Cherries have been a staple in American culture since they first arrived in the 17th century. We have classic Cherry Pies in the south, Chocolate-covered Cherries in the north, and one of the most famous myths about George Washington involved a Cherry tree. But why are we so fascinated with these little red fruits? It might be because of their sweet yet tangy flavor, but Cherries are also chock full of nutrients that are essential for our daily lives. Cherries, like most stone fruits, originated in Eastern Asia and came to America in the 17th century when the early colonials brought them over from Britain. Now, the US produces nearly 363,850 tons of cherries a year (about 179,000 cars, which is less than the number of Peaches we produce, but it's still a lot!) There are two major types of Cherries produced in the US today: the Sweet Cherry, and the Tart Cherry. The sweet cherry is what we buy fresh and munch on right away. The tart cherries are the ones that are usually canned and used for baking. And it doesn't matter which you prefer because they're both super healthy for you! Cherries contain fiber, vitamin C, carotenoids, and powerful antioxidants known as anthocyanins, cyanidin, quercetin, and Melatonin. They also contain zinc, iron, potassium, manganese, and copper. Adding Cherries to your diet can help with: I don't know about you, but I definitely need more Cherries in my life. Thankfully, incorporating them into your diet is as easy as pie! Literally. It's my belief that Pie is the best way to experience Cherries, but you can also use them in teas, cakes, salads, sauces, and more. To get you started, I found a bunch of Cherry-inspired recipes at Eating Well and Taste of Home. Who knew that such a small fruit could be so powerful? Just remember to talk with your doctor before adding any new fruits or veggies to your diet, and please don't use Cherries in place of any medication. Oh, and watch out for the pits! To learn more, visit Mercola, Nutrition and You, LifeHack, and Hobby Farms. The photo is my own.