Tart cherries are one of nature’s most delicious and nutritious snacks. Whether you prefer them fresh or as a frozen treat, these bright red fruits are sweet, sour, and packed full of nutrients. Tart cherry juice is tasty, tangy, and refreshing. Try mixing the juice with sparkling water for a delicious homemade cherry soda. Or mix the juice with some Greek yogurt and chill the mixture into freezer pops for a healthy ice cream substitute.
Tart cherry is a natural pain reliever. It’s rich in free-radical-fighting antioxidants. It’s good for your heart, your brain, your joints, and your muscles. With this many benefits, tart cherry might as well be considered a superfood.
Anthocyanins, a flavonoid in tart cherries, are responsible for the bright red color of the fruit. These flavonoids also act as metabolism boosters, according to studies conducted on rats. Researchers found that rats who were given tart cherry extract along with fatty foods didn’t gain as much weight as rats who were not fed cherry extract.
Like most fruits and vegetables, cherries are a good source of antioxidants, which are great for your immune system. Tart cherries are also high in vitamin C and zinc, both of which are known to boost the immune system and prevent illnesses.
Gout and Kidney Stone Prevention
Gout and kidney stones are both caused by a buildup of uric acid in the body. Anthocyanins, previously credited for helping boost your metabolism, are also uric acid inhibitors, which help prevent uric acid from forming crystals in the body. If kidney stones or gout run in your family, it might be a good idea to add tart cherries or tart cherry juice to your diet as a preventive treatment.
Researchers reported, in a study conducted on women with arthritis aged 40-70, that those who drank two servings of tart cherry juice for three weeks showed significant reductions in joint inflammation. Patients who had the most severe inflammation seemed to see the best results from drinking tart cherry juice.
According to research conducted by the health department at the University of Michigan, tart cherries reduce the risk of stroke, help balance cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and regulate blood pressure. Again, the powers of anthocyanins (found in most red fruits and vegetables) are the reason tart cherries are good for your ticker.
Researchers discovered, in a test on animals pitting tart cherry juice against a common NSAID used to prevent colon tumors, that tart cherry juice significantly reduced the growth of cancer cells. A later study showed that tart cherries reduced the growth of colon cancer cells and breast cancer cells in humans, too.
Tart cherries are also high in potassium, which helps with cell hydration and muscle recovery. Tart cherry juice is a perfect post-workout elixir that may ease muscle pain better than over-the-counter pain medications.
Tart cherries have more melatonin in them than any other fruit on the market. Melatonin is produced in the body as a naturally occurring sleep aid. Research shows that drinking tart cherry juice twice per day can significantly increase the amount of sleep you can get at night.
With so many health benefits packed into such a small size, it’s easy to name tart cherries a superfruit. Though the fruit itself is incredibly delicious, to get the full benefits of tart cherries, drink the juice—it’s far more potent and nutritious. Pick up a bottle at your local grocery store today, and drink to your health.