Cherries are sweet, juicy, and loaded with beneficial nutrients. They contain high levels of antioxidants that help reduce inflammation and fight disease. Research has shown that cherries benefits also include lower body fat, increased melatonin levels for a better night’s sleep, and reduced risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and other inflammatory diseases. If cherries aren’t currently a part of your daily diet, here’s why they should be:

Cherries Benefits

1. Promote Weight Loss

Cherries benefits include lower body fat levels. According to a 2009 study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food, rats that were fed cherry powder mixed with a high-fat diet for 90 days did not gain as much weight or body fat as rats that were not fed cherries. The rats that were fed cherries also showed lower levels of inflammation. (1)

2. Boost Heart Health

Thanks to the many antioxidants they contain, cherries benefits include improved heart health. Research has shown that tart cherries are able to provide cardiovascular benefits for the body to help reduce the risk of stroke.

3. Provide Antioxidants

Cherries benefit the body by providing it with a steady source of antioxidants. Cherries contain anthocyanins and cyanidin, two components that have been shown to exhibit stronger anti-inflammatory effects than aspirin. Anthocyanins have also been shown to inhibit tumor development. The antioxidants in cherries work to protect the body from inflammation and disease.

Cherries Benefits

4. Treat Gout

Cherries benefits include the ability to treat gout, a painful condition in which the big toe becomes stiff and inflamed as a result of excess uric acid in the body. High uric acid levels can also lead to diabetes, kidney disease and heart disease. The powerful antioxidants in cherries help fight inflammation and reduce uric acid in the body to lower the risk of gout. (2)

5. Reduce Inflammation

Cherries benefit the body by reducing overall inflammation levels to help heal the body and protect against disease. A study published in the Journal of International Society of Sports Nutrition found that cherries have the ability to reduce muscle damage and pain caused by strenuous exercise. (3)

6. Provide Potassium

Cherries benefits include providing the body with potassium. The body uses potassium to help maintain the health of several organs, including the heart, kidneys, brain and muscular tissues. The potassium in cherries can help reduce the risk of stroke, reduce high blood pressure and relieve muscle cramping.

Cherries Benefits

7. Treat Osteoarthritis

Cherries benefits include the ability to treat osteoarthritis by reducing inflammation levels. Studies have shown that the antioxidants in tart cherry juice can provide symptoms relief for patients with osteoarthritis. (4)

8. Improve Sleep

Cherries benefits also include a better night’s sleep. Tart cherry juice contains phytochemicals that can help regulate the sleep-wake cycle, including melatonin. Studies have shown that the melatonin in cherries can help improve total sleep time as well as sleep efficiency.