We use the term “cherry pick” to describe choosing something good, so it must be because cherries contain lots of good things.

Cherries contain melatonin, a hormone that has been touted as helping to fight insomnia. Cherries also contain anti-oxidants called anthocyanins. These are the same type of antioxidants found in red wine. They are low in calories (about 90 calories per cup), and have a lower glycemic index than grapes, bananas and strawberries.

Another interesting fact about fruits in general comes from a validated study published in a June 2012 Science Daily. This study looked at stone fruits — such as peaches, plums and nectarines — and showed that these fruits contain phenolic compounds that show anti-inflammatory properties that affect fat cells, vascular endothelial cells and macrophages. Researches shows that these types of fruits are special because their unique mixture of these bioactive anti-inflammatory compounds work together to potentially help prevent cardiovascular disease and diabetes. There are other studies that indicate fruits could help prevent cancer and even preserve youth.

I wouldn’t eat truckloads of these fruits in an effort to stay healthy, but all things in moderation is not a bad concept. Fruit is certainly a sweet alternative to cakes and cookies, and fruit also contains natural fiber. Check out the local farmers markets, you can find some pretty healthy options!

Apples, bananas and pears tend to have the most carbs per serving, whereas strawberries are pretty low — about 11 per serving for carbs vs. apples about 23). Of course, that all depends on the size of the portion and if you eat the skin, which adds fiber and helps to lower the glycemic index of the fruit you are eating.

Always check with your health care team to get the diet plan that is right for you.

Bon appetit!