The Northwest Cherry Growers announces that cherry season has arrived. Sweet, plump Northwest cherries are being plucked, packed and shipped nationwide by the 2,500 cherry growers spread across Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Utah and Montana.
Rich in fiber, potassium and melatonin, Northwest sweet Bing cherries also are taking center stage in the nutritional arena thanks to a recent USDA study that touts the health benefits of this summer fruit. According to the results of a study conducted by researchers at the USDA-Agricultural Research ServiceWestern Human Nutrition Research Center, sweet cherry consumption may “reduce risk or modify the severity of inflammatory diseases such as arthritis, diabetes, CVD, blood pressure and cancer.”
Spearheaded by Darshan S. Kelley, PhD., a research chemist at the Western Human Nutrition Research Center, USDA-ARS, and an adjunct professor in the Department of Nutrition at UC Davis, the study examined the effects of fresh sweet cherry consumption on concentrations of risk factors for chronic diseases. Researchers studied 16 women and two men who had slightly elevated C-reactive protein levels, an inflammatory biomarker, and who were between the age of 45 and 61.
According to Kelley, the results show that several interlinked pathways of inflammation were affected and suggest that consuming sweet cherries may reduce risk or modify the severity of inflammatory diseases like arthritis, diabetes, CVD, blood pressure and cancer. The study took place in two phases, starting in 2006, and the results of the study were published in the March 2013 issue of The Journal of Nutrition.
Founded in 1947, the Northwest Cherry Growers is a grower’s 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 stone fruits from Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Utah and Montana orchards.