As the 2017 cherry harvest begins to wind down, we wanted to provide a quick update on the overall harvest for 2017, updated health research and what is currently happening for cherries.
What is Happening with Cherries Now:
The agricultural industry is heavily influenced by Mother Nature (1) . Fortunately, the temperature for the 2017 tart cherry production season was relatively cool.
However, we did experience several hot days. In addition, this year’s Montmorency crop did experience a higher degree of moisture when compare to other years. These means it was a times difficult to get back into the orchards after a rainfall.
As the 2017 Tart cherry crops winds down the quality of the cherries have declined. This is due to the excess rain of recent.
However, this only affects the last of the fresh cherries. Overall the entire cherry season was good. As these final cherries are harvested and produced into other products including the Montmorency tart cherry juice concentrate, tart cherry capsules and other value-added cherry-based products, our customers are enjoying freshly produced batches of our tart cherry products.
Tart Cherries Verse Sweet Cherries
There are basically two types of cherries. These are tart cherries and sweet cherries. Since Traverse Bay Farms is located in the “Cherry Capital of the World” we have countless numbers of the tart cherry orchards in our region of Michigan.
Here is quick photo tart cherries on the trees, just prior to harvest.
Tart cherries are usually used to produce value-added products including tart cherry juice, tart cherry capsules, dried cherries and also used for baking. The reason is they are naturally lower in sugar content and pack a higher amount of melatonin and anthocyanins when compared to other cherries.
Sweet cherries, on the other hand, are usually enjoyed for snacking. These cherries are usually more purple in color when compared to the bright red Montmorency tart cherries, as seen in the photo above. (1)
Check out the photo sweet cherries below:
Video Guide: Tart Cherries Verse Sweet Cherries
Here is what Cherry Marketing Institute said about Montmorency tart cherries…
“When it comes to nutritional science and cherries, most studies involve tart Montmorency cherries.
In fact, more than 50 studies have examined the potential health benefits of Montmorency tart cherries, and the research is continuing.
This research strongly supports the anti-inflammatory qualities of Montmorency tart cherries, as well as the benefits of muscle recovery and pain relief from conditions like arthritis.
Studies have also found that Montmorency tart cherries contain Melatonin, a naturally occurring substance that helps regulate sleep patterns.”
Tart Cherries – A Natural Home Remedy to Reduce Joint Pain
Montmorency Tart Cherries are a powerful source of naturally occurring bioflavonoids and anthocyanins. These naturally compounds help to reduce joint pain.
In addition, many have reported after drinking tart cherry juice or taking tart cherry capsules, they have enjoyed less stiffness and swelling and more range of motion.
In fact, the 1950’s was when research conducted by Dr. Ludwig W. Blau on the natural benefits of cherries on joint health.
This research was first published in a letter in Prevention Magazine. The letter told the story how Dr. Blau himself personally experienced the pain relieving benefits of cherries. (2)
“Dr. Ludwig W. Blau relating how eating a bowl of cherries one day led to complete relief from pain sparked off the interest in cherries in the treatment of gout .
Dr Blau's gout had been so severe that he had been confined to a wheelchair. One day, quite by accident, he polished off a large bowl of cherries and the following day the pain in his foot was gone.”
In addition, the Agricultural Research Service also had something positive to say about cherries.
"Our test is among the first to track anti-inflammatory effects of fresh Bing cherries in a controlled experiment with healthy volunteers," says chemist Robert A. Jacob, who led the investigation.
Jacob is now retired from the ARS Western Human Nutrition Research Center in Davis, California.
Tart Cherries – The Secret to Soothing Sore Muscles Due to Physical Exercise
It doesn’t matter if you’re a weekend warrior, a daily walker or an avid gardener, muscle soreness can be an issue. Continual usage of your leg muscles and other muscle groups may cause your muscles to get sore.
Fortunately, a study using Montmorency Tart Cherry Juice Concentrate help to aid muscle recovery after prolonged, intermittent exercise. (3)
Montmorency Tart Cherries – A Natural Remedy to Get a More Restful Night’s Sleep
If the natural benefit of cherries could get any better, how about getting a more restful night’s sleep with cherries?
Research conducted the tart cherries indicate they are one of Mother Nature’s leading sources of naturally occurring Melatonin. Melatonin is naturally produced in pineal gland located at the base of your brain. Melatonin levels increase when the sun goes down and naturally increasing in the morning. This helps you to become sleepy at night and more wakeful during the day. (4)
According to Dr. Russel Reiter, PhD, a nutrition researcher at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio:
“...There's a tremendous body of evidence suggesting that cherries are one of the most nutritious fruits you can eat. Tart cherries not only contain significant levels of antioxidants, but they provide a unique combination of antioxidant compounds that are not found in other fruits...”
Where to Find Fresh Cherries
Cherries are a very perishable fruit. It is best to consume fresh cherries within a few days of picking them or after purchase. This means they are only available during the short summer harvest season, usually about 3 – 4 weeks in Northern Michigan. We do ship fresh cherries during these few weeks from late July to early August.
How to Store Fresh Cherries
Fresh cherries are best to store at room temperature.
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- Tart Cherries are a natural source of powerful phytochemicals and antioxidants including anthocyanins, potassium, melatonin and a number of other compounds.
- Montmorency tart cherries has been shown, by clinical research, to assist with soothing sore muscles, reducing inflammation in the body and fighting joint pain naturally.
- Fresh cherries are only available for a very short time during the short summer harvest season. Over 60% of the U.S. Montmorency tart cherry production is grown in the Northwestern region of the Michigan. This region is referred to as the “Cherry Capital of the World” and the “Traverse Bay Farms Region”. This reason is all of the cherry farms so prevalent in the area.