Binging on cherries this season? Go for it! These tasty summer treats are packed with vitamins A, B, C and D, potassium, antioxidants, flavonoids, and fiber, all of which have amazing health benefits. Let’s dive into the benefits of this mighty little fruit and find out where you can get your fill at a cherry-picking venue in the Bay Area.
The Health Benefits
1. Possesses Anti-aging Benefits
Free radical-fighting cherries are packed with Vitamin C and flavonoids, which neutralize oxidative damage to the body. Free radicals and hence oxidative stress that come from living our daily lives can cause a plethora of aging ailments: they weaken the heart, the nervous system and degenerate everything from vision to libido. Cherries are one of the best defenses. According to the National Institute of Health, case studies shows that the consumption of sweet or tart cherries prevents or decreases oxidative stress and inflammation.
2. Helps the Skin Glow
Cherries combine vitamins A and C alongside nutrients like manganese and potassium, which are essential for optimal skin health. Additionally, their natural alkaline content helps maintain healthy pH levels.
3. Reduces Chances of Cancer
Cyanidin, a flavonoid found in the deep red pigment of cherries inhibits cancerous cell growth. Anthocyanins, carotenoids and vitamin C may all play a role in cancer prevention.
4. Gout and Arthritis
Their high anti-inflammatory content provides a fierce guard against inflammation throughout the body and thus minimizes the damaging effects of high C-reactive protein and uric acid. Tart cherries also contribute to muscle recovery and provide pain relief associated with arthritis.
5. Eases Constipation and Digestion
Cherries are loaded with constipation-reducing fiber and its flavonoids help stimulate digestive acids, thus altogether contributing to regularity and maintenance of the digestive system.
6. Boosts Weight Loss
As if all of the reasons listed above weren't enough, eating tart cherries may actually help reduce belly fat! This is because of their high vitamin B content (B6, riboflavin, and thiamin), which increases metabolism and helps convert nutrients to energy. One cup of cherries is less than 100 calories and contains about 3 grams of fiber. Cherry-flavored ice cream? Never again!
7. Helps You Sleep
Tart cherries contain phytochemicals like natural melatonin. Melatonin is a natural hormone that is produced by the pineal gland and plays a critical role in cellular regeneration and sleep. So, try a couple of tablespoons of tart cherry juice before bed and catch some Z’s.
Now that we've gone over all reasons why eating cherries are a good idea, why not pack a picnic and enjoy an afternoon of cherry picking with the kids? Without further ado, our list of the best farms to pick your health goodies:
Freitas takes pride in its dark and sweet Choral Champagne cherries. Because their trees are relatively young, the low branches are low enough for younger children to reach. They've even got ladders. Super kid-friendly!
Come pick cherries and a huge assortment of other kinds of berries at this family —U-Pick only. They have a shaded picnic area. No pets allowed, and they may close early if the ripe fruit runs out.
If you've got smaller ones with you, you'll be happy to know that Chavez has lower hanging trees for easier picking and costs nothing for anyone who wishes to enter and explore their 35 acres of land.
This is a more unique addition because the people at Alemany Farm want to help you learn how to grow your own fruit and not just pick them! Officially the largest urban farm in San Francisco, Alemany Farms opens its land to all who have a green thumb. Escape from the city and pitch in to grow, cultivate, and pick your own produce. They host volunteer orientations, workshops, and even corporate group visits.
Nunn Better's cherries are just as good as their strawberries which brings eager pickers in by the droves. They also provide recipes and easy how-to guides so you can turn your raw fruit into some delicious pies, jelly, and even butter.
Swanton wins in the variety category. Not only do they let visitors pick cherries, but also blackberries, tayberries, loganberries, boysenberries, kiwis, artichokes, broccoli, cauliflower, pumpkins, peas, and celery. Come here if you want a whole food Thanksgiving!
U.S. National Library of Medicine: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29562604
Dr. Mercola Aug 2, 2014: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/08/02/health-benefits-cherries.aspx
Tanya Zuckerbrot July 09, 2013: http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/07/09/5-health-benefits-cherries.html
Organic Facts: https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/fruit/health-benefits-of-cherry.html
The extraordinary history of cherries: http://www.foodreference.com/html/artcherrieshistory.html Natural new Jan 1, 2009
Natural News: http://www.naturalnews.com/025210_melatonin_cherries_sleep.html#