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Amazing Benefits of Cherries (+5 Refreshing Recipes)

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Amazing Benefits of Cherries (+5 Refreshing Recipes)

No time to load up on fruits?  Then consider at least adding more cherries to your diet!  You can eat them fresh with no preparation and cherries — like other berries — are considered to be one of the healthiest fruits, giving you more bang for your buck with every bite. Read on to find out more about the benefits of cherries.

1. Cherries Slow the Aging Process

While cherries aren’t a fountain of youth, they do have anti-aging properties. How?  Anxiety, lack of sleep, poor diet and even exposure to harmful chemicals in the environment can put stress on cells and actually speed up the aging process.  Cherries, however, are rich in several antioxidant compounds which actually reduce stress on the cells throughout your body and can help slow this process down.

2. Cherries Ease Muscle Pain after a Workout

Ever wake up the day after a work out and simply hurt all over? Post-workout muscle soreness can be difficult to deal with — and even discourage you from being as active as you should be.  Cherry juice, however, can help your body recover from even a strenuous exercise session due to its anti-inflammatory properties. In one study, marathon runners who drank a glass of cherry juice daily for one week before their race reported less muscle pain than those who did not.

3. Cherries are Good for Joint Health

It’s not just your muscles than benefit from cherries!  They are good for your joint health, too, which can help you stay fit and active even as you get older.  Again, the anti-inflammatory properties of cherry juice are responsible for this.  One study found that women between the ages of 40 and 70 who drank cherry juice twice a day for 3 weeks reported significantly less joint pain and stiffness.

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4. Cherries Boost Your Memory

Memory loss might not seem important to you now — but this loss, related to Alzheimer’s or dementia, is the number one reason why older people are placed in nursing homes and other facilities. And most researchers believe that these disease actually start decades before the first signs and symptoms appear.  The anti-oxidants in cherry juice, however, can protect your brain and the Alzheimer’s Association itself recommends cherry juice as a memory-boosting food.

5. Cherries Control Blood Sugar if You are Diabetic

Around 28 million people in the United States have diabetes — and this number is only predicted to go up in the future. A healthy diet can help – but not all fruits are created equal and some should be limited or avoided due to high sugar content. Cherries, however, are an ideal diabetic food. They are low on the glycemic index, which means that they do not spike up blood sugar levels and their anthocyanins have been shown in clinical studies to raise the body’s natural insulin levels.

6. Cherries Help with Weight Loss

Long hours at the desk, fast food and too many high-calorie snacks can equal a problem with weight.  If you are struggling to shed those extra pounds, then consider adding cherries to your diet on a regular basis.  They are nearly 75% water and give you 3 grams of fibers for each serving: fiber and water both will help decrease your appetite and make you feel fuller for longer, making it easier to go on a low-calorie diet without suffering from hunger pains.

7. Cherries Give You a Good Night’s Sleep

Americans just don’t get enough sleep. Stress, hectic schedules, balancing work and family life can all leave you wide-awake and wired when you settle down at night.  Cherry juice can help.  They are a great source of melatonin, a natural hormone which regulates sleep-wake cycles, and in one study, people who drank 30 milliliters of cherry juice after waking up and 30 millilters more just before dinner reported better and longer sleep and fewer episodes of waking up in the night.

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8. Cherries Protect Your Heart Health

Heart disease is the number one killer in America.  High cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, excess weight and other factors put people at greater risk for serious problems like heart attacks.  But cherries — and cherry juice — can help protect the health of your heart.  They are one of the richest sources of anthocyanins, compounds which clinical studies have shown can help reduce both blood pressure and cholesterol levels, lowering your risk of cardiac disease.

Cherries are Easy to Work into Your Diet

Fresh cherries, eaten “as is”, are delicious, of course, but there are many ways that you can easily work them into a variety of delicious recipes, such as the ones below:

Fresh Cherry Tart

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    Cherry Parfaits

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      Fresh Cherry Quick Bread

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      chocolate-cherry-banana-bread-recipe

        Cherry Smoothie

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          Antioxidant Cherry Fruit Salad

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            So consider adding cherries to your diet today.  From a healthier heart to a great night’s sleep, the health benefits of cherries make them an important part of an overall healthy diet.

            Featured photo credit: Nitr via shutterstock.com

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            Brian Wu

            Health Writer, Author

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            Last Updated on December 2, 2021

            The Importance of Making a Camping Checklist

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            The Importance of Making a Camping Checklist

            Camping can be hard work, but it’s the preparation that’s even harder. There are usually a lot of things to do in order to make sure that you and your family or friends have the perfect camping experience. But sometimes you might get to your destination and discover that you have left out one or more crucial things.

            There is no dispute that preparation and organization for a camping trip can be quite overwhelming, but if it is done right, you would see at the end of the day, that it was worth the stress. This is why it is important to ensure optimum planning and execution. For this to be possible, it is advised that in addition to a to-do-list, you should have a camping checklist to remind you of every important detail.

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            Why You Should Have a Camping Checklist

            Creating a camping checklist makes for a happy and always ready camper. It also prevents mishaps.  A proper camping checklist should include every essential thing you would need for your camping activities, organized into various categories such as shelter, clothing, kitchen, food, personal items, first aid kit, informational items, etc. These categories should be organized by importance. However, it is important that you should not list more than you can handle or more than is necessary for your outdoor adventure.

            Camping checklists vary depending on the kind of camping and outdoor activities involved. You should not go on the internet and compile a list of just any camping checklist. Of course, you can research camping checklists, but you have to put into consideration the kind of camping you are doing. It could be backpacking, camping with kids, canoe camping, social camping, etc. You have to be specific and take note of those things that are specifically important to your trip, and those things which are generally needed in all camping trips no matter the kind of camping being embarked on.

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            Here are some tips to help you prepare for your next camping trip.

            1. First off, you must have found the perfect campground that best suits your outdoor adventure. If you haven’t, then you should. Sites like Reserve America can help you find and reserve a campsite.
            2. Find or create a good camping checklist that would best suit your kind of camping adventure.
            3. Make sure the whole family is involved in making out the camping check list or downloading a proper checklist that reflects the families need and ticking off the boxes of already accomplished tasks.
            4. You should make out or download a proper checklist months ahead of your trip to make room for adjustments and to avoid too much excitement and the addition of unnecessary things.
            5. Checkout Camping Hacks that would make for a more fun camping experience and prepare you for different situations.

            Now on to the checklist!

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            Here is how your checklist should look

            1. CAMPSITE GEAR

            • Tent, poles, stakes
            • Tent footprint (ground cover for under your tent)
            • Extra tarp or canopy
            • Sleeping bag for each camper
            • Sleeping pad for each camper
            • Repair kit for pads, mattress, tent, tarp
            • Pillows
            • Extra blankets
            • Chairs
            • Headlamps or flashlights ( with extra batteries)
            • Lantern
            • Lantern fuel or batteries

            2.  KITCHEN

            • Stove
            • Fuel for stove
            • Matches or lighter
            • Pot
            • French press or portable coffee maker
            • Corkscrew
            • Roasting sticks for marshmallows, hot dogs
            • Food-storage containers
            • Trash bags
            • Cooler
            • Ice
            • Water bottles
            • Plates, bowls, forks, spoons, knives
            • Cups, mugs
            • Paring knife, spatula, cooking spoon
            • Cutting board
            • Foil
            • soap
            • Sponge, dishcloth, dishtowel
            • Paper towels
            • Extra bin for washing dishes

            3. CLOTHES

            • Clothes for daytime
            • Sleepwear
            • Swimsuits
            • Rainwear
            • Shoes: hiking/walking shoes, easy-on shoes, water shoes
            • Extra layers for warmth
            • Gloves
            • Hats

            4. PERSONAL ITEMS

            • Sunscreen
            • Insect repellent
            • First-aid kit
            • Prescription medications
            • Toothbrush, toiletries
            • Soap

            5. OTHER ITEMS

            • Camera
            • Campsite reservation confirmation, phone number
            • Maps, area information

            This list is not completely exhaustive. To make things easier, you can check specialized camping sites like RealSimpleRainyAdventures, and LoveTheOutdoors that have downloadable camping checklists that you can download on your phone or gadget and check as you go.

            Featured photo credit: Scott Goodwill via unsplash.com

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