Benefits of Tart Cherry Juice
Benefits of Tart Cherry Juice
Tart cherries, also known as sour cherries, pie cherries, Montmorency cherries or red cherries, are quite commonly used in pies, sodas and other food items. Tart cherries are used as recipe ingredients rather than eaten directly like their sweet cherry counterparts because most people find them too sour and acidic. However, nowadays, besides being used in recipes, tart cherries are being used to make juice. This is because there are numerous benefits of tart cherry juice.
Though the benefits of tart cherry juice can be derived from eating the tart cherries themselves, you would have to eat a very large number of the sour cherries to derive the benefits you would get from a glass of the tart cherry juice.
The benefits of tart cherry juice are derived from several reasons, but the main one is that tart cherries have high levels of antioxidant properties. Antioxidant properties in tart cherries come from the fact that the cherries are red in color. The red color found in the cherries is from phytonutrient chemicals called anthocyanins. Anthocyanins give fruits and vegetables their color and are responsible for keeping plants healthy. Anthocyanins are among the most powerful antioxidants.
Tart cherries also contain other antioxidant compounds such as terpenes, quercetin (another very powerful antioxidant),phenolic acids, melatonin (which promotes good sleep), flavanols and phenolic acids. In total, tart cherries are said to contain at least 17 antioxidant compounds.
Antioxidants are disease preventing compounds and this is why the most important benefits of tart cherry juice center around prevention of certain diseases. Antioxidants prevent disease by fighting free radicals in the body. Free radicals result from the natural body process of oxidation. The free radicals not only cause disease but also cause inflammation.
Free radicals wreak havoc in the body by stealing electrons from body cells thereby making them weak. When cells are weak, a person becomes more susceptible to disease and inflammation. Antioxidants provide the electrons the free radicals need and therefore the free radicals do not have to steal electrons from the cells.
Therefore, the main health benefits of tart cherry juice is preventing and fighting medical problems such as heart disease, diabetes, some types of cancer and atherosclerosis. Tart cherry juice also reduces inflammation and is therefore useful in conditions such as arthritis, gout, back pain and muscle pain.
Tart cherry juice is also being used by people who have trouble sleeping. This is because it contains melatonin which helps regulating sleep cycles. Melatonin is naturally produced by the human body and cherries are one of the few food sources of melatonin.
It is said that the benefits of tart cherry juice can be gotten from drinking even as little as 2 tablespoons of tart cherry juice concentrate daily. Tart cherry juice concentrate can be purchased online or at health food stores.