The cherry fruit belongs to the genus Prunus. The fruit is fleshy and has a seed inside it. The cherries are rich in anthocyanins - the red pigment in berries. These anthocyanins are antioxidants, which make cherries very healthy to eat. There is ongoing research on cherry juice, and they show that daily consumption of tart cherry juice, black cherry juice, or rather any cherry juice in general promotes a good quality of life and well-being in humans.
Health Benefits of Cherry Juice
Antioxidants Stop Free Radicals
We are all aware of the fact that fruit and vegetable juices are rich in antioxidants. Same is the case with cherries. The antioxidants are crucial in attacking harmful free radicals in the body, which can give rise to a number of health problems, such as cancer or atherosclerosis. Each food item has different levels of oxygen radical absorption capacity. The higher the absorption capacity in a food product, the greater is the capacity of the food item to supercharge the health of a person with a mega dose of antioxidants. Studies have confirmed that drinking as little as 250 milliliters of cherry juice everyday is able to give the same benefits that the consumption of 23 different fruits and vegetables can offer. It is said to have more antioxidants than five servings of peas, tomatoes, watermelon, carrots, and bananas put together.
Cherry juice benefits can be reaped by people suffering from gout. The anthocyanins present in cherries help in dissolving uric acid crystals formed between the joints in gout patients. Consumption of cherry juice regularly helps in the lowering of uric acid levels in the body. The damage caused to the joints by uric acid crystals can also repaired by the regular consumption of cherry juice or simply fresh cherries.
Colon Cancer Prevention
The anthocyanins also reduce the risk of colon cancer significantly, which is the third leading cancer in America. Hence, regular consumption of cherries has been recommended. The benefits of cherry juice can also be reaped by people suffering from heart problems. The anthocyanins lower heart attack and stroke risks.
People suffering from pain related to arthritis can benefit a great deal with the consumption of cherry juice. Hence, it is recommended to take cherry juice for arthritis. This is attributed to the anthocyanins present in the cherries. It is said that anthocyanins present in tart cherries make them ten times more pain-relieving than aspirin. However, other varieties of cherries are also able to give equal benefits, if not more. Other than for relieving arthritic pain, it can also be used for relieving regular muscle pain and inflammation.
For a healthy cardiovascular system, the consumption of cherries is recommended. They contain flavonoids, which are known to be good for cardiovascular health. Other than flavonoids, they also contain a lot of nutrients, like vitamin A, beta carotene, phenol, and melatonin. All the nutrients present in cherries help in maintaining healthy joints.
Benefits of cherry juice can be optimally reaped by athletes who run long distances. Athletes who regularly consume cherry juice suffer lesser muscle pain as compared to others who drink juices of other fruits. Research points to the fact that athletes who drink cherry juice have a 2 point lower self-reported pain level at the end of a race, if these points are measured on a 0 to 10 scale. Although research is still being done on the potency of this juice in alleviating post-exercise inflammation and reducing muscle pain, regular exercisers are said to have benefited greatly from it. These benefits are attributed to anti-inflammation power of the antioxidants and anthocyanins in cherries.
Nervous and Circulatory System Remedy
Anthocyanins not only help in reducing inflammation but also have a number of other benefits. People with circulation problems are known to benefit from the healing properties of anthocyanins. They ensure healthy nerve functioning. Along with these benefits, anthocyanins also have anti-cancer properties. They halts cell transformation that leads to cancer.
Recent studies point to the fact that drinking cherry juice proves to be beneficial in treating insomnia. Cherries contain melatonin, which is an antioxidant. This helps in improving natural sleeping patterns and circadian rhythms. Although melatonin is produced in the body, with age the capacity of the body to produce this antioxidant reduces. Due to this it is seen that old people find it difficult to sleep. Drinking cherry juice often proves to be of help in treating this condition.
The other benefits of cherry juice include:
- Strengthening of the immune system
- Anti-aging properties
- Reduction in stress-related conditions
- Harnessing mood swings
Right Quantity of Cherry Juice
After reading the benefits cherry juice has to offer, one needs to know the right quantity of cherry juice that is to be consumed. When cherries are not in season, you will have to resort to consuming cherry juice concentrate. Add about two tablespoons of the concentrate to half a glass of water, mix well, and drink immediately. However, if you are going to opt for dried cherries, then one serving is enough. When cherries are in season, you can choose to have one serving of fresh cherries.
It has been observed that a number of people mix cherry juice with apple juice for that extra punch of vitamins and minerals. Perhaps the day is not far when '10 to 12 cherries a day will keep diseases at bay' will become a mantra. Since fresh cherries are not available throughout the year and are harvested only in summer, the juice is the second best option. Alternatively, one can also opt for concentrated cherry juice. Cherry capsules are also of help, if fresh cherries or cherry juice is not available.