Posted by Nick Roster on 1/3/2012 to General News
For the Month of January, the CDC has named Dried Fruits as the Fruit of the Month.
Dried fruits, including dried cherries, are an excellent way to make half your plate consist of fruits and vegetables. There are lots of resources on ChooseMyPlate.gov.
ChooseMyPlate.gov was formerly MyPyramid and the even older food pyramid. The new MyPlate is a visual representation of the relative amounts of each of the five food groups you should eat at every meal. A great way to monitor how well you are doing is to look at your plate and take note of the colors. The more colors you have on your plate, the better and more nutritious your meal.
Dried cherries have a number of benefits, nutritionally. Dried tart cherries are loaded with anthocyanin, which is the pigment that gives them their red color. Anthocyanins are called phytochemicals, or chemicals found in plants that have healthful properties, but are not classified as vitamins or minerals. Anthocyanins are powerful antioxidants that can neutralize free radicals. Free radicals can cause cellular damage, perhaps even causing diseases like cancer.
Montmorency tart cherries are also loaded with anti-inflammatories. A study at Michigan State University found that Montmorency tart cherries have the pain-killing power almost 12 times greater than that of aspirin (Wang, et al., 1999). Of course the best part is that cherries have no side effects like aspirin does.
So what does all this mean? Dried cherries are not only a versatile, tasty treat, they are good for you too. Try adding Cherry Stop Dried Tart Cherries to your next Caesar Salad, add them into your favorite cocktail meatball recipe, sprinkle them in your oatmeal, they are great in stuffing or potato salad too. The possibilities are endless.