Superfood Spotlight: The Surprising Benefits of Tart Cherry Juice

Sure, we know fruits and veggies are good for us, but we’re always fascinated by just what these powered-up plants are doing for our health when we really break it down. Dr. Lisa Davis of Pressed Juicery’s Medical Board is talking to us about the impressive benefits of tart cherry juice, which include a major reduction of pain and inflammation.

If you haven’t tried our latest liquid obsession from Pressed Juicery, it may be time to reconsider some priorities. Aside from being deliciously hydrating, the new flavor comes with a major dose of tart cherry juice. Find out why the variety is so important below…

Why Tart Is Smart

Tart cherries are more than just a nutritional ‘flavor of the week’ when it comes to making a measurable difference in your health. The science is there: These tangy little red bombshells can lower inflammation, an underlying factor in a range of degenerative diseases.

There are plenty of varieties of cherries, and they’re all good for you (except maybe the sugary maraschino ones you add to cocktails and sundaes). The bings, for example – those big, sweet dark ones that come out in the summer – are righteously tasty and loaded with benefits. But even bing cherries are not the ultimate pick when it comes to supporting your health.

The most powerful cherries seem to be the small, tart ones our grandmothers used for pies. That’s because anthocyanins and other phenols (compounds found in all cherries) are most concentrated in the tart variety. Various studies have validated the immense health benefits of tart cherry juice, and shown that the compounds found within these tiny fruits can reduce the biomarkers (measurable evidence) of inflammation, including C-reactive protein.

A Fix for Inflammation

The health benefits of tart cherry juice are based around their tendency to lower inflammation levels. Less inflammation can help you resist a number of diseases, as well as bounce back faster from illness, injury or even an intense workout.

You may already know the skinny on inflammation, which is the body’s response to some sort of injury. Systemic inflammation is a low-level, all-over version of the redness, swelling, pain and heat that develops when you scrape your elbow or bump your knee.

Stress, lack of exercise and a diet filled with saturated fat, sugar and processed snacks can cause inflammation to start simmering before any symptoms appear.This is not a made-up issue. Real doctors and scientists at very real academic and medical institutions are focusing on this natural body process.

Why? Because there’s growing evidence that inflammation has a role in heart disease, vascular problems, dementia and a range of other dreaded acute and chronic ills – including cancer – associated with getting older. As the birthday count goes up, our body’s cells start to break down from oxidative stress due to free radicals. (Think of an old car showing signs of rust – another oxidative process.)

Antioxidants are naturally occurring compounds in colorful fruits and vegetables that can slow down this process. And tart cherries are loaded with these as well.

Some ScienceY Stuff

A randomized double-blind study (Schumacher, et. al) published in 2013 in Osteoarthritis and Cartilage treated a small sample of patients with sour cherry juice to test its effect on osteoarthritis, a condition associated with inflammation.

The C-reactive protein levels in the cherry juice group were lower by 23 percent. The study notes that an increasing number of studies are showing that cherry phenols can have a ‘significant’ antioxidant effect and may reduce inflammation and pain.

Other studies have shown that even a relatively short stint (one week) of supplementation with cherry juice reduces muscle soreness and recovery time in long-distance runners.

Where to Get Them

In the typical grocery store, you’re likely to find tart cherries in pie fillings or canned with lots of sugar, which, as you can imagine, defeats the purpose since sugar can increase inflammation.

When you’re looking for tart cherries to boost your health, check a farmer’s market for the unprocessed fruit, or look for juice or extract from a reputable source.

The Chalkboard Mag and its materials are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. 
All material on The Chalkboard Mag is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise or other health related program.

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