In the Red
Cherries shouldn't be healthy--they're too delicious. But a cup of them (about 20) supplies over 10 percent of your daily fiber requirement, 12 percent of your vitamin C needs and only 100 calories. An excellent source of potassium, cherries also contain boron, a mineral that contributes to bone health. The color of red cherries comes from the pigment anthocyanin--a compound found in grape skins--which may reduce the risk of heart disease. Another desirable trait is that cherries rate low on the glycemic index, a system that ranks foods according to their tendency to raise blood-sugar levels.
Cherry on Top
Maraschinos are much loved (as in Shirley Temples) yet much maligned (all those dyes). Nick Mautone, managing partner of New York City's Gramercy Tavern, makes them guilt-free by marinating his own. According to legend, the maraschino was invented near Trieste, Italy, where one of the names for a local sour cherry is marasca; Mautone's version, created using star anise and almond extract, honors the recipe's all-natural origins. His concoction may just trigger a maraschino redemption.
Aveda Cherry Almond Bark Reconstructive Hair Conditioner includes moisturizing organic wild-cherry bark extract ($18 for 4.4 ounces; 800-328-0849). The cherry bark in Modern Elixirs Refining Shampoo makes coarse hair shine ($10 for 8.5 ounces; 310-248-3888). Jaqua Girls Cherry Facial Scrub softens the complexion with wild-cherry bark extract ($18 for 4 ounces; www.sephora.com). Bath & Body Work's Bio Max Volume Shampoo combines sage and cherry bark extracts with conditioners, which helps hair appear fuller ($8 for 8 ounces; 800-395-1001). Kiss My Face Anti-Stress Natural Shower Gel and Foaming Bath soothes skin with wild cherry extract ($9 for 16 ounces; www.kissmyface.com).
--Leesa Chalk Suzman