It seems that anything made from tart cherries has exploded in popularity recently. These include tart cherry capsules, dried cherries, tart cherry extract and cherry juice. While we’ll learn a little more about each of the previously mentioned, I’ll focus unsweetened cherry juice benefits and how they compare to the sweetened juice. However, before I do that, I would like to provide a brief overview of the health benefit of the fruit in general.
Natural Health Benefits
Over the past few years, a number of published research reports on the Michigan-grown, Montmorency tart cherry have caught the attention of the countless individuals. The reason is simple. This tiny red fruit offers a number of reasons to add it to your diet. These include its ability to maintain healthy joint function, help an individual to get better sleep and help with recovery after a workout. Regarding its ability to soothe achy joints according to researchers and cherry industry experts it is the way all of the compounds work synergistically together to provide joint pain relief. It’s not just the anthocyanins, the polyphenols or other compounds individually, but how the interact with each other. For those looking for a natural source of melatonin to with sleep, look no further than the tart cherry. It is one of nature’s top sources of naturally occurring melatonin. When compared to other fruit and vegetables, it ranks near the top of the list. So for those wanting a more restful night’s sleep, add some tart cherry to your diet. Great for muscle recovery, too! Research has been conducted on athletes that drank tart cherry juice before and after a marathon. Based on the published information, those who drank the cherry juice enjoyed less pain and a lower percentage of overall muscle strength.
The Other Cherry-Base Products
If reducing the amount of sugar intake is the main area you are concerned with then the tart cherry capsules or extract should be your choice. However, if you’ll looking for a great tasting and refreshing drink, the juice would be a better choice. While the dried cherries rank somewhat in the middle for sugar content. Check out how each compare:
Type of Cherry Product Sugar Levels Per Serving - Fresh Tart Cherries (1/2 cup): About 6 grams - Unsweetened Cherry Juice: About 15 grams (1 oz concentrate mixed with 7oz water) - Tart Cherry Powder: < single gram of sugar - Sweetened Cherry Juice: Up to 52 grams Based upon published research the powder has more melatonin and specific antioxidants, but the juice has more of a flavorful taste and aroma. So using the sugar content as the deciding factor, the unsweetened cherry juice benefits are greater than the higher sugared drink.