Health Benefits of Cherry Juice
There are a few exceptions, but most cherries are round and deep red in color when ripe. They are part of the family of fruits that include peaches, plums, apricots and nectarines. This family is called the stone fruit family. The deep red color cherries possess is due to the fact they contain naturally occurring compounds referred to as anthocyanins. These anthocyanins are where many of the health benefits of cherry juice are derived.
Anthocyanins are antioxidants. Antioxidants are very important in the human body because they fight the free radicals that result from the natural body process of oxidation. The free radicals are responsible for destruction of body cells and tissues (referred to as oxidative stress) and therefore can cause premature aging. If left unchecked, free radicals can also cause heart disease, hypertension and stroke. This is because they cause the bad cholesterol to harden and form macrophage in the arteries of the heart. The arteries as a consequence narrow so that the heart has to work harder to pump blood through the body.
It is best to eat cherries when they are fresh to reap all their health benefits. However, cherries are seasonal fruits so getting them fresh all year round is not possible. For this reason, these healthy fruits are available dried, frozen or in the form of juice concentrate. There are very many health benefits of cherry juice.
The most important of the health benefits of cherry juice is derived from its anti-inflammatory properties. Cherry juice acts as an anti-inflammatory because of its high volume of antioxidants. Some studies have shown that cherry juice, specifically tart cherry juice, has the highest oxygen radical absorption capacity (ORAC) of all the fruits or vegetables in the world today. A high ORAC value simply means that cherry fruit has a higher amount of antioxidants than other fruit which makes it very strong and able to stop free radicals from wreaking havoc in the body.
One of the most important health benefits of cherry juice is the role it plays in helping to protect individuals from cancer. Cancer results when cells transform abnormally. Tart cherry juice is loaded with ellagic acid, perillyl alcohol and limonene. These three chemicals are very potent and are able to not only fight disease, but are capable of stopping abnormal cell transformation. They have been found to be effective in fighting against cancer of the skin, lungs, liver and breast. These chemicals are found in certain other fruits but cherries contain all three of them together in good quantity.
One of the more recently discovered health benefits of cherry juice is the role it plays in muscle recovery. This makes cherry juice an excellent sports drink for any and all athletes.
To receive the health benefits of cherry juice, it is recommended that a person drink at least one glass a day.