(BPT) – Summer is here, and everyone deserves a glow up to feel their best this season. Of course, looking good on the outside relies, in part, on what goes inside. One snack provides a powerful punch of glow-friendly nutrition in a convenient, compact and naturally delicious package: sweet Northwest cherries.
Glow up with fresh, sweet Northwest cherries
Growers in the Northwest are harvesting sweet cherries now, stocking produce sections across the nation with this summertime superfruit. Sweet cherries deliver a juicy burst of flavor, while boasting an abundance of nutritional benefits sure to help maintain a healthy glow all summer long. Here are a handful of ways they do it:
1. Healthier skin
Sweet Northwest cherries give skin a boost of nourishment, especially darker varieties, like Bing cherries, which are rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants help stabilize free radicals that can otherwise lead to oxidative stress that, in turn, may speed skin’s aging. Sweet cherries are also packed with vitamin C, which plays a crucial role in collagen production for a healthy complexion.
2. Reduced stress
Sweet cherries are a natural source of serotonin, which studies have found to be an important factor in reducing stress and improving mood. The phenolics in cherries, which work as antioxidants, also appear to offer some protection against cell-damaging oxidative stress. Plus, adding sweet cherries to the weekly shopping list can alleviate another type of stress: finding a tasty and nutritious snack that will please the entire family.
3. Better sleep
In addition to being a natural, plant source of serotonin, sweet cherries have melatonin and tryptophan. In studies, these three compounds have been shown to help improve the quantity and quality of sleep, both of which are critical to giving the body — including the skin — ample time for repair and restoration. Consuming a serving of cherries about an hour before bedtime may aid in stabilizing and regulating sleep patterns.
4. Revived muscles
Sweet cherries contain anthocyanins, which give Bing cherries their deep red color and have anti-inflammatory properties. Such qualities have been shown to help muscles recover more quickly after exercise, making cherries an ideal accompaniment to a range of summertime activities.
5. Steady energy
The whole family can keep glowing with the high-fiber, low-glycemic-index benefits of sweet cherries. Sweet cherries boast a lower glycemic index than most other fruits, helping blood sugar stay level while spoiling taste buds all summer long. A cup of sweet cherries also delivers about 3 grams of fiber, making sweet cherries a perfect grab-and-go snack with staying power.
On the next grocery run, be sure to add a bag of sweet Northwest cherries to the cart to fuel a summertime glow up. Fresh, sweet Northwest cherries are available now through August. For recipes, preservation tips — to maintain a glow year-round — and inspiration on incorporating sweet cherries into everyday diets, visit: www.nwcherries.com.