The Hemp Connection + time to be

Food of the week: cherries

I just love cherries. When I was a little girl, we took a vacation to my mother's homeland, Germany. We visited her Onkel Gustav, who one afternoon took us to a part of his farm where he had some cherry trees, buckling under the pressure of the season's ripeness.

My mother looked at me and my brother and said,"Onkel Gustav says to eat as much as you want!" For a kid from Arizona who usually only got to eat cherries one week every summer when they were cheap, this was Cherry Nirvana.

We ate, and ate, and ate. We hung them over our ears like they were earrings. We threw them at each other. We ate some more. Our lips turned red, our shirts got stained. And we ate even more cherries. Eventually we had to get on a ladder to reach more cherries, because we'd eaten everything at the bottom of the tree.

Eventually, our pace slowed down and our bellies felt as though they were going to bust. So we sat down and relaxed for a little bit until Onkel Gustav said to us,"So, are you all ready for some lunch?"

My parents recently converted old family movies into video, so I can sit down and relive that wonderful memory any time I want. But this time of year, I'd rather relive that memory real-time by splurging on a bag of fresh cherries. Which is what I did this week.

Did you know that cherries contain anthocyanins? That's the chemical that makes blueberries so famous for being brain food. Anthocyanins are an antioxidant that can help to regulate pain and reduce inflammation. (Remember, PCOS is a disease of inflammation.)

Cherries have also been found to be high in melatonin. Melatonin is also a potent anti-oxidant. I like to call it the brain's"scrubbing bubble", because while we're sleeping it is actively scouring out oxidative damage from the day and keeping our brains safe from free radicals.

According to the California Cherry Advisory Board, cherries also have a nice boron content, which may help to strengthen bones. Many of you reading this blog are on psychotropic medications, some of which have been found to work against good bone integrity. For you, cherries are an excellent dietary choice!

If you happen to live in cherry country, now is the time to stock up and freeze some cherries to use throughout the year. You can also find cherry juice in many health food stores, which is great to add to a smoothie or to another juice you might be drinking.

One last note, which I do want to include, knowing how many cherries I can eat before realizing how many cherries I've eaten, is that 20 cherries equals about 80-90 calories. I'm usually an intuitive eater, but when it comes to cherries, I've learned that this is one food I do better with when I count them out ahead of time.

For those of you who need to watch your blood glucose and carbohydrates, you might do better eating cherries at mealtime, when the effect of their sugar content can be tempered with any protein you might be eating.


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Food of the week: cherries + time to be