Cherries were among the first crops planted when America was settled during the 1600s, and they continue to be a major crop in the country. The tiny fruits are low in calories and contain a healthy dose of fiber and key vitamins and minerals, which provide benefits for your overall health and well-being.
A 1-cup serving of fresh cherries without pits supplies 10.8 milligrams toward the 75 to 90 milligrams of vitamin C you require each day. Vitamin C helps fight infections and keeps your skin and teeth healthy. The same serving of fresh cherries contains small doses of vitamin A for your eyes, folate for DNA production and vitamin K to help clot your blood.
Fresh cherries supply 342 milligrams of potassium toward your daily goal of 4,700 milligrams. Potassium is essential for heart and muscle function, as well as normal digestion. You get small doses of calcium for teeth and bones, zinc for wound healing and iron for red blood cell production. Cherries are a nutritious source of copper as well. Copper works with iron to make red blood cells. The mineral supports the health and function of your blood vessels, nerves and bones. Copper also boosts your immune system.
The dark red color of cherries comes from anthocyanidins and proanthocyanidins, which are compounds that help decrease inflammation in your body, according to Michael T. Murray, author of “The Condensed Encyclopedia of Healing Foods.” A 2006 article published in the “Journal of Nutrition” reports that Bing cherries can reduce inflammation associated with cardiovascular disease and stroke. The study also suggests that eating cherries can lower your cholesterol. The beneficial compounds in cherries can ease the discomfort of arthritis as well, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service.