YAKIMA, Wash. – Fresh Northwest-grown sweet cherries are available now in produce sections from coast to coast. This delicious summertime superfruit is sweet, juicy and packed with nutrients that support better health. From keeping pain at bay with anti-inflammatory properties to helping reduce stress and improve sleep, sweet cherries are a healthy grab-and-go snack for consumers of all ages.
“It’s been a long spring for our growers, but harvest has finally arrived” said B.J. Thurlby, president of the Northwest Cherry Growers BB #:162657. “Fortunately, the long, cool spring gave our cherries ample time to plump up, resulting in large, dark, extra-sweet cherries that have that great light crunch as you bite into them.”
Sweet cherries are loaded with anthocyanins, a polyphenolic compound that gives the fruit their deep, dark color from skin to pit and has also been shown to reduce inflammation, which may be a contributing factor to diseases such as arthritis, cancer and diabetes. Northwest sweet cherries are also a low-glycemic snack for those watching their blood sugars at home or on the go. Studies indicate that sweet cherries release glucose slowly and evenly, allowing blood sugar levels to stay steady longer.
“With grocery costs on the rise, foods that satisfy your tastebuds and fuel your health are key to cost-conscience purchasing,” said Kelly Pritchett, Ph.D., RDN, CSSD, assistant professor at Central Washington University. “Sweet cherries are one of my favorite summertime fruits for exactly that reason. They’re delicious, nutrient-dense and a safe crowd-pleaser for all ages.”
Sweet cherries are a versatile fresh fruit — eat them by the handful, fold them into a salad, blend them in a smoothie or mix them in your favorite salsa. Their dietary advantages can also be tapped year-round when cherries are frozen, dried, canned or even pickled.
Northwest-grown cherries are harvested by more than 2,000 growers across Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Utah and Montana who together make up almost all of the cherries you find in stores from midJune through early September. This year, a snowfall during cherry bloom significantly reduced and delayed the crop, but thankfully the remaining fruit is all the better for the reduced competition on the trees. More information about Northwest cherries — including recipes, canning ideas, health tips and more — is available by following the Northwest Cherry Growers on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter, and at nwcherries.com. For more information about the health benefits of sweet cherries, visit nwcherries.com/sweethealth.
About Northwest Cherry Growers
Founded in 1947, the Northwest Cherry Growers is a growers’ organization funded solely by self-imposed fruit assessments used to increase awareness and consumption of regionally grown stone fruits. The organization is dedicated to the promotion, education, market development and research of cherries from Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Utah and Montana orchards.