Tart cherry juice has been receiving a lot of attention recently ranging from daytime TV personalities, radio hosts, athletes and the general public in regards to its powerful natural health properties.
It makes since that as more and more research is conducted on the Michigan-grown, Montmorency tart cherry, more interest will be created to read about these new discoveries. The main areas of interest about the natural health benefits of the tart cherry is its natural ability to assist with sleep*, its ability to help maintain healthy joint function and finally how it helps soothe sore muscles*
So before are learn how much cherry juice to drink, let’s take a closer look at the science behind this amazing red super fruit.
The Science Behind the Tart Cherry
How does cherry juice help joints?
While food scientists have been studying the tart cherry for a number of years, it was the Michigan State University in the early 2000’s that really put the cherry front-and-center. One of the first study’s that caught the attention of the general public indicated that tart cherry may assist with health joint function.
The way this fruit works is it is a natural source of powerful antioxidant specially anthocyanins. While there are over 350 different types of anthocyanins that have been discovered, it’s the unique makeup and presence of specific types of anthocyanins that make the tart cherry and tart cherry juice so special. They actually help to reduce inflammation in the body naturally, thus providing a natural alternative to those seeking such pain relief.
Additional research has been conducted and published by the University of Texas, San Antonio. This research indicates the benefits of the tart cherry may not be due specifically to just one compound, but how all of the compounds, phytochemicals and antioxidants workout together in a synergistic way that provides natural health benefits.
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."
How does cherry juice help muscle soreness?
Cherry juice and muscle recovery soreness is a relatively new area of research compared to the joint relief, antioxidant power and sleep assisting ability of the tart cherry and cherry juice. In fact, a collaborative study in 2006 was conducted by University of Vermont, Nicholas Institute of Sports Medicine and Athletic Trauma and Cornell University on how cherry juice prevents muscle damage pain. The study was conducted on 14 male college students using a fresh, high-concentrated, cherry juice blend.
During the study the participants drank either a placebo or the cherry juice blend twice a day for three days before an exercise and four days after the exercise. Each serving was a 12-ounce bottle of the placebo or the cherry juice blend. The interesting findings of the research was that the participants who drank the cherry juice was that on a scale of one to ten those who drank the cherry juice reported an average pain number of 2.4 compared to the 3.2 of the placebo.
In addition to this study additional studies have been conducted and published on the pain reducing benefits of tart cherry juice.
How does cherry juice help you sleep?
Tart cherries are nature’s leading source of naturally occurring melatonin. This means you may want to consider adding some tart cherries to help you sleep? Melatonin is a powerful antioxidant that is produced in the pineal gland located at the base of the brain. It helps to regulate the body’s natural rhythmic clock. Best of all melatonin is produced naturally so you don’t even have to think about it. Levels of melatonin increase during the darker hours of the day and decrease as the sun comes out.
Final notes on tart cherry juice.
Most of the published research on tart cherries has been conducted on the Montmorency variety of sour cherry. This is the same variety that is used during baking. The variety has been found to deliver an impressive amount of melatonin, antioxidants and anthocyanins compared to other varieties.
It takes approximately the juice of 100 cherries just to make 1 oz. of tart cherry juice concentrate. Cherry juice concentrate is used to make tart cherry juice. Best of all, the Fruit Advantage variety of cherry juice is the only cherry juice offering a sediment-free guarantee. This means the cherry juice won’t have sedimentation build up on the bottom of the bottle.
Finally, how much cherry juice should you drink to get the natural health benefits? The majority of research on tart cherry juice concentrate has used 1 oz. of tart cherry juice per 7 ounces of water to make a full eight ounce glass of juice.
Of course, anytime you make a change to your diet or take on a new exercise routine, always check with your doctor prior to starting anything new. So to learn more about tart cherries, check out this recent webinar: