Summer is approaching, which means all those yummy tasty berries and fruits are coming into the season and will be ready for snacking on.

You body needs a healthy and balanced diet with a variety of foods for essential vitamins and minerals to help you perform your best.

Protein and carbohydrates are essential for muscle repair, recovery and replenishing those energy stores for your next ride. Vitamins and minerals keep you healthy with their anti-inflammatory and immunity boosting benefits.

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It isn't just the body that benefits from having a balanced diet, but your mental health has a lot to gain also.

With the summer fruits rolling into the grocery stores, we team up with the cherry experts, CMI, to explore the benefits of Montmorency cherries.

The Yummy Benefits of Cherries

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Cherries are often passed over in favour of strawberries, raspberries and other tasty fruits. With their glossy bright red coat and sweet-sour taste, cherries are certainly not to be underestimated for their brilliant health benefits.

These tasty red fruit bites are packed full of healthy anthocyanins, a natural compound that gives cherries their zingy taste and bright colour.

Packed full of these and a flavonoid called phytonutrient, numerous research studies have begun to expose the extraordinary benefits.

Sleep

sleep

Getting a good night's sleep is essential for your body to function at its best. Having enough sleep is crucial for muscle repair, cell growth and brain function.

There are lots of sleep aid remedies on the market that claim to help with a restful night. However, Montmorency tart cherries provide a more natural solution for improved sleep.

Cherries are packed with melatonin which helps regulate your body-clock. The combination of melatonin and anthocyanins are believed to aid with a healthier sleep routine.

One study found that drinking Montmorency tart cherry juice twice a day for two weeks helped increase sleep time by nearly 90 minutes among older adults with insomnia. Adults who drank two servings of Montmorency tart cherry juice concentrate each day for seven days slept about 40 minutes longer on average and had up to a 6 percent increase in sleep efficiency, compared to the participants who drank another beverage.

8 Foods that Will Definitely Help You Sleep

Recovery

rest

After a good cycle or gym workout, it's important to rest and recover appropriately in order to give your muscles the repair time they need.

How do you know if you're recovering right?

Known for their anti-inflammatory properties, Montmorency tart cherries are becoming popular amongst athletes.

10 Foods that Reduce Inflammation

It's been discovered that cherries help reduce muscle soreness after training, which speeds up recovery times.

A new study revealed that cyclists who drank Montmorency tart cherry juice concentrate before a race experienced less inflammation and muscle stress compared to those who didn't.

Healthy Joints

happy knees

As a cyclist, you put a lot of stress and strain on your joints. Powering your knees up those climbs, with firm grips on those bars can cause joint wear and tear.

A common problem to develop later in life is arthritis and gout, which can cause inflammation and pain of the joints.

Anthocyanins found naturally in cherries help reduce inflammation in the body. They help reduce uric acid, the painful chemical that triggers gout attacks.

Healthy Heart

Silver heart chain necklace

The drive behind our pedal strokes is a strong cardiovascular system, powered by our heart. It's important to keep this organ healthy and happy to ensure blood can flow around the body, carrying oxygen to our pumping muscles during exercise.

Consuming Montmorency tart cherries has been linked not only to reducing inflammation in the body but also to lowering levels of cholesterol, triglycerides and even belly fat. All things that contribute to heart disease.

Increasing your intake of anthocyanins, which are commonly found in dark red fruits, has been shown to decrease the risk of myocardial infarction in young and middle-aged women.

The same nutrients found in cherries have been found to regulate fat and glucose levels in the body, and consequently, reduces the chances of suffering a stroke.

Anti-Aging

rusty bike

Anti-aging remedies aren't always bottled in fancy containers which cost you an arm and a leg, natural boosts are found in the foods you eat.

Along with flavonoids, vitamins and nutrients, cherries are full of antioxidants which help combats the signs of ageing by fending off radicals in the body.

Reduces Cancer Risks

Sustrans 100 mile smile ride copyright sustrans

It's hard to believe these tasty red fruits have so many wonderful body benefits. The same antioxidants, flavonoids and anthocyanins work together to help kerb the development of cancerous cells.

An experiment was carried out on regular ground beef burgers, and ground beef and tart cherry burgers. Scientists found that the formation of carcinogenic cells were reduced on the beef and cherry burgers, than that of the regular plain burgers.

These little red globes of fruity delights are packed full of healthy nutrients that can have a number of benefits on our mind and bodies.

Cherries are tasty to snack on, but equally as tasty and easy to add to smoothies, baked goods and recovery foods.

USA Montmorency Tart Cherries have a wealth of recipes and nutritional information for you to find your own yummy cherry fix.

Our Favourite Cherry Recipes: