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Healthy Life: Just a Bowl of Cherries?

Published: January 1, 2009

Tart cherries may be just what your doctor and your fitness trainer ordered. University of Michigan researchers recently found rats fed a diet high in freeze-dried whole cherries reduced their body fat by almost 10 percent, most of it off their bellies where the most dangerous fat for heart disease in humans is found. The cherry diet also lowered total cholesterol levels by about 11 percent and markers of inflammation by 31 to 40 percent, suggesting that cherries, with their rich content of anthrocyanins, may help to thwart the onset of metabolic syndrome, the group of conditions associated with heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

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