Taste of Summer

>> Saturday, July 25, 2009

Today we ventured out to our local farmer's market to check out the goodies. We didn't have anything specific to pick up but since cherries are in season we picked up a few pounds. YUM! I heart fresh picked cherries! I'm sitting here gobbling down Rainier and Skeena varieties. You can read up on the various NW varieties here. Sorry no pics from me - my camera is AWOL at the moment.

So then it got me wondering: what's so great about cherries besides their yumminess?

Here's a sample:

A growing body of science reveals tart cherries, enjoyed as either dried, frozen cherries or cherry juice, have among the highest levels of disease-fighting antioxidants, when compared to other fruits. They also contain other important nutrients such as beta carotene (19 times more than blueberries or strawberries) vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, iron, fiber and folate.

Emerging evidence links cherries to many important health benefits – from helping to ease the pain of arthritis and gout, to reducing risk factors for heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers. Cherries also contain melatonin, which has been found to help regulate the body’s natural sleep patterns, aid with jet lag, prevent memory loss and delay the aging process.


Most of the scientific research has centered on the health benefits of tart cherries. Sweet and tart cherries contain pigments called anthocyanins, antioxidants that give cherries their dark red color. Tart cherries are among the top fruits as far as antioxidant levels go. Tart cherry juice and dried tart cherries are even higher in antioxidants than blueberries and more powerful than Vitamin E. Anthocyanins have powerful anti-inflammatory properties, and according to the American Chemical Society, eating 20 tart cherries (or drinking the equivalent in juice concentrate) a day could provide the same pain relief that aspirin or ibuprofen do.

The above link mentions the FDA getting their dirty paws in other people's business, here's another article about it if you're interested.

Anyway, love those fresh cherries. I'm trying not to binge on them but it's hard to stop!

By the way, does anyone know what the deal is with organic red bell peppers? I cannot find them anywhere! Nada at the farmer's market too. When I do find them, they're horribly expensive and not that great looking so I haven't bought any. I'm missing eating raw corn-jalapeno chips. :( Normally, I can pick find them just about everywhere but for the past couple of months or more I haven't seen them. I want organic because bell peppers rank high (and not in a good way) on the pesticide list. They contain a lot of those chemicals used conventionally. If you know what's the dealio, let me know.

Off to eat more cherries!

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