From childhood, many of us have loved anything cherry flavoured. From gummy candy to pies and tarts, it’s one of the most popular flavours in the confectionary world. But did you know cherries–especially tart cherry juice–are full of antioxidants and come with several health benefits?
Otherwise known as Montmorency cherries, tart cherries originated in France, but they’re also grown throughout Europe and in the United States and Canada. They are tangier in taste than the Bing cherries we often find in our local food shops.
Sold over the counter, and often near the coconut water and aloe vera juice, tart cherry juice is making waves in health, wellness, and fitness circles alike. Here are some of the key benefits of tart cherry juice and why incorporating it into your health regimen may be the cherry on the cake to a healthier lifestyle.
Benefits of tart cherry juice
Nutrient-rich and delicious
Besides its rich, red hue, tart cherry juice is as naturally sweet as it is tart. When served cold, it makes for a satisfying and restorative drink, especially after a workout. Do note, however, that some tart cherry juice products on the market are sold as “juice cocktails” and these tend to be high in added sugar.
The healthier option is to purchase a juice with no added sugars, for example, one that shows 100% Montmorency, all-natural tart cherry juice on the label.
Full of antioxidants and vitamins and minerals, such as potassium, iron, and Vitamin A, Vitamin C, magnesium, calcium, and zinc, tart cherry juice is an anti-inflammatory and a natural source of melatonin that will help you get a better night’s sleep or help your muscles recover faster after a workout.
Helps you recover from your workout
Whether you’ve just run a half-marathon or finished a high-intensity weightlifting session, tart cherry juice can help prevent muscle soreness, allowing you to recover even faster.
Even better, if consumed as part of your pre-workout routine, this juice has been shown to have positive effects on your total body energy, endurance, and mental focus, so you can enter and stay in the zone.
Gives you a more restful sleep
Melatonin is critical in regulating our sleep cycles. The great news is tart cherry juice is loaded with it, which will not only allow us to fall asleep faster but stay asleep longer.
One study has shown that it can give us an extra 84 minutes of sleep. Of course, when we experience quality sleep, we’re less likely to be cranky and more likely to be mentally alert.
Could help alleviate arthritis
Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, research shows tart cherry juice can provide necessary pain and stiffness relief for patients with osteoarthritis (OA).
What’s more, it can also have a positive impact on the pain management and physical functioning and mobility of OA patients, and those who experience painful flare-ups from gout.
Helps your memory and brain function
Because tart cherry juice is loaded with antioxidants, it can improve our memory, ability to focus, mental stamina, decision making, and other cognitive functions, especially in older adults (65 years or older), according to one study.
These findings are especially significant because “Cognitive function is a key determinant of independence and quality of life among older adults,” says Sheau Ching Chai, an assistant professor of behavioural health at the University of Delaware.
Bolsters your immune system
While further research needs to be done to understand the impact that tart cherry juice can have on our immune system, the cherry itself contains flavonoids and anthocyanins, in addition to Vitamin C, which can help us fight infections and avoid minor illnesses like the common cold.
Can aid in fighting cancer
Since tart cherry juice is high in antioxidants, it’s considered an anti-inflammatory and may have a positive effect in preventing chronic illnesses, including a variety of cancers. Also, because of its high concentration of melatonin, fibre, and vitamin C this juice may also decrease our risk of colorectal and lung cancer.
Lowers nerve pain
Patients who suffer from nerve damage or pain from neuropathy may benefit from the anti-inflammatory nature of tart cherry juice.
In particular, one study has shown that patients with non-diabetic peripheral neuropathy, who consumed tart cherry juice for two weeks, experienced a significant reduction in pain. Even better, patients reported no adverse side effects, unlike many manufactured pharmaceuticals available on the market.
Eases blood pressure
Imagine being able to lower your blood pressure by sipping on an all-natural, delicious beverage? Tart cherry juice is shown to have a significant effect on lowering our systolic blood pressure (this is the top number on the machine that measures the pressure inside our arteries as our heart beats).
According to a study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, a group of men with high blood pressure who drank tart cherry juice experienced a 7% reduction in their blood pressure. This result is particularly important because the effects of the tart cherry juice demonstrated a striking similarity to medication used to treat blood pressure.
Can contribute to weight loss
Maintaining a healthy body weight is essential for numerous reasons: it can help us avoid Type 2 diabetes, ward off cardiovascular disease, inflammation, obesity, and ultimately avoid premature death.
While there is no magical elixir to shedding pounds outside of a healthy diet and lifestyle, tart cherry juice can support weight loss by helping us achieve quality sleep.
The Sleep Foundation reports that “research has shown that losing sleep while dieting can reduce the amount of weight lost and encourage overeating.”
With its high concentration of melatonin, tart cherry juice can help us achieve quality sleep. This is where choosing the all-natural, no-added-sugars version can be helpful to ensure you receive the maximum benefit of this ingredient, so you may want to avoid the sugary “cocktail” versions of this juice.
Good health is the cherry on top of your best life
Sold in the form of a juice, powder, or pill supplement, the way in which you consume cherry extract can be as versatile as its benefits.
A word of warning, however, for anyone who is currently taking blood thinners. Tart cherry extract contains quercetin, which is a plant compound that can interact with these medications, so be sure to speak to your doctor before trying it.
Are you looking for a supplement to support healthy sleep?
With the explosion of super-food supplements promising revolutionary health benefits, it can be difficult to know which one would work best for your lifestyle.
Not to mention, it isn’t easy to determine which supporting evidence and benefits have been cherry-picked from the research, and which are offering clear, accurate, and credible findings to make your decision easier.
If you’d like to experience the benefits of quality sleep and an anti-oxidant rich, anti-inflammatory supplement that’s all-natural and vegan-friendly,
Earths Secret’s Sleep supplement might be a great place to start.
Containing Montmorency tart cherry juice combined with four other health-boosting ingredients–saffron, passionflower, lavender, and chamomile–this all-in-one complex can help make our decision to prioritize our wellness that little bit easier.
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