Yes it's true! It is harvest season for the healthy tart cherries here in Michigan on the next few weeks. It is estimated that the 2011 harvest year in Northwestern lower Michigan, the cherry capital of the world, will be approximately 210 million pounds. That’s a whopping 56% increase from the terrible harvest of 2010. The national cherry crop is forecasted to be 266 million pounds for the remainder of the nation. That up 40% from the 2010 harvest year. The most exciting news is for the individuals looking for natural ways to maintain healthy joint function since cherries are a natural source of antioxidants including anthocyanins. According to research anthocyanins help to maintain healthy joint function. In addition, the tart cherry and cherry juice is a natural source of melatonin. This powerful antioxidant helps to maintain healthy sleep function. In addition, according to research published from the University of Texas, melatonin penetrates both fat and water cells. Unlike vitamin A, C and E that only penetrate water cells, melatonin is capable of accessing almost any cell in the body. This means you get a full body benefit with cherry juice and the fresh fruit.