You know summertime has arrived when the produce department of your local grocery store is overflowing with bright and delicious fruits! Whether it’s strawberries, peaches or cherries, there’s a number of seasonal fruits that everyone looks forward to in the warm months. In the United States alone, more than 370 million pounds of cherries are grown each year! It’s one of the most popular fruits, but most people are unaware of what kind of fruit a cherry actually is.

While berries are a type of fruit, there are a few characteristics that help to differentiate the two. Berries have seeds on the inside that are surrounded by a juicy pulp and are entirely able to be eaten, whereas fruits can have pits or seeds in the middle that cannot be eaten. Since cherries have pits in the middle, they cannot fall into the berry category.

Cherries Are Actually Drupes

While cherries do match the definition of a fruit, they also fall into a more specific category. Cherries are classified as drupes, which are a subcategory of the fruit genus. Drupes, sometimes referred to as stone fruits, have an outer fleshy layer and thin skin, and are widely identified for having a pit in the middle. These pits (or stones) are the singular seed of the drupe.

cherries in a bowl

Cherry Nutrition

These sweet summertime drupes are wonderfully delicious, and also a wonder for your body! Not only are they considered to be one of the most healthy fruits, but actually one of the most health-protective foods overall. They are an excellent source of antioxidants and anthocyanins. Anthocyanins have anti-inflammatory properties and help protect against chronic illnesses such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease.

Certain studies have shown that cherries can help lessen joint pain and provide arthritis relief. Cherries can also help promote healthy sleep and reduce post-exercise muscle pain. They are a great source of necessary daily vitamins. All the more reason to add some cherry into your diet!

woman holding cherries

Cherry Recipes

It’s easy to incorporate cherries into your diet to take advantage of all their health benefits. Frozen cherries, 100% cherry juice and these cherry recipes are a great way to enjoy the tart treat!

baked cherry popovers

Recipes

 

From desserts to smoothies, or just as a midday snack, there are so many ways to enjoy the delicious tartness of cherries. Plus, you can impress friends and family with your knowledge of what makes a cherry a drupe!

 

Sources

Serious Eats | Gardening Channel | Medical Daily | Health