We are a stress-obsessed society. With our endless to-do lists, busy has become a badge of honor that can leave us feeling anxious and just plain stressed-out. And prolonged stress has been proven to do a number on our health. In fact, chronic stress can often leave us addicted to sugar and caffeine, with elevated blood pressure, inflammation, fatigue, messed up sleep patterns, and more. As a functional medicine practitioner, I’ve even heard from many patients that their autoimmune symptoms started after a major stressful life event.
While meditation and other stress-reducing lifestyle changes can be helpful, one of the biggest ways to fight stress, is with a healthy, nutrient-dense diet. And one of my favorite foods to incorporate into my diet is sweet cherries. Even though the cherry season is short (typically June to August), they are one of the most powerful superfruits for dealing with stress, with research showing they can offer natural health benefits for everyone.
Plus, they have a sweet, candy-like flavor without all of the negative stress-inducing, inflammatory effects of sugar loaded candy. They actually have a low-glycemic index, making them a healthy snack for when the stress-initiated sweet-tooth strikes. So next time hanger starts whispering in your ear to reach for that afternoon candybar, you can reach for sweet cherries instead.