It seems those tart, delectable little morsels are today's new super fruit.
Researchers at the University of Michigan found that a cherry-enriched diet given to rats decreased their body weight and fat, especially the belly fat known to raise heart disease risks. The rats still maintained their lean muscle.
After 12 weeks, the rats with the cherry diet had 14 percent lower body fat compared with rats on regular diets.
Scientists think the cherries effect an important fat gene that regulates weight.
Studies have also shown the red compound found in the fruit seems to cut inflammation in the body, which can cause heart problems.