Tart cherries are packed with excellent nutrition and flavor. This guide to tart cherry juice benefits can help you get the facts about this superfood.
While tart cherries themselves are an excellent source of nutrition, their juice contains most of the beneficial properties of the cherry. This makes tart cherry juice an excellent choice for nutrition and a great superfood to add to most modern diets. The juice is rich in antioxidants, and tart cherries may offer the greatest anti-inflammatory benefits of any known food. Many people choose tart cherry juice concentrate because it is easier to transport in quantity than raw juice.
Nutritional Values of Tart Cherry Juice
Using a special extraction process, many of the all-natural producers of tart cherry juice have been able to retain most of the nutritional values of the fruit. The resulting juice is a rich source of:
- Terpenes: Plant-derived essential oils that provide a host of health benefits.
- Plant Hormones: These help to regulate and stabilize many physiological functions of the body.
- Phenolic Acids: Powerful antioxidants that help to prevent cellular damage from free radicals.
- Phytochemicals: Antioxidants that are believed to reduce the risk of developing several chronic diseases. Phytochemical are also present in leafy greens like arugula.
- Flavanols and flavonols: These are known to improve the flow of blood in the body, reduce blood pressure, and encourage brain and heart health.
- Anthocyanins: Anti-inflammatories that are believed to inhibit the growth of tumors.
For more nutritious superfoods checkout our 50 Best Superfoods of 2015
Health Benefits: Tart Cherry Juice Concentrate
Tart cherry juice concentrate delivers the most potent nutrients from the cherry in an easily transportable and consumable form. These nutrients may benefit your body by improving digestion, increasing urination, and alleviating the symptoms of illnesses such as gout. The cherries that produce the juice are rich in vitamins C and A, which are essential for skin and eye health. For even healthier skin try coconut oil and for more Vitamin A try carrots. The juice also has analgesic and anti-inflammatory qualities that may make it as equally effective on injuries as ibuprofen, a popular anti-inflammatory drug available without a prescription in the United States.
Tart Cherry Juice Benefits: Arthritis
Tart cherry juice has exceptional benefits for sufferers of arthritis, specifically osteoarthritis. Many forms of arthritis are made more painful by increased swelling. The anti-inflammatory properties of the juice may reduce swelling and help decrease overall pain in the body. The additional benefits of digestion assistance and increased urination are also very helpful for elderly sufferers—who make up the bulk of osteoarthritis patients. Drinking the cherry juice two times a day for three weeks has been shown in some studies to dramatically reduce the number of vital inflammation markers seen in some osteoarthritis patients.
Tart Cherry Juice Benefits: Sleep
Tart cherry juice naturally contains the powerful sleep hormone melatonin. This hormone helps regulate the body by informing your key systems when it is time to go to sleep. A variety of different effects can interfere with the signals that control melatonin, making a direct supply such as that found in tart cherry juice beneficial for those looking for a natural sleep aid. Drinking the juice two to three hours before bed is likely to help those looking for a deeper and more restful sleep. Two tablespoons of the juice is enough to have a noticeable impact on sleep habits.
Tart Cherry Juice Benefits: Dr. Oz
Tart cherry juice was featured on the Dr. Oz television show due to its many different benefits. It is considered a health secret and may contain the ultimate antioxidant. The show focuses on the juice’s ability to reduce pain, lower the risk of developing heart disease, and assist with sleep. The anti-inflammatory quality of the juice is the primary way that it alleviates pain. It’s anti-inflammatory qualities make it great for those suffering with rheumatoid arthritis. The show used a variety of visual aids to demonstrate how tart cherry juice blocks the enzyme that causes inflammation in the body. The third property espoused on the show was its power as a sleep aid. This popular segment heightened awareness across the nation about the benefits of tart cherries and juice.
Additional Benefits: Quercetin and Anthocyanins
Two powerful antioxidant compounds are present in tart cherry juice. Anthocyanins directly influence heart health and can help trap free radicals, preventing them from harming your system. This may lead to a reduced likelihood of the development of heart disease and certain cancers. Quercetin, another antioxidant, works directly on low-density lipoproteins, or LDL, cholesterol by preventing free radicals from allowing them to easily adhere to arterial walls. To lower your cholesterol even more try brazil nuts.This makes it the most effective antioxidant when it comes to preventing heart problems that arise from high levels of so-called bad cholesterol. These chemicals have also proven to have additional benefits on muscle recovery after heavy periods of activity, such as those experienced by weightlifters and sports participants.
Selection, Storage, and Preparation
Tart cherry juice is most often sold by concentration level. A level of 50 percent concentration means that half of the water has been removed from the juice, and adding an equal part of water will restore it. This level of concentration is a good choice for creating syrups and pastries, where natural juices from the food will restore the water content of the mixture. Juices may also have a 12.5 percent concentration, which means that you need to add seven eight-ounce cans of water to reconstitute the original juice. Highly concentrated varieties are often available in local grocery stores in both frozen and refrigerated forms. Juice should be refrigerated for short-term use or frozen for long-term storage. It is also possible to make your own juice from tart cherries sold in many modern grocery outlets. This lets you enjoy the tart cherry juice benefits from your fresh-squeezed juice or eat the cherries whole as you see fit. For aother delicious berry that’s good for your health try mulberries.