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The Many Benefits of Eating Red

MISSION, KS -- (Marketwire) -- 01/17/13 -- (Family Features) If you're looking for ways to feel better and live healthier, you might want to pay attention to what's in your kitchen.

"More and more, people are searching for delicious, natural foods that offer functional benefits, and tart cherries rise to the top in my book," said David Grotto, RD. "Science continues to support the many health benefits of tart cherries such as helping regulate natural sleep patterns, which is especially important as the CDC now considers lack of sleep a 'public health epidemic.'"

A new book from Grotto, "The Best Things You Can Eat" (Da Capo Press, January 2013), reveals some of the best foods for healthier living, including tart cherries. Recognized for their powerful nutrient profile and functional properties, tart cherries appear several times in Grotto's book, including best foods for sleep, as well as best pain-fighting foods, best foods for muscle recovery, and best fruits overall.

Available year-round in dried, frozen and juice forms, tart cherries are a versatile ingredient to include as part of any diet. Here are some delicous ways you can enjoy the best of eating red:

  • Greens and Reds: Toss grilled salmon, dried cherries and a dash of turmeric with salad greens for heightened flavor and pain-fighting nutrients.
  • Runner's Red Relief: Blend low-fat chocolate milk, kefir or plain yogurt and frozen cherries for a quick boost pre- or post-workout beverage.
  • Spiced Red Snack Mix: Try an easy, do-it-yourself trail mix using dried cherries, ginger, cinnamon, almonds, pistachios and whole-grain cereal.
  • Berry Cherry Breakfast: Swap typical berries for dried tart cherries to top cereal, oatmeal, yogurt or pancakes.

To get more tips and recipes, as well as "The Red Report," a comprehensive overview of the body of research supporting tart cherries' health properties, visit www.choosecherries.com.

Warm Salmon, Cherry, and Arugula Salad
Serves 4
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes

2         tablespoons red wine vinegar
1         teaspoon ground turmeric
3         tablespoons olive oil, divided
          Salt and pepper
6         cups loosely packed arugula (about 3 ounces)
1/2       small head radicchio, cored and shredded
4         salmon fillets, about 3/4-inch thick
3         shallots, sliced
1/2       large jalapeño (halved lengthwise), seeded and thinly sliced
1 1/2     cups thawed frozen tart cherries
1 1/2     teaspoons grated fresh ginger
1/4       cup tart cherry juice

In large bowl, whisk together vinegar, turmeric, and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add arugula and radicchio, and toss. Add salt and pepper to taste and divide mixture among serving plates. Set aside.

Season salmon with salt and pepper. In large skillet over medium-high heat, warm remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add salmon and cook until barely opaque throughout, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Arrange salmon on top of the salads.

Return skillet to medium heat. Add shallots and jalapeño, and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Add cherries and ginger, and cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through. Add cherry juice; increase heat to medium-high, and cook, scraping up any browned bits, until juice is almost entirely evaporated, 2 to 3 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Spoon cherry mixture over the salmon and serve.

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Matthew Barksdale
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