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Surprising Side Effects of Eating Cherries, Say Dietitians

These summer staples have a long list of benefits for your body and overall wellbeing.
FACT CHECKED BY Olivia Tarantino

If you've got an insatiable sweet tooth, chances are you've tried just about every treat out there to help quell those cravings. If you're looking for a sweet treat that will do more than just satisfy that sugar jones, however, tart cherries might just give you the most bang for your buck. Read on to discover the side effects of eating cherries, according to dietitians. And for more great additions to your diet, check out The 7 Healthiest Foods to Eat Right Now.

Cherries may improve your immune health.

Man coughing.

If you're eager to stave off sickness as cold and flu season approaches, snacking on some cherries might just do the trick.

"Cherries are loaded with vitamin C, manganese, fiber, and potassium all of which have significant immune boosting effects," says Trista Best, MPH, RD, LD, a registered dietitian at Balance One Supplements.

Cherries may improve your heart health

Woman having chest pain and coughing while lying down on sofa at home.

Heart disease is the number one killer in the United States, but eating cherries might just help keep your cardiovascular system healthier.

"The potassium and polyphenol antioxidants can help to improve heart health as they are both cardioprotective," says Best.

Cherries may improve your sleep.


Find yourself struggling to sleep at night? Instead of your usual midnight snack, enjoy a few cherries.

"Melatonin is a chemical that is naturally produced in the brain, but is also found in certain foods such as cherries," says Florida-based dietitian nutritionist Kim Rose, RDN, CDCES, CNSC. "Melatonin helps the body to know when it's time to sleep and when it's time to wake up," Rose explains.

Cherries may improve your workout recovery.


That post-gym pain may be a sign you've gotten in a good workout, but it's uncomfortable nonetheless. Fortunately, experts say that adding some cherries to your regular routine could help you alleviate those aches.

"Research has shown that the consumption of cherry juice immediately post-workout can significantly improve the rate of muscle strength and power recovery, while at the same time reducing muscle soreness," says Certified Sports Dietitian Beth McCall, MS, RD, CSSD, RYT, owner of Purposeful Fueling LLC.

Cherries may reduce joint pain.

Senior woman suffering from pain in hand at home.

Individuals struggling with joint pain may want to make cherries part of their regular routine.

"Due to the high level of antioxidants in tart cherry juice, research has seen positive impacts on reduced joint pain and stiffness in individuals suffering from chronic arthritis," says McCall.

Cherries may cause digestive distress.

Woman with hands on stomach suffering from pain.

If you have a sensitive stomach, you may want to limit the number of cherries you consume.

"Cherries are a natural source of salicylates, which some people may be sensitive to. Eating a lot of cherries may lead to diarrhea, gas, or bloating for those who have a salicylate sensitivity," cautions Leah Johnston, RDN, LDN, a registered dietitian at SRW.

If you're struggling with digestive troubles, check out these 20 Foods That Relieve Your Gut Problems, Say Dietitians, and for the latest healthy living news delivered to your inbox, sign up for our newsletter!

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Sarah Crow
Sarah Crow is a senior editor at Eat This, Not That!, where she focuses on celebrity news and health coverage. Read more about Sarah