The Benefits of Tart Cherries

Tart cherries are becoming increasingly popular due to their potential health advantages. The rich red hue of tart cherries, commonly referred to as sour cherries, remains even after drying, freezing, or juicing. Well, taste wise they are tart. They have a distinctive sour-sweet flavor that is gaining popularity across the nation.

Unless you live in one of the growing zones, you generally won’t be able to find fresh tart cherry outside of the summer harvest. The good news is that tart cherries can be found all year round in dried, frozen, or juice form.

a pint basket full of tart cherries on a light colored table

The market for this Prunus cesarus species has grown dramatically over the past 20 years as a result of advancements in farming methods and food processing technology. Tart cherries have a high polyphenol content and a unique profile of anthocyanins, flavonols (which resemble berries), and chlorogenic acid (coffee-like).

Tart cherries have a surprising amount of nutrition for such a tiny fruit. They are also known as sour cherries, Montmorency cherries, or Morello cherries, and are perhaps best known to you as a sweet-tart juice or as a component in food preparation. 

They give a splash of color and pucker factor to everything from vinaigrettes to cocktails, and what’s even great is that they are loaded with superior health advantages.

See also Can Dogs Eat Cherries and Dry Fruit Benefits.

Health Benefits

Here’s a list of 5 health benefits of Tart cherries which will give you a reason to include them in your diet.

Nutritional Chart

Juice from tart cherries is nutrient-rich in several ways. A serving of 8 ounces (240 ml) has 119 calories and the following nutrients.

 

Fiber 5g
Protein 2g
Fat 1g
Carbs 28g
Vitamin A 62% of RDI
Vitamin C 40% of RDI
Vitamin K 7% of RDI
Manganese 14% of RDI
Potassium 12% of RDI
Copper 12% of RDI

 

Along with antioxidants and other healthy plant chemicals, tart cherry juice also contains trace levels of B vitamins, calcium, iron, magnesium, and omega-3 and omega-6 fats.

Tart cherry types have antioxidant levels that are up to five times higher than sweet cherry variants and 20 times more vitamin A.

Choose an unsweetened variety of tart cherry juice if possible because some of them include a lot of added sugar.

 

Help With Muscle Soreness

People who are physically active may be especially curious about sour cherry juice’s impact on muscle power and discomfort.

According to a growing amount of studies on the topic, sour cherry juice has been demonstrated to be helpful for lowering inflammation from strenuous exercise, assisting in workout recovery, and relieving/preventing muscular stiffness due to its potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant polyphenol components.

There is evidence to support an earlier study, according to a meta-analysis from 2021 that was published in the International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism: Tart cherries have marginally positive effects on reducing muscular soreness when ingested before and after vigorous exercise, and significantly more significant positive effects on regaining muscle strength.

In addition, vitamins and tart cherry juice may improve muscle strength.

A tart cherry supplement or a placebo was administered to a group of males in the days preceding and right after a rigorous resistance training session.

When compared to individuals who received the placebo, the tart cherry group lost up to 4% less muscle strength as a result of the workout.

Supplements made from tart cherries may also help resistance-trained people recover faster and experience less muscle breakdown and discomfort.

It’s vital to remember that some research revealed no advantages, even though the bulk of studies report positive impacts. Consequently, more study is required on this subject.

 

Boosts Immunity and Speeds Recovery

Tart cherries’ strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory content may boost the immune system. Studies have shown that sour cherries can help prevent upper respiratory infections, possibly because anthocyanins have antibacterial characteristics.

There is a lot of proof that tart cherries lessen muscle discomfort and muscle strength loss. Additionally, they are rich in melatonin, which lengthens and increases the quality of your sleep.

While tart cherries are in season in the summer, you may eat them frozen, dried, or in juice all year long. Kale, step aside. You should keep an eye out for a new superfood that is a must-eat (and grocery list).

Helps Sleep Better

For the insomniacs and people who struggle with falling asleep, Tart cherries might just be the natural solution to your problem.

The safe and efficient use of tart cherry juice may help you obtain more sleep at night and treat insomnia.

This is due to the fact that tart cherries naturally contain a lot of melatonin, a hormone linked to tiredness.

Additionally, tart cherries are a high source of tryptophan and anthocyanins, two substances that may aid in melatonin production and prolong its effects.

According to studies, taking sour cherry juice as a supplement raises melatonin levels and enhances the quality and length of sleep.

In one trial, those with insomnia were given a choice between drinking 480 milliliters (16 ounces) of sour cherry juice or the same quantity of a placebo juice every day for two weeks. The consumption of cherry juice lengthened sleep by 85 minutes on average.

The two best-researched natural remedies for insomnia, valerian, and melatonin, appear to be less successful at reducing insomnia than tart cherry juice, if not more so.

 

Help Promote Brain Health

Oxidative stress is hypothesized to play a role in the development of degenerative brain diseases including Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.

Large quantities of antioxidants and other healthy plant chemicals are present in tart cherries and tart cherry juice, which may protect brain cells.

In one study, healthy older men and women who regularly drank 16 ounces (480 ml) of tart cherry juice saw an improvement in their antioxidant defenses.

Another trial had 12 weeks of either 6.5 ounces (200 ml) of tart cherry juice or a placebo being consumed by elderly people with mild-to-moderate dementia.

The verbal fluency and short- and long-term memory of adults in the cherry juice group improved, compared to those in the placebo group who showed no improvement.

 

Reduce Symptoms of Arthritis

Many times, tart cherry juice is promoted as a remedy for arthritis symptoms such as joint pain and inflammation.

In one study, women with osteoarthritis, the most prevalent form of arthritis, had their blood levels of key inflammatory markers decreased by tart cherry juice.

Another study found that after six weeks, individuals who drank two 8-ounce (240 ml) bottles of tart cherry juice daily had slightly less pain and stiffness. The differences between those who received cherry juice and those who received a placebo were, however, relatively slight.

Studies have also examined how sour cherry juice affects gout, a form of arthritis marked by recurrent periods of swelling and excruciating pain.

Drinking tart cherry juice appears to lower blood levels of uric acid, a substance that can cause gout when it is present in excess amounts.

Additionally, according to multiple studies, those with gout who regularly consume fresh cherries or cherry juice concentrate are up to 50% less likely to experience an attack. The majority of the studies on this subject are observational, and there aren’t many of them overall.

It is also challenging to say whether cherry juice is responsible for the diminished symptoms or whether those who experience less gout symptoms are more likely to employ complementary therapies, such as cherry juice.

 

Antioxidant and Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Anthocyanins, which are antioxidants found in sour cherries, provide a powerful line of protection against free radicals, which can lead to a variety of health problems like cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease. Approximately five times as many antioxidants are present in tart cherries than in sweet cherries.

Researchers think tart cherries are the most effective anti-inflammatory meal because of their high antioxidant content. Tart cherries have been shown in studies to reduce the risk of gout, treat osteoarthritis, and enhance intestinal health.

Things To Keep In Mind

If you’re interested in tart cherry juice’s health advantages, you might wish to use dosage guidelines comparable to those in the studies mentioned above.

In particular, participants in the majority of studies that found benefits received two doses of the juice each day totaling 8 ounces (240 ml).

According to estimates, this is similar to eating 200 tart cherries every day (24 Trusted Source).

In studies using powdered supplements, 480 mg of tart cherry juice powder was typically consumed daily.

Following 7–10 days of supplementation, benefits were mainly noticeable.

The majority of individuals can safely consume this juice despite the fact that it includes significant amounts of sorbitol, a form of sugar alcohol that some people find to be uncomfortable and cause diarrhea.

Quercetin, a plant ingredient found in tart cherry juice, may interact with several drugs, particularly blood thinners. Before consuming a lot of sour cherry juice, those who are taking medication should speak with their doctor.

What Version Of Cherries Is Considered To Be Better?

The antioxidants in cherries are the same whether you consume cherry juice or dried cherries, according to the AICR. If your cherries are canned, even fewer antioxidants will be present than if they are frozen. The good news is that cherries still have a considerable antioxidant content, regardless of how they are obtained.

Recipe : Tart Cherry Vinaigrette

With this sweet and zesty dressing, your salad game will soar. Avoid more delicate lettuces like butter leaf; instead, use small gems, romaine, or spinach since they go best with this vinaigrette.

 

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup roughly chopped, pitted sour cherries
  •  1 ½ teaspoons of lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon of  sweetener
  • ¼  cup Olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon Kosher salt 

 

Method

  • In a small bowl, mix the cherries, lemon juice, and sweetener. 
  • Oil should be added slowly while being constantly whisked in. 
  • Add salt and whisk. 

 

Viola! You have a delicious recipe at hand! Tart cherries are a good source of vitamin C and other antioxidants. They have been shown to help with inflammation, heart disease, and even cancer.

This recipe is perfect for the summertime when the cherries are in season. It will help you get your daily dose of nutrients without having to go out and buy a supplement.

And if you don’t like this recipe you could always make yourself some Tart cherry juice.

The tart cherry is an underrated fruit that doesn’t get enough love. So make sure to cherish them and benefit from them!

Fun Facts About Tart Cherries

Now that we already know the health benefits of Tart cherries, here are some fun facts that you probably never knew about them

  • An average cherry tree produces up to 70000 cherries
  • These 7000 cherries can make 28 pies
  • Every 7 seconds, cherry trees can be harvested.

Related Articles:

  1. Best Fruits For Backpacking
  2. Fruits To Eat During Pregnancy
  3. Fruits To Grow On A Terrace
  4. What Is the Fastest Way To Heal a Leaky Gut?

Bottom Line

Tart cherries are a delicious and healthy snack that can improve your sleep and reduce inflammation. The potential for reducing the risk of developing cancer and other chronic diseases has been shown by the antioxidants they are rich in.

Tart cherries are healthy, tasty, and easy to eat. They are a simple addition to almost any diet, rich in nutrients, and may provide a number of impressive health advantages.

It appears to be particularly efficient at easing muscle aches and enhancing sleep.

So people who are physically active and those who have sleep issues ought to consider trying this drink.

Pick a non-sweetened type or make your own by blending some water and two handfuls of sour cherries. And have your daily dose of beneficial nutrients added to your diet!

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