Tarty and delectable cherries are always a delight; whether on top of a dessert, or blended in a smoothie or tossed in a salad. The ruby red delights are also possibly one of the healthiest additions you can make to your diet. Available in many kinds such as montmorency, yellow, red and dark red- cherries are abundantly packed with antioxidants. They are also enriched with melatonin that promotes good sleep. Montmorency cherries are said to be very effective in relieving pain. In fact, some studies have claimed that they are 10 times more active than some popular pain relievers. Cherries are also loaded with anti-inflammatory compounds that can also help manage arthritic pain. The nutrient-dense fruit is also said to have potent antidiabetic properties, which makes it a valuable addition to a diabetic diet.
Here’s How Cherries Help Manage Diabetes
Cherries are a treasure trove of dietary fibres. Fibres take a while to breakdown and digest. This enables gradual release of sugar in the bloodstream, thus keeping the risk of blood sugar fluctuations at bay. The low glycemic index of cherries is another advantage for diabetics. According to experts, diabetics should consume foods with GI lower than 55 as these foods metabolise slowly and cause gradual rise in blood sugar levels. Glycemic index is defined as the relative score given to each food depending upon its carbohydrates content and how it impacts the blood glucose levels. Cherries are immensely low on carbs. One cup has about 19 gram of carbs.
According to the book ‘Healing Foods’ by DK Publishing House, tart cherries are very effective in managing diabetes. “Their abundant antioxidants, anthocyanins can increase insulin production, helping regulate blood sugar levels,” notes the book.
Anthocyanins give cherries their distinct red colour. You also find them in other fruits and veggies like grapes and blueberries. According to a study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, when insulin-producing pancreatic cells taken from rodents were exposed to anthocyanins from cherries, the cells of the rodents pumped up their insulin production by 50%.
How To Include Cherries In A Diabetes Diet
Cherries are best consumed raw and fresh. It is a good idea to buy organic cherries. You can pit and freeze them to consume through the year too. If your cherries are slightly sour, do not toss them away as sour cherries are richer in antioxidants. You can tuck into them raw for breakfast, or use them to top your cereal or yogurt bowl.
Make sure you do not go overboard as anything in excess can harm your overall health. Always seek medical advice before making any major alteration to your diet.