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Cherries: 'America's Super Fruit' Offers Homegrown Health Benefits
Date:2/3/2009

LANSING, Mich., Feb. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Cherries are not only good for you, but they're also on trend as a homegrown "Super Fruit." According to recent data, more than 9 out of 10 Americans want to know where their food comes from, nearly 80 percent say they're purchasing "locally produced" products, and the majority are defining "local" as made in America.(1,2) And cherries deliver.

About ninety-five percent of cherries consumed in the U.S. are grown here, with most coming from Michigan, Wisconsin, Utah, Washington, Oregon, Pennsylvania and New York.

Food and nutrition experts, including registered dietitian and host of the Food Network's "Healthy Appetite" Ellie Krieger, say the homegrown advantage, coupled with powerful health benefits, make cherries "America's Super Fruit."

"Cherries offer some of the most important attributes people are seeking in their foods today," said Krieger. "While exotic berries may be 'trendy,' as a chef and dietitian I choose cherries, an all-American favorite, because they deliver a powerful combination of good nutrition, local sourcing and environmental sustainability."

"America's Super Fruit" also delivers on safety. As stewards of the environment, the cherry industry has been at the forefront of sustainable growing practices and responsible pesticide research for many years.

Homegrown Heart Health Benefits

As February is American Heart Month, it's no wonder it's also National Cherry Month. The antioxidant compounds -- called anthocyanins -- that give cherries their RED color continue to demonstrate heart-health benefits. Recent studies from the University of Michigan revealed that cherry-enriched diets in animals lowered multiple risk factors for heart disease. In 2007, researchers found that cherry-enriched diets in animals lowered total blood cholesterol levels and reduced triglycerides (fatty acids
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SOURCE Cherry Marketing Institute
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