Eat Tart Cherries, Reduce Risk of Heart Diseases
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20 April 2009
Eating just one and a half servings of tart cherries could boost your antioxidant activity and cut risk factors for heart diseases, says the latest research.
The University of Michigan (U–M) study found that healthy adults who ate a cup and a half of frozen cherries had increased levels of antioxidants, specifically five different anthocyanins, natural antioxidants that give cherries their distinctive colour.
Twelve healthy adults, aged 18 to 25 years, were randomly assigned to eat either one and a half cups or three cups of frozen tart cherries.
Researchers tested participants' blood and urine after they ate the cherries and found increased antioxidant activity for up to 12 hours after eating cherries.
“This study documents for the first time that the antioxidants in tart cherries do make it into the human bloodstream and is coupled with increased antioxidant activity that could have a positive impact,” said Sara L. Warber, principal study investigator.
“And, while more research is needed, what's really great is that a reasonable amount of cherries could potentially deliver benefits, like reducing risk factors for heart disease and inflammation. ”
Previous animal studies have linked cherries and cherry compounds to important benefits, including helping to lower risk factors for heart disease and impacting inflammation.
Warber's colleagues at the U–M have previously shown in animals that cherry–enriched diets can lower blood cholesterol levels and reduce triglycerides, an unhealthy type of blood fat 2, said an U–M release.
Other benefits of cherries found in animal studies include a 14 percent lower body weight and less “Belly fat,” the type linked with increased heart disease risk and type 2 diabetes.
These findings were presented at the 2009 Experimental Biology meeting in New Orleans.