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Put a cherry on top

Style experts like to say that black is slimming, but it turns out that purple is the most slimming color of all. Anthocyanins, the antioxidants found in purple and dark red fruits such as cherries, raspberries, acai, and blueberries, have been found to inhibit fat storage and actually increase insulin sensitivity in muscle cells. A study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food showed that subjects on a high-fat diet who supplemented with cherry extract reduced the increase in body fat and stimulated the growth of lean muscle mass. (However, the cherry extract did not prevent weight gain.) Best of all, the group that consumed the cherry extract experienced a reduction specif- ically in abdominal fat, which not only creates a more attractive physique but is also a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. While the scientists in this study say it is unknown if whole foods confer similar results, cherry juice is known to help reduce muscle pain, improve recovery, and fight cancer and cardiovascular disease. Cherry juice does deliver a decent shot of sugar, so save it for your post-workout recovery shake.

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