Nutrition & Lifestyle Coach Charlotte Lau explores the benefits of incorporating another healthy ingredient into our diets. This month it’s cherries

One of my personal favourites… English cherry season. This small, but delicious, stone fruit doesn’t last long, so make the most of them and enjoy them whilst you can; as a snack, in summer puddings and crumbles, served in salads or with cheese. Despite their size, cherries are rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. Antioxidants are compounds that are found in the body and in certain foods that help defend cells from free radicals which cause oxidative stress. These free radicals can increase the chances of developing various chronic diseases, so eating a diet rich in antioxidants is important. Cherries, along with other berries (and dark chocolate!) are good sources of these magic compounds.
Cherries are also high in polyphenols, a group of plant chemicals, that help fight cell damage and reduce inflammation which can maintain good heart health. A nutritionally dense fruit – as long as you don’t have an allergy to them – cherries make a valuable addition to the diet, so enjoy them fresh when in season, or frozen or dried all year round.

Charlotte runs Plume Nutrition, where she offers support and advice for weight management, controlling cravings, sleeplessness, stress and increasing energy levels. Find out more at plumenutrition.com

Cherry and pistachio chocolate bark
Serves 12

  • 275g of good quality dark chocolate
  • 50g pistachio nuts, chopped
  • 50g English cherries, chopped
  • a pinch of sea salt
  1. Line a baking tray or similar with a piece of baking paper.
  2. Break up and melt the dark chocolate in a bowl over boiling water, stirring continuously, until just melted.
  3. Spread the chocolate over your prepared baking paper using a spatula, until it’s fairly thin (the thickness is really up to you!).
  4. While the chocolate is still wet, scatter over the chopped cherries and pistachio nuts and then sprinkle over a little sea salt. Place in the fridge for an hour or so until set. Then break into pieces using your hands and enjoy!

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