Sweet Cherries - A Powerhouse of Antioxidants
I have for years known that sweet cherries are high in fiber and low in calories but did not appreciate the other health-promoting actions of these tasty morsels. A few of these are listed below and detailed quite nicely in the infographic at the bottom of the page (which links to a useful websight that I just discovered). 
- Protect against Alzheimer's;
- Reduce your risk for diabetes;
- Fend off many types of cancer;
- Battle high blood pressure and reduce risk of stroke;
- Lower inflammation;
- Combat heart disease; and
- Improve sleep.
How can one foodstuff pack such a comprehensive health wallop? It turns out that cherries, espeically sweet cherries, are rich in anthocyanins, quercetin, hydroxycinnamates, potassium, fiber, vitamin C, carotenoids, and melatonin. It is believed that these constituent nutrients and bioactive components support the potential preventive health benefits of cherries in relation to cancer, heart disease, diabetes, inflammation, and Alzheimer's disease. 
Moreover, from a mechanism of action perspective, cherries contain polyphenols that exhibit high antioxidant activity, low glycemic response, COX 1 and 2 enzyme inhibition, and other anti-carcinogenic effects in animal experiments. This is consistent with the findings of several studies which have shown that the prevention of cancer, heart disease, and obesity are health benefits attributable to phytocompounds found in fruits and vegetables. The significant decrease of markers of inflammation and oxidative stress brought about by eating cherries and related compounds "may have implications for the management of clinical pathologies associated with high levels of inflammation and oxidative stress and suggests that their consumption may have the potential to reduce cardiovascular or chronic diseases in humans." 
- Cherries and health: a review. McCune LM, Kubota C, Stendell-Hollis NR, Thomson CA. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2011 Jan;51(1):1-12.
- Cherry antioxidants: from farm to table. Ferretti G, Bacchetti T, Belleggia A, Neri D. Molecules. 2010 Oct 12;15(10):6993-7005.