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Are Cherries Low FODMAP? (How Bad Are They?)

Switching to a low FODMAP diet can benefit you greatly if you suffer from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). 

Unfortunately, cherries are considered to be a rather high FODMAP fruit. They contain quite a lot of fructose and sorbitol, which are two hard-to-digest carbs for people with IBS.

While some people might be able to tolerate small amounts of cherries, others might benefit from eliminating them from their diets altogether.

If you can have some cherries, though, you can get a lot of health benefits from them. This fruit is high in antioxidants, vitamin C, fiber, and potassium. 

Cherries also contain some powerful plant compounds that can reduce your risk of various diseases.

How high in FODMAPs are cherries?

Generally, cherries are classified as a high FODMAP fruit. They contain a lot of fructose and sorbitol in every serving, which are two carbs that trigger IBS symptoms in people sensitive to them.

In fact, only a serving of two cherries (20 g) is considered safe for people with IBS and low in FODMAPs. 

Are Cherries Low FODMAP?
Are Cherries Low FODMAP?

This isn’t a lot, so indulging in a whole bowl of cherries isn’t advised for people with this kind of digestive system issue.

Can you eat cherries on a low FODMAP diet?

If you’re able to stick to a particularly small serving of cherries, you can have some on a low FODMAP diet. 

But remember that only a serving of two cherries (or 20 g) is considered to be low in FODMAPs.

This is a very small serving, which can often be unrealistic for most people. So, it might be best to choose other fruits that are much lower in FODMAPS, such as unripe bananas, kiwis, limes, oranges, papayas, pineapple, or strawberries.

Can you eat cherries on a low FODMAP diet?
Can you eat cherries on a low FODMAP diet?

These can be consumed in much bigger serving sizes, allowing you to consume more fruits, which are still important for good health.

Is cherry juice low in FODMAPs?

Most fruit juices are high in FODMAPs, as they contain much more fructose than fresh fruits. Cherries are also a high-FODMAP fruit, so cherry juice is very unsuitable for people with IBS.

So, instead of cherry juice, try choosing cherry-infused water or other juices made with low-FODMAP fruits.

Are sour cherries low in FODMAPs?

Sour cherries are slightly lower in fructose and sorbitol than sweet cherries. But unfortunately, they’re still relatively high in these indigestible carbs. 

So, they should also be avoided or limited on a low FODMAP diet.

You can still have the same serving as sweet cherries, but make sure not to overdo it.

Unlike sweet cherries, sour cherries are a wonderful source of vitamin A and copper. So, if you’re looking to increase your intake of these micronutrients, sour cherries might be a better choice, even in small servings.

Are canned cherries low in FODMAPs?

Are canned cherries low in FODMAPs
Are canned cherries low in FODMAPs?

Canned cherries might be even worse for people with IBS than fresh cherries. This is because most canned cherries contain added sugars, which are often indigestible and categorized as FODMAPs.

Because of that, you’re more likely to consume even more FODMAPs, increasing your risk of triggering and worsening your IBS symptoms.

So, it’s best to avoid canned cherries altogether, especially if you’re particularly sensitive to FODMAPs.

Are cherries good for you?

Cherries are very nutritious and low in calories. One cup of sweet cherries contains about 87 calories and 2.9 g of fiber

This is about 12% of your daily need for this nutrient, which is an impressive amount. 

The fiber in cherries helps keep your digestive system healthy by feeding the ‘good’ gut bacteria and promoting regular bowel movements. 

So, eating cherries can reduce the symptoms of various digestive system issues.

Cherries are also a great source of vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid. This micronutrient is crucial for the growth, development, and repair of your body’s tissues. It’s also essential for iron absorption and the formation of collagen.

Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin, which means that it’s important to get a lot of it with each meal.

Additionally, cherries provide you with a great dose of potassium – about 306 mg of this mineral in a one-cup serving. 

Potassium is a very important mineral, as it helps offset the negative effects of dietary sodium on your blood pressure. 

Because of that, eating a lot of potassium-rich foods lowers your risk of high blood pressure and strokes.

Additionally, potassium works as an electrolyte, maintaining fluid balance in your body and preventing dehydration.

Are cherries good for you?
Are cherries good for you?

What’s more, eating cherries can help boost exercise recovery thanks to the anti-inflammatory plant compounds that this fruit provides you with.

Sour cherries, in particular, are very beneficial for enhancing exercise performance and reducing muscle pain and inflammation.

The same anti-inflammatory compounds in cherries may also help relieve the symptoms of arthritis and gout. 

This is because these plant compounds help flush out the uric acid that builds up in your joints, leading to inflammation.

Because of that, eating cherries can also improve other bone- and joint-related issues caused by inflammation.

Cherries are also rich in antioxidants, a group of plant compounds that prevent oxidative damage to your cells by flushing out free radicals from your body.

Thanks to that, you’re at a lower risk of various chronic conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer.

Another great benefit you can get from eating cherries is improved heart health. According to studies, diets high in fruits like cherries lower your risk of heart attacks and various cardiovascular conditions.

Benefit you can get from eating cherries is improved heart health
The benefit you can get from eating cherries is improved heart health

So, eating cherries, even in small amounts, can greatly benefit your health.

Conclusion

Cherries are a high FODMAP fruit, which is bad news for people who enjoy them but suffer from IBS.

Unfortunately, you can only consume very small quantities of cherries, so it might be best to avoid them completely.

If you can stick to a very small serving without overdoing it, you can reap some wonderful health benefits from eating cherries, though.

For example, this fruit is rich in antioxidants, vitamin C, and potassium, as well as other plant compounds.

So, eating a cherry or two from time to time can be wonderful for everyone.

Sources: Nutrition Data, National Library of Medicine, and PMC