration of sleep in those suffering from insomnia. One recently presented study from Louisiana State University found that when older adults with insomnia drank Montmorency tart cherry juice regularly for two weeks, their sleep times increased by nearly 90 minutes! You can rest easier knowing there may be a simple solution to ease into better sleep.
4. Keep your ticker tickin’.
A growing body of research has shown that tart cherries offer help for our hearts. Studies published out of Michigan State University and other research institutions have shown that tart cherries can help lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Also, the anthocyanins in tart cherries have shown to have anti-inflammatory properties; inflammation has been tagged as a risk factor for heart disease and a number of other chronic health issues, from metabolic syndrome to diabetes. Yet another reason to show some heart-felt love for the tart cherry.
5. Make a healthy plant-based diet more exciting.
From the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee to the American College of Cardiology, we are increasingly encouraged to eat a more plant-based diet for good health. Tart cherries offer a versatile and unique opportunity to help us make our plates more interesting and higher in health-promoting plant foods. Tart cherries are available in dried, juice, and frozen forms; they fit conveniently onto our plates year-round. Moreover, the sour flavor has been trending and gaining traction everywhere from restaurant menus to food trucks to the grocery aisle over the last several years. Tart flavor adds a perfect complement — a flavorful punctuation — to sweet, savory, and even spicy dishes in our day-to-day meals. You can incorporate tart cherries with sweet for the classic sweet and sour combination. It’ll make your smoothies more interesting and tasty, and your oatmeal extra-special with a pop of flavor and color. You can also create salad dressings and marinades with tart cherry juice. I like to combine them into savory dishes, from Moroccan-style bean stews flavored with cinnamon and cumin to pepper-roasted Brussels sprouts with a tart cherry glaze, making plant-based dining even more delicious. And don’t miss the opportunity to combine tart cherries with a little cayenne for a spicy-sour sensation to accompany seared ahi or even dark chocolate-cayenne-cherry bark.
15 Health Benefits of Dried Cherries
Dried cherries have become increasingly popular among other fruits over the years. Dried cherries also preserve most of the vitamins and nutrients. They provide fuel to get you through the day.
They make an excellent nutrient-dense snack that you can always grab even while you’re in the go. With a long list of benefits of dried cherries, they are a flavorful and feel-good addition to your diet. In fact, cherries are rank as one of the most health-protective foods.
15 Health Benefits of Dried Cherries
Here are the benefits of dried cherries.
1. Cherries are delicious
Dried cherries add a burst of flavor to smoothies and can also make the best stand-alone snack.
2. Dried cherries are packed with vitamin C
A quarter-cup serving of dried cherries makes up for 11 percent of the recommended daily intakes for women and 9 for men. It contains 8 milligrams of Vitamin C.
Like copper, Vitamin C aids collagen production. Vitamin C supports new tissue growth and plays a role in wound healing.
3. Cherries are protective against diabetes
Among many fruits, cherries rank low on the glycemic index which means that they don’t trigger spikes and crashes in your insulin levels and blood sugar.
4. Cherries provide arthritis relief
Regular consumption of cherries during meals and snacks may help lessen joint pain.
5. Cherries may lower cholesterol
One of the benefits of dried cherries is that they contain high levels of pectin that lowers the level of LDL or bad cholesterol. Every 1% reduction of cholesterol lowers the risk of heart disease by 2%.
6. They lower the risk of gout attacks
In one study, patients who suffer from gout, a form of arthritis caused by excess uric acid in the bloodstream, consumed cherries for just two days. The results showed a 35% lower risk of gout attacks compared to patients who did not eat cherries.
7. Cherries are high in antioxidants
Anthocyanins are versatile and plentiful flavonoid pigments that give cherries their deep red color. They are antioxidants that prevent the development of free radicals in your body. Free radicals are atoms that produce a chain reaction and damages our cells.
Antioxidants also slow down aging and help to ward off chronic diseases including heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, cancer, and obesity. It is also proven to help boost cognitive function.
8. Cherries are rich in copper
Some of the benefits of dried cherries are they contain copper which aids in collagen production. Copper keeps your tissues strong and protects you from free radicals that can contribute to tissue damage. Each quarter-cup serving of cherries contains 92 micrograms of copper, making up for 10 percent of your recommended daily intake.
9. Dried cherries have a mild laxative effect
Dried sour cherries have a mild laxative effect and help to improve digestion. They also contain amygdalin, that lessens the pain in the heart and helps cure diseases of the stomach.
10. Cherries as pain-relievers
The high level of antioxidants in cherries aids the body to reduce aches, inflammations, and pains as the immune system kick into overdrive fighting off harmful reactions from free radicals in the body.
In addition to this, dried cherries can also soothe muscle soreness post-workout and for faster recovery. The antioxidants in cherries help the body to bounce back after a workout.
To obtain brilliant results, consume dried cherries or tart cherry juice for several days before and after exercising.
11. Cherries are rich in vitamin A
Vitamin A supports new cell growth and aids in wound healing after injury. It nourishes your skin and makes your vision healthy.
Each quarter-cup serving of dried cherries contains 1,132 international units of Vitamin A content. This makes up for 49 percent of the recommended daily intake for women and 38 percent for men.
12. Cherries aid healthy sleep
One of the benefits of dried cherries is that they are sleep aids. According to the agricultural research studies, cherries are one of the only natural food source of melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone that regulates sleep-wake cycles.
Consumption of cherries may help you attain restful and deep sleep. The researchers considered dried cherries as a safe alternative for those with insomnia problems.
In addition to this, dried cherries can also help relieve jet lag. One hour before taking a sleep on the flight, eat cherries. After arriving at your new destination, eat cherries one hour before desired bedtime each night. Do this for at least three consecutive nights.
13. Cherries contain flavonoids
Flavonoids can help prevent certain types of cancer and heart disease.
14. Dried cherries contain coumarins
Coumarin, a chemical compound found in many plants, plays a big part in the normalization of blood clotting. Coumarins prevent the occurrence of blood clots, thus, reducing the risks of strokes and heart attacks.
15. Dried cherries to kiss those belly fat goodbye
Cherries help to reduce weight and total body fat.
Are You Allergic to Cherries?
If you experience symptoms of nausea, vomiting, cramping or diarrhea after eating cherries, you may have an intolerance to them. If your symptoms are more severe, you might have a food allergy.
An allergy to food is an abnormal response to a particular protein in food triggered by your body’s immune system. It is possible to be allergic to cherries, especially if you are allergic to birch pollen, per the Mayo Clinic.
Symptoms of a food allergy usually develop within a few minutes to two hours after eating the fruit and may include:
- Tingling or itching in the mouth
- Skin rashes such as hives or eczema
- Swelling of the lips, face, tongue and throat
- Wheezing, difficulty breathing and nasal congestion
- Abdominal cramps, vomiting, diarrhea and nausea
- Dizziness or fainting
In rare situations, an allergy to cherries might trigger a severe allergic reaction called anaphylaxis, which is a life-threatening condition.