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Northwest Growers Celebrate Cherry Season

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Yakima, Washington-based Northwest Cherry Growers has announced that fresh Northwest-grown cherries are available in produce sections from coast to coast.

The summertime fruit is sweet and packed with nutrients that support better health. From anti-inflammatory properties to helping reduce stress and improve sleep, they are a healthy grab-and-go snack for consumers.

“It’s been a long spring for our growers, but harvest has finally arrived,” said B.J. Thurlby, president of the Northwest Cherry Growers. “Fortunately, the long, cool spring gave them ample time to plump up, resulting in large, dark, extra-sweet cherries that have that great light crunch as you bite into them.”

Cherries are loaded with anthocyanins, a 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. It is also a low-glycemic snack for those watching blood sugar levels. Studies indicate that sweet cherries release glucose slowly and evenly, allowing blood sugar levels to stay steady.

“With grocery costs on the rise, foods that satisfy your tastebuds and fuel your health are key to cost-conscience purchasing,” said Kelly Pritchett, 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.”

Founded in 1947, the Northwest Cherry Growers is a growers’ organization funded 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.

Northwest-grown cherries are harvested by more than 2,000 growers who together make up almost all of the cherries you find in stores from mid June through early September. This year, a snowfall during its bloom reduced and delayed the crop, but the remaining fruit is all the better for the reduced competition on the trees. 

For more information, visit nwcherries.com.

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