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Learn more about the latest evidence-based research on cherries in the videos below.

What did the Global Burden of Disease Study, the largest analysis of risk factors for death and disease in history, determine to be one of the worst aspects of our diet? Not eating enough fruit.

Greens are the healthiest vegetables, and berries are the healthiest fruits and second only to herbs and spices as the most antioxidant-packed food category. As a group, berries average nearly 10 times more antioxidants than other fruits and vegetables (and exceed 50 times more than animal-based foods). I recommend at least one daily serving of berries, along with a minimum of three daily servings of other fruits, in my Daily Dozen. While biologically speaking, avocados, bananas, and even watermelons are technically berries, I’m using the colloquial term for any small edible fruit, which is why I include grapes in this category, as well as fruits that are typically thought of as berries but aren’t technically, such as cherries.

Research suggests tart cherries are so anti-inflammatory they can be used to treat gout, a painful type of arthritis. Delicious dietary treatments are much welcomed, as some gout drugs can cost $2,000 a dose, carry no clear-cut distinction between nontoxic, toxic, and lethal doses, or may cause a rare side effect in which your skin detaches from your body.

Cherries can reduce the level of inflammation among healthy people, too. A note of caution, though: For the same reason that high doses of anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin should be avoided during the third trimester of pregnancy, berries and other foods high in anti-inflammatory polyphenols should only be eaten in moderation in late pregnancy.

Are frozen berries as nutritious as fresh ones? Studies suggest that most of their nutrition is retained even when frozen. I usually opt for frozen berries since they last longer, are available year-round, and tend to be cheaper.

Image Credit: Mike Goad / Pixabay. This image has been modified.

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