Tart Cherry Extract
Often utilized for the treatment of arthritis and gout inflammation and pain, tart cherry extract is getting a lot of attention these days for fighting against heart disease as well.
In addition, some types of cancer and diabetes that is type 2 may also be treated by the extract of tart cherries. Available in liquid concentrate, powder or capsule form, this is a popular supplement that can be purchased over the counter at many retail outlets or over the internet.
Also called balaton cherries, Montmorency cherries, pie cherries, sour cherries or pronus cerasus, tart cherries are the stone fruit family’s smallest members. Stone fruits include peaches, nectarines, apricots and plums. Typically classified as either tart or sweet, cherries are grown mainly in Idaho, Oregon, Washington and Michigan.
The reason that tart cherry extract is gaining a lot of popularity in the health sector is mainly due to their anthocyanin content, which is the plant pigments that are found abundant in tart cherries. You might ask the question, what exactly are anthocyanins?
These are powerful anti-oxidants that act against free-radicals that damage body cells. Anthocyanins can also help inhibit the activity of enzymes which cause inflammation. Generally, drugs such as anti-inflammatory non-steroidal drugs and aspirin work the same way as cherries and tart cherry extract does.
Anthocyanin is a type of phenolic which are plant compounds that have effects of being both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.
How do you know which cherries have the most anthocyanin content? A good rule of thumb to follow is that the darker the color of the cherry, the more anthocyanins it contains. In addition, tart cherries have higher concentrations of anthocyanins and other phenolics compared to cherries that are sweet.
Cherries from which tart cherry extract come are lower in sugar content. For example, a half-cup of cherries that are sweet contain about nine grams of sugar, which translates to roughly forty-six calories.
On the other hand, a half cup of tart cherries contains a little less than seven grams of sugar which translates to about thirty-nine calories. These differences are not that significant considering the fact that cherries in general have a higher anthocyanin when compared to other kinds of foods.
Tart cherries have also been found to protect the neurons in the brain from oxidative stress and damage. Having been used traditionally by folk healers to relieve gout, tart cherries and cherry juice can also relieve neurodegenerative disease, back pain and muscle pain.
Having no contra-indications or side effects, tart cherries also contain the sleep-regulating hormone called melatonin. For this reason, melatonin-sensitive individuals need to check with their doctor before taking tart cherry extract. However, it should case no problems and a good night's sleep can be of benefit to everyone.
Tart cherry extract contains folic acid, magnesium, iron, calcium, melatonin, beta carotene, potassium, fiber, and vitamins A, C, E and B6. You will be able to find tart cherry extract at your favorite health food store, drug store and grocery stores. Many online stores will also have the tart cherry products you are looking for. The frozen or fresh tart cherry juice and dried tart cherries can also be found either online or in your favorite health food store.
Be sure and browse our website for other interesting articles about cherries health benefits as well as some super cherry recipes. We have an abundance of them both.