With over 1,200 types of cherries around the world to choose from, it’s difficult not to have your very own type of go-to cherries you like indulging on, regardless if it’s in the summertime or during any other season of the year. Cherries are a staple of freshness, pleasant taste and juicy texture, making them great fruits to consume raw or to add to desserts, morning muesli or to juice them into incredibly delicious and healthy drinks.
Throughout time, they’ve distinguished into two important categories of cherries: the sweet types and the sour types. Some of the most popular types of cherries out there are Bing Cherries, Rainier Cherries, Queen Anne Cherries, Montmorency Cherries and Morello Cherries to begin with. They each have their unique taste, appearance and nutritional benefits that set them apart from the crowd, making them easy to pick as personal favorites.
A lesser known fact is that cherries are incredibly healthy, as they are packed with nutrients, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. While sour cherries are known for their anti-inflammatory properties and neuroprotective qualities, sweet cherries are excellent at boosting the health of your bones.
However all types of cherries have a common nutrient base that make them an excellent antioxidant source, while also containing fiber, anthocyanins and carotenoids. Many of them will also have protein, plenty of vitamin C, potassium, manganese and copper.
What Sets Rainier Cherries Apart?
Let’s look at Rainier cherries and see what sets them apart, what their background is and what health benefits they can bring to the table. The Rainier cherry is a bit different than the other cherries, since it was actually developed by Harold Fogle, in 1952, at Washington State University. It’s actually a cross between two different cultivars, the ‘Van’ and the ‘Bing’ cultivars. This is a low-acid type of cherry, with a caramel taste that perfectly matches its yellow-orange color.
It was Mount Rainier, Washington State’s highest mountain, that actually gave the Rainier cherry its name and it’s actually the only cherry to be celebrated once a year, in a holiday all of its own. The festivities are held every 11th of July, right when the cherry crop reaches its peak in Washington State.
Rainier cherries pack in tremendous health benefits, so let’s look at five of them and how they can positively impact your well-being:
1. They Help Keep Your Blood Sugar Levels In Check
Rainier cherries have a glycemic index of only 22, while also providing great dietary fiber content, making them one of the few fruits that diabetics can actually eat. These cherries do have a high content of natural sugar, but they have also been shown to lower glucose levels.
So if you have diabetes running in your family and would like to take every step in your power to prevent it from developing, Rainier cherries are a good way to go. Or if you already suffer from diabetes, know that they also boost insulin production, which will help you keep your blood sugar levels at safe rates.
2. They Will Help You Get a Better Night’s Sleep
Melatonin is a key component of Rainier cherries and it’s known for being an excellent aid in regulating your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle. This means that if you have troubles falling asleep or if you have restless sleep cycles, you may very well benefit from a good intake of Rainier cherries.
By adding them to your daily diet, you’ll soon enough notice a sedative effect on your body and a healthy leveling of your sleep patterns. To this end, Rainier cherries are a much more accessible and cheaper solution than pharmaceutical aids. On top of this, they’re healthy, delicious and refreshing.
3. Their Potassium Content Will Boost the Heart and Nervous Systems
Rainier cherries are a fantastic source of potassium, which quickly adds to the list of rainier cherries health benefits. Having said this, it’s important to note that potassium is a miracle mineral, since it helps provide hypertension and relief and may thus prevent strokes from happening.
Additionally to this, potassium will also provide relief in a greater variety of heart disorders, while also protecting the body from the damaging effects of stress and anxiety. Potassium also enhances electrolytic functions, as well as water balance, which means that the nervous system will be better taken care of in order for it to continue with its healthy functioning.
4. They Will Provide Relief with Inflammation in the Body
Some of the best Rainier cherries benefits that are also applicable to most cherries are their anti-inflammatory properties in the body. This marvelous effect only happens as a result of their anthocyanin content – compounds that have been found to have this amazing anti-inflammatory property.
Sufferers of gout and arthritis will often feel brief, but craved after relief from pain whenever they suffer from specific attacks. In fact, not only do Rainier cherries alleviate the symptoms of gout, but they’ve also been shown to decrease the frequency of gout attacks. Rainier cherries thus inhibit oxidative stress and decrease inflammation, making them heaven sent to anyone wrestling with conditions such as gout and arthritis.
5. They May Offer Cancer Prevention
Among the many benefits of Rainier cherries, there is another one that draws in attention and it’s a result of their high anthocyanin content we mentioned earlier – cancer prevention. A test-tube experiment from 2010, Blueberry anthocyanins and pyruvic acid adducts: anticancer properties in breast cancer cell lines, showed that anthocyanin extracts, granted it was from blueberries, helped inhibit breast cancer cells growth.
Of course, additional research needs to be made, especially in the cancer field, which is tremendously important and information cannot be misleading. However the results that showed up in the experiments conducted so far offer promising results and are a clear indicator that further research may be beneficial in this direction.
How Can You Enjoy the Health Benefits of Rainier Cherries?
One of the best things of Rainier cherries and of cherries, in general, is that they are very versatile. You can easily include them in your diet, regardless of the season you find yourself in.
If you’re in peak season, you can get them from your local farmers market or order them from a trustworthy producer and eat them raw. You can just as well incorporate them in a myriad of baked goods you can prepare at home, such as cakes or tarts, or even include them in your salad. You can create delicious desserts or incredible ice creams.
You can freeze them and enjoy Rainier cherries popsicles with your loved ones when temperatures are soaring. You can also juice them and drink a glass of fresh Rainier cherries juice whenever you crave something sweet, healthy and refreshing.
In order to ensure you also get to enjoy these amazing cherries when their season is done, you can easily dry them up or freeze them until you crave for them again. Regardless of how you choose to preserve, store and consume these cherries, you can rest assured you’ll be on the receiving end of all their incredible health benefits.