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Q: Is it true that cherries can help with pain relief?

Posted July 17, 2013 in Advice Column, Ankeny

A: Summer screams cherries. These delectable super fruits are not only delicious, but provide many health benefits as well.

Cherries contain many antioxidants and valuable nutrients that make them a powerful super food. Whether you are fighting pain and inflammation, trying to regulate those sleeps patterns or wanting to give your brain a little boost, choose this small and flavorful fruit for your next healthy snack.

• Antioxidants. Sweet cherries are considered among the top 20 foods with the highest concentration of antioxidants. Antioxidants occur naturally in some foods and may protect cells in the body from future damage.

• Heart healthy. Today, heart disease is the single leading cause of death in America. Anthocyanin and quercetin may decrease the risk of developing cardiovascular disease by protecting the heart and preventing plaque formation within the body.

• Natural pain and inflammation relief. A bowl full of cherries may help relieve discomfort related to arthritis and gout. Cherries act as pain relievers by blocking inflammatory enzymes in the body, which may help to reduce pain.

• Insomnia. Cherries are one of the few foods that contain melatonin, a natural hormone in the body, which helps control when we fall asleep and wake up. Eating a handful of cherries before bed may be a great, natural way to regulate sleep patterns.

This information is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.

Information provided by Jenny Norgaard, RD, LD, registered dietitian, Ankeny Hy-Vee, jnorgaard@hy-vee.com, 515-964-0900.





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