Cherries- ‘Sweet as Cherry Pie’ when it comes to Health and Fertility

Sue Bedford (MSc Nutritional Therapy)

They are in season and just packed full of vital vitamins and minerals.

Cherries are an excellent source of antioxidants (rich in vitamin C) and polyphenols. Cherries also contain vitamin A, vitamin B6 and vitamin K. Cherries are a very good source of many minerals including zinc, calcium, iron, manganese and magnesium.

What are the main health benefits of consuming cherries?

Anti inflammatory properties- Scientific studies have shown that anthocyanins in the cherries are found to act like anti-inflammatory agents.
Reduce pain of arthritic conditions- cherries have been found to help reduce urates in the blood and thus help to reduce the incidence/pain from gout.
Help to regulate sugar levels- contain anthocyanins which help increase insulin production and thus regulate blood sugar levels.
Antioxidants help to protect against cancers, neurological diseases and aging.

And for Fertility?

In relation to fertility, the anti-inflammatory properties found in cherries help with conditions such as endometriosis, balancing sugar levels and hormone levels too. Cherries are abundant in powerful antioxidants, primarily anthocyanins, which have an anti-inflammatory effect on the body cells and systems including those of the reproductive system.

Cherries are also loaded in potassium, which is particularly beneficial during pregnancy as this mineral helps to keep your fluid and chemical balance while your blood volume expands.

In relation to male fertility, vitamin C has been shown in studies to help improve the motility, count and quality of sperm. It also helps to prevent sperm from clumping (agglutination) and help to protect the sperm from damage occurring to the DNA held within it due to its antioxidant properties.

In relation to female fertility, vitamin C has been found to help the endocrine system balance oestrogen and progesterone more effectively and is important in protecting egg DNA from free radical damage due to oxidative stress.

Cherries are a rich food source of the hormone melatonin. Melatonin promotes healthy circadian rhythm and sleep patterns which are important pre conception and for weight and stress management. Lack of sleep can lead to a variety of health issues including increased insulin resistance and hormonal imbalances.

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