Sweet, tart and ruby red, you could almost liken cherries to nature’s candy. And if you’ve got a serious sweet tooth, they’re one candy you should be indulging in much more frequently—and here’s why:

  • One cup of cherries has about 260 mg of potassium (nearly that of a small banana), which helps keep blood pressure in check.
  • Cherries also contain good amounts the antioxidants of quercetin and anthocyanin, which help protect against cancer and cardiovascular disease.
  • recent study in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, found that runners who downed 24 ounces of tart cherry juice for 7 days leading up to a race noted significantly lower amounts of muscle pain and a faster recovery.
  • Cherries may also (no, we’re not done yet) help you sleep more soundly given their melatonin content—though you might still have that pesky snoring issue to tackle.
  • Finally, they pack a good dose of dietary fiber to keep you maintain a healthy weight…and functioning digestive system. (Enough said).

Convinced? Here are five easy ways to work more of these bite-size fruits into your diet.