Tart Cherries are the new super fruit. With just 46 calories per half cup, they’re a topic amoung sport scientists. Cherries, particularly the tart ones, are naturally rich in a plant compound called anthocyanin that provides relief from muscle pain and inflammation. Anthocyanins are also found in sweet cherries, but in a lower concentration. It’s like taking aspirin. Kim Mueller, a registered dietitian, exercise physiologist and triathlete reports on the anthocyanin in cherries for Competitor University. Researchers from Winona State University recently tested this finding on athletes who supplemented their diets with an anthocyanin-rich tart cherry paste for 16 days before, and three days after, physical activity. The athletes demonstrated significantly lower levels of oxidative stress and inflammation, improved range of motion and contractile force, as well as lower perceptions of pain as compared to a placebo. Tart cherries are sold fresh, dried, frozen or in juice form. Try dried cherries on your salads or just munch on fresh ones.