Late spring and early summer are peak times to enjoy fresh cherries. Be sure to select plump and bright-colored cherries for best taste. Sweet cherries with reddish-brown skin will be most flavorful while cherries that are overly soft, shriveled or have dark stems should be avoided.
Your Hy-Vee dietitians have chosen cherries as the “dietitian pick” for July because they are bursting with nutrients that have numerous health benefits:
- Get a better night’s sleep – Cherries are one of the few foods that contain melatonin, a natural hormone in the body that helps improve sleep patterns. Eating a handful of fresh cherries or drinking just two tablespoons of tart cherry juice in six to eight ounces of water before bed may help you fall sound asleep.
- Heart-healthy – Today heart disease is the single leading cause of death in America. The antioxidants found in cherries may decrease the risk of developing cardiovascular disease by protecting the heart and preventing plaque build-up.
- Easy to enjoy – Try using cherries in salads, muffins, breads or fresh fruit salsa – or freeze for later use.