Vitamins and Minerals
Every time you bite into an apple, you’re biting into a dose of powerful nutrition. A medium apple packs in 17% DV (Daily Value) of fiber, 14% DV of vitamin C, and 6% DV of potassium – all for only 95 calories.
When you pop a cherry in your mouth and let the flavors explode, you gain a rush of nutrition. Thanks to the intact skin – thin though it may be – you reap valuable amounts of fiber (3 grams or 12% DV) in every serving. Then comes a wash of vitamin C (16% DV), potassium (9% DV) and other nutrients, from vitamin K and B vitamins to magnesium and copper.
Pears are one of the richest sources of fiber in the fruit kingdom, containing 6 grams (22% DV) per medium pear. And they’re high in the antioxidant vitamin C (12% DV), which also aids in immune support, and bone-loving vitamin K (10% DV).
Apples’ heart-loving nutrients—vitamin C, fiber, and phytochemicals—are on track to promote heart health. A study of postmenopausal women found significant improvements in cholesterol with 2 medium apples consumed daily after 3 months. (J Acad Nutr Diet, 2012)
Apples may be good for helping to keep your blood pressure in check, too. Apple extracts appear to inhibit angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE), a main target in controlling high blood pressure, according to laboratory research. (Food Chem, 2012)
A number of animal studies have suggested that apples can help keep the gut healthy. For example, certain apple varieties reduced inflammation in the colons of rats. (Br J Nutr, 2009)
Exercise Recovery and Pain Relief
A number of studies—some performed on long distance runners—have found that cherries are a kind of “natural anti-inflammatory agent”, and that supplementation with cherries may help enhance muscle recovery, reduce exercise-induced inflammation and oxidative stress, and decrease exercise-related pain. (Scand J Med Sci Sports, 2013 and Med Sport Sci, 2012)
Since cherries demonstrate such potential for anti-inflammation, it’s only natural that they might hold promise in treating arthritis—an inflammatory condition by nature. Studies have linked cherries to better antioxidant and anti-inflammatory status in animals with arthritis. (Scand J Rheumatol, 2006)
Those natural supplies of melatonin in the cherry translate to more melatonin in the body, and better sleep quality in people, according to studies. (Eur J Nutr, 2012)
Those powerful phytochemicals and grams of fiber may also protect the heart by promoting a beneficial impact on blood cholesterol, as well as inflammation. In a study analyzing data from the Iowa Women’s Health Study, researchers found that pears and apples were the most protective against heart disease, compared with other common fruits. (Am J Clin Nutr, 2007)
People who eat lots of anthocyanin-rich fruits, such as pears, have a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes, according to a Harvard study which included about 200,000 men and women. (Am J Clin Nutr, 2012)
It makes sense that pears are a weight loss ally, as their high fiber content can help contribute to a sense of fullness. And one study found that three daily supplements of pears and apples—compared with an oat cookie—provided greater weight loss within a weight loss diet. (Nutrition, 2003)