Tart cherry benefits have been a popular topic of conversation for quite some time! These little red treasures have been used in cooking and baking and as a nutritional supplement for athletes for years. They also have amazing health benefits for your body.
Tart cherry ranks as one of the highest antioxidant-containing foods available. It also contains several bioactive compounds that benefit the body by helping to regulate blood sugar, heal muscles, decrease inflammation, reduce cancer risk, and even lower the risk of obesity. And Tart Cherry is already being used in the natural health world as a companion to gout treatment.
Tart cherry products are popular among athletes, but the fact is that just about anyone can benefit from this nutrient-rich fruit!
Tart Cherry Benefits
Tart cherries come from Europe and Asia, and are mostly used in cooking and baking because of their very tart flavor. Tart cherry benefits are primarily attributed to the fruit’s red color, which makes it rich in antioxidants known as anthocyanins. This fruit is referred to as “functional food,” or food that provides the body with nutrition and may also help in the prevention or treatment of health conditions.
Tart cherries can be either juiced or dried into a powder, while keeping all of the health benefits. The juice or powder is sometimes blended with other health boosting fruits or vegetables to pack even more power for your body.
Let’s break down what is so amazing about tart cherries and how they benefit us:
The real treasure of tart cherry benefits is found in the red color of the cherry skin, which contains antioxidants known as anthocyanins. Research shows that anthocyanins can provide some very powerful assistance to help your body deal with certain health issues:
In addition to anthocyanins, tart cherries also contain other helpful antioxidants:
This potent antioxidant combination has resulted in tart cherries being assigned an ORAC rating (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity), which indicates how capable the food is of grabbing any oxygen radicals in the body and rendering them useless. The higher the ORAC number, the better the capacity to absorb free radicals and destroy them before they make you sick.
Here is how Tart Cherry compares to other fruits:
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Research shows that the anti-inflammatory action from tart cherries is close to that found in prescription strength non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), but without the risk of side-effects and stomach complications.
Tart Cherry Juice and Gout
One of the many remarkable tart cherry benefits is that it helps the body during gout flare-ups by reducing inflammation in the joints and lowering uric acid levels in the body. Gout pain and inflammation is caused when uric acid, a byproduct of purine in food, builds up and forms uric acid crystals near the joints. People who used tart cherry for gout experienced a significant reduction in pain and inflammation. Using tart cherry when gout is not active may even help prevent or reduce the severity of future flare-ups.
New research shows that tart cherry contain enough melatonin to help regulate sleep cycles. This was actually discovered during a study of tart cherries and strength training, when the participants in the study claimed that they slept better after using tart cherry juice. While the research concluded that melatonin is helpful, there may be other sleep-inducing bio-chemicals in tart cherry that improve sleep. Studies continue on this fascinating finding!
Another of many tart cherry benefits is that just one serving of tart cherry contains around 260 mg of potassium. This, in combination with anthocyanins, helps in muscle recovery by replacing electrolytes lost from exercise, illness, or dehydration.
Just eight ounces of tart cherry juice contains over 1900 IU of vitamin A, a vitamin/antioxidant that keeps your eyes healthy, boosts your immune system, and nourishes your skin. It also fights off free-radicals in the body and reduces inflammation.
Tart cherry juice contains around 30% of your daily need of vitamin C, which can help your body with recovery from exercise, keep your immune system strong, and promote healthy skin. Vitamin C is also a powerful antioxidant and joins forces with the antioxidants listed above to further abolish free-radicals from your body.
Other Important Nutrients
Tart cherries also contain other superfood nutrients that benefit your body:
Tart Cherry Juice: An Amazing Superfood and Functional Food
Just a glass or two of tart cherry juice each day can help keep you at your best and promote good health, as well as relieving some of those nagging conditions in a natural way. It is truly amazing how many benefits come from this small but mighty blessing from nature!
Cherry Marketing Institute/North American Tart Cherry Growers. (2012). The Red Report. Retrieved from Choose Cherries : http://www.choosecherries.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/The-Red-Report-FINAL.pdf
He J1, G. M. (2010, 10 11). Anthocyanins: natural colorants with health-promoting properties. Retrieved from PubMed: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22129334
Martin KR, B. J. (April 2011). The effect of 100% tart cherry juice on serum uric acid levels, biomarkers of inflammation and cardiovascular disease risk factors. 25.
Wilfred R. Pigeon, c. a. ( 2010 , June 13). Effects of a Tart Cherry Juice Beverage on the Sleep of Older Adults with Insomnia: A Pilot Study. Retrieved from Journal of Medicinal Food: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3133468/
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