Tart cherries, also referred to as Montmorency, dwarf, or sour cherries, are steadily gaining popularity. Unlike sweet cherries that are typically consumed fresh, tart cherries are generally consumed in the form of juices and frozen or dried. The juice of tart cherry is derived from the Prunus cerasus tree’s blooming fruit that offers a different and dense nutritional value.
Tart cherry belongs to Europe and southwest Asia and is associated with many new health benefits. Several varieties of tart cherry juice are also known to contain a considerable amount of added sugar. As a result, it makes sense to expect most benefits offered by unsweetened varieties.
The health benefits of tart cherry juice include prevention of heart disease and cancer; speeding up the healing process, improving circulation, attention, and focus; preventing arthritis and diabetes, regulating sleep, preventing respiratory problems, boosting the immune system, and promoting weight loss.
Tart Cherry: An Overview
Tart cherries are quite like sweet cherries loved by billions of people around the world. While sweet cherries are consumed as it is, the tart cherries are an essential ingredient in jams, cakes, and several other dishes. Of all the leading and commonly found tart cherries, Montmorency Cherry is the most popular one. Montmorency Cherry is extensively grown in parts of France, the United States, and Canada.
One medium cup of sour tart cherries consists of around 52 calories and offers about 1% of your daily requirement of sodium. The potassium and calcium levels found in these cherries also fulfill about 1% of your daily recommended value(1).
As such, tart cherry juice is used regularly by health conscious individuals for the various essential nutrients and minerals such as vitamin A, vitamin E, zinc, and vitamin C found in this nutritious beverage. Though the drink prepared from tart cherry tastes a little sour and is acidic, the benefits from its intake outrival the small downsides it has.
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The Nutritional Profile of Tart Cherry Juice
Tart cherry juice is an excellent source of nutrients. Just an 8-ounce (i.e., around 240 ml) serving of this beverage contains 119 calories, along with the following:
|Vitamin A||:||62 percent of the RDI|
|Vitamin C||:||40 percent of the RDI|
|Manganese||:||14 percent of the RDI|
|Copper||:||12 percent of the RDI|
|Potassium||:||12 percent of the RDI|
|Vitamin K||:||7 percent of the RDI|
Also, tart cherry juice consists of B vitamins, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, calcium, iron, and magnesium, along with antioxidants and several other helpful plant compounds.
As compared to sweet cherry, tart cherries consist of 20 times more vitamin A, and up to five times their antioxidant levels.
While sweet cherries are generally darker in appearance, tart cherries carry their own characteristic bright red color once they are harvested. As tart cherry juice contains the right amount of added sugars, you can opt for an unsweetened variety of it in case you are on a weight loss regime.
What are the Benefits of Tart Cherry Juice?
While tart cherry juice offers a wide range of benefits on your overall health and wellness, the following 10 Tart Cherry Juice benefits stand out:
1. Prevents Cancer
Rich in many antioxidants, tart cherries help fight free radicals and reduce the oxidative effects to prevent several critical ailments such as heart diseases and even different types of cancers. The anthocyanins content found in tart cherries exhibits an exceptional potential to combat tumor formation and destroy cancerous cells in the body.
2. Prevents Heart Disease
Intake of tart cherry juice helps in reducing the toxic oxidative stress in your cardiovascular system, thanks to the presence of quercetin in tart cherries – a compound proven for its efficacy in lowering cholesterol and blood pressure levels.
All these factors make tart cherry juice extremely handy in preventing a variety of heart diseases, stroke, and heart attacks.
3. Improves Circulation
The anthocyanins compound found in tart cherry juice that helps prevent cancer is effective in improving healthy circulation in your body. Improved circulation is exceptionally beneficial to the human body and helps us keep high on energy by removing unnecessary fatigue, stress, and anxiety.
4. Supports Healing
The antioxidants along with powerful the anti-inflammatory properties exhibited by this beverage, help in speeding up the healing process while running across an intense physical activity. The body stiffness and muscle soreness caused by overexertion can be reduced effectively with tart cherry juice that reduces the inflammation and associated pain.
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5. Prevention of Arthritis
Since tart cherry juice exhibits potent anti-inflammatory properties, it aids in relieving the symptoms of pain and swelling that are generally associated with arthritis. Also, tart cherry juice reduces the uric acid in your body to protect your kidneys from a wide range of critical diseases.
[Also Read: Treat Arthritis with Natural Remedies]
6. Improves Attention and Focus
The anti-oxidative benefits of tart cherry juice come handy in improving cognitive functions, thereby promoting your attention and focus. Reducing the toxic oxidative stress in the body can aid in preventing various neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Dementia, and Parkinson’s Disease.
7. Helps Regulate Sleep
Tart cherry juice is a good source of melatonin, an important hormone that is associated with the regulation of sleep in the body. As a result, regular consumption of tart cherry juice proves exceptionally effective in preventing insomnia and several other sleep-related issues.
8. Prevents Diabetes
Several recent studies indicate the positive effect of tart cherry juice on treating type-2 Diabetes. The presence of anthocyanins, a compound that helps increase insulin levels, make tart cherry juice an extremely potent remedy for maintaining healthy blood sugar levels in the body. Hence, this beverage not just helps people with diabetes but also helps prevent the onset of diabetes in people who are at risk of developing the disorder.
9. Boosts Immune System
With a great blend of essential minerals and vitamins, tart cherries help strengthen your immune system. Also, the antioxidants found in tart cherry juice fight and prevent different types of infections in the body. By improving the immune system, this beverage helps you keep allergies at bay.
10. Prevents Respiratory Problems
Tart cherry juice is a great natural way to avoid most respiratory ailments such as bronchitis and asthma, thanks to its powerful anti-inflammatory properties and the presence of essential compounds such as anthocyanins and quercetin.
How to Make Tart Cherry juice
Tart cherry juice can be easily prepared at home. Making tart cherry juice can be a healthful as well as an affordable alternative than buying expensive juice that mostly contains added flavors and preservatives.
By following the simple steps below, you can quickly and easily make fresh tart cherry juice using a food processor:
- Wash and adequately stem out fresh tart cherries
- Add 1 cup of cherries to 1/4th of a cup of water
- Blend this in a food processor
- Now sieve into a jar or bottle
Things To Keep in Mind Before Having Tart Cherry Juice
While tart cherry juice is mostly safe to use for people of all ages, certain precautions should be taken to avoid tart cherry juice side effects.
Overconsumption of tart cherry juice can lead to several complications. Tart cherry juice includes a high quantity of sorbitol, a sort of sugar alcohol that can lead to diarrhea and stomach pain.
Also, tart cherry juice also consists of quercetin, a plant compound known for its interactions and adverse effects of certain medications, and blood thinners. And therefore, it is recommended that you consult a registered medical practitioner before adding tart cherry juice regularly to your diet.
Tart cherry juice is an excellent source of nutrients and has the potential to provide a wide range of health benefits.
Also, it is a simple addition to your daily diet. It proves incredibly useful in improving sleep and reducing muscle soreness. As a result, it is recommended that physically active people and those with a sleep disorder such as insomnia should certainly give tart cherry juice a try.
To make the most of this natural beverage, you can opt for an unsweetened variety of tart cherry juice. Naturally, blend a handful of cherries with some water and drink once a day to get its essential benefits.