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April 08, 2008

Healthy Living: It's Cherry Blossom Time!

510540_cherry_blossoms__jefferson_2Two of the most beautiful things in the world involve cherries. One is baked cherry pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and the other is the National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington D.C.

From March 29th through April 13th you can explore and enjoy one of our nation’s most gorgeous sights. Japanese cherry trees in bloom exploding with clouds of delicate pink and white blossoms. These famous trees were originally a gift from Japan in 1912. For many, they signal the coming of Spring and can be seen in abundance surrounding the Jefferson Memorial on the Tidal Basin. 514076_cherry_tree_path_2

Turns out there may be three things that make cherries particularly special - especially those of the tart variety. Some of you may have read about a recent study that came out today suggesting tart cherries might help prevent belly fat.

The study, conducted at the University of Michigan Cardio Protection Research Laboratory, discovered that rats which were given whole tart cherry powder mixed into a high-fat diet were less likely to build up fat in their bellies. Another nifty finding is that these same rats gained weight less quickly and their blood had lower levels of inflammation factors which are typically linked to heart disease and diabetes.

Of course, the tart cherry theory hasn't been tested on human beans just yet. However, the results were promising, in that belly fat and favorable effects on blood levels were visible even when diets were comprised of high fat. Who knows, maybe cherries will turn out to be a real fat buster. I was encouraged to learn that the recommended dose wasn't the typical inedible 50 bushels or 500 pounds. In this case, scientists suggested just a cup and ½ of tart cherries a day.

                                                                                                   Someone pass the pie…844550_cherries

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Posted by Cindy on April 8, 2008 | Permalink



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