If you have been to the grocery store recently, you may have noticed some beautiful golden cherries with a red blush; these are known as Rainier cherries. It is fitting that National Rainier Cherry Day lands in July because it is right in the middle of stone fruit season (plums, peaches, apricots, and nectarines). July is also the peak harvest season for Rainier cherry growers in Washington State.
What Makes Rainier Cherries Different?
Harold Fogle, a researcher at Washington State University, crossbred Bing and Van cherry varieties in 1952 to create the Rainier cherry. The very sweet cherry is named after Mount Rainier in Washington, and growers began planting them upon approval for commercial production in 1960. They have since become extremely popular and are considered premium cherries, due to their superior taste.
Birds eat roughly one-third of the cherries every growing season. Growers typically put nets around the orchards or use windscreens to protect the cherries. Rainier cherries are also extremely susceptible to bruising, due to their delicate skin, which is why they are handpicked and are placed into small bags to minimize contact.
Let’s Take A Look At Why You Should Eat Cherries:
They Help Decrease Inflammation:
Cherries contain anthocyanins, which are typically found in purple or red fruits like blueberries or raspberries, but cherries have higher levels. Anthocyanins have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that work to decrease joint inflammation or ease stiffness associated with arthritis.
Sour Cherries Contain Vitamin A:
Cherries are rich in vitamin A, which gets converted into beta-carotene in the body. Vitamin A works to support healthy vision, keep the eyes lubricated, and help the immune system fight off bacteria and infection.
They Help Lower Blood Pressure:
Containing a healthy amount of quercetin, a flavonoid that helps to relax blood vessels, cherries can help lower blood pressure. Recent studies have shown that the addition of quercetin to one’s diet showed a reduction in blood pressure.
Get a large bag of Rainier cherries today and enjoy them for the rest of the season before they are gone!