It’s only about two weeks into National Cherry Month and we are receiving a lot calls about cherry juice, dried cherries and tart cherry capsules. In addition to receiving calls about the types cherry products available, we are also getting questions about the natural health benefits of this ruby red fruit. In this post, we’ll walk everyone through what makes the tart cherry so helpful for those seeking natural ways to maintain healthy joint function*, enjoy a healthy night’s rest and soothe sore muscles due to physical exercise. However, before we get started we need to explore the ORAC value of some of the more popular types of cherry products including cherry juice concentrate, dried cherries, cherry juice and frozen cherries. Understanding ORAC ORAC stands for Oxygen Radical Absorption Capacity and the purpose of an ORAC unit is to measure the antioxidant strength of food. The higher the ORAC value of a food the better it is for the individual to consume. You see, it measures how many oxygen radicals a food can absorb. Basically the more free radicals a food can absorb, the higher the ORAC level of the food. According to published research from leading research organizations studying this Michigan grown fruit it’s packed full of free radical fighting antioxidants. Here is a brief overview of just four different tart cherries products. ORAC Units Per Serving ORAC (Per 100 Grams) Frozen Cherries: 2,724 (1 cup) 2,000 Dried Cherries: 6,120 (1/2 cup) 6,800 Cherry Juice: 3,622(8 Ounces) 1,600 Cherry Juice Concentrate: 3,622 (1 Ounce) 12,800 The fifth type of product is the canned water-packed tart cherries providing 1,700 ORAC units. Nutritional Overview In addition to being an excellent source of ORAC units the cherry is also rich in various minerals, anthocyanins and vitamins, too. It is the anthocyanins that is responsible for giving Mother Nature its color. These are the agents that change the leaves from green during the summer time to the vibrant red, orange and yellow. In addition, as you walk through the produce section of your local grocery store or farmers market, it the this same compound that gives the many different hues to the fruits and vegetables. Anthocyanins have been identified as being one of the compounds responsible for helping to maintain healthy joint function.* However, according to published research from leading research universities including the University of Texas it is the synergistic benefits of all of the compounds in the cherry that gives this ruby red fruit its amazing natural benefits.
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