Being a mother of a newborn I find it hard to be able to even take a shower on a daily basis, much less eat properly.
We all have our own commitments. Whether it is a tiny bundle of cute, a demanding job, or life, in general, it is hard to keep up with our daily needs.
If only life was like a video game. Sadly, we—the most of us--can’t just cheat our way through life. But what we can do is find a simple, cheap, and easy snack to munch throughout the day.
I can give you a snack that is yummy and healthy. A snack that will give you the benefits you need in the day without the added hassle of feeling crappy the rest of the day.
I love fruit. It is a fast and easy snack that I can grab-n-go. That being said, not many snacks are easy AND healthy. One such is tart cherry juice. Tart cherry juice is found from tart cherries like the Montmorency tart cherries, and Balaton sweet-tart cherries. These are the most common varieties of tart cherries.
Tart cherry juice may not be recognizable by name, but the bottle you have most likely seen at stores.
Brands such as Cheribundi, Pom, and Lakewood all carry tart cherry juice. Aside from the juice there are also canned, dried, and frozen varieties.
The Montmorency is the best-known type to carry canned and frozen.(1)
The tart cherry juice (TCJ) is best when consumed from a glass bottle, from an organic farm, and when the brix level--or the amount of sugar content-- is 68 brix. Any lower and you are losing the quality of juice.
Tart cherry juice has amazing benefits below are ways in which the juice will help you feel better every day.
1. Tart cherry juice helps to relieve kidney stones
Kidney stones are a common occurrence in adults. In the U.S there are about 200,000 cases a year(3). Sometimes it is hard to tell if what you are feeling, though more than likely painful, sharp pain in your abdomen associated with nausea, is truly a kidney stone.
Kidney stones are a small, hard deposit of minerals and acid salts that stick together in urine which is still concentrated. This deposit forms a stone-like formation.
Tart juice relieves gout which is caused by uric acid crystals in the joints, this same uric acid also causes kidney stones.
2. Tart cherry juice will give you quality sleep
In this age with the growth of technology on the rise, we are ever changing for an easy lifestyle, yet our health keeps declining especially sleep.
It is getting harder to go to sleep at night without our phones, tablets, and T.V’s the last thing we see before we shut our eyes. One thing we don’t realize is the fact that we are the reason for getting the lesser quality of sleep.
With lit up phones in our faces before we shut our eyes, it is not allowing our bodies to tell us to release the melatonin. This chemical tells our body that it is time to go to bed to allow our brains to reboot.
Tart cherry juice helps have more quality sleep because of the phytonutrients found in Montmorency tart cherries.(6)
The phenolic acids—chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid, and ellagic acid—and flavonoids blend to decrease oxidative stress in older adults.
Through a treatment period of two weeks, elderly adults found TCJ to have modest beneficial effects on those with insomnia(7) . Plus, with five times the amount of melatonin level found in cherries compared to other berries it alleviates insomnia, as well as jet lag.
3. Tart cherry juice helps alleviate arthritis pain
Arthritis pain as we know comes from old age, it is sadly a necessary evil. But, one thing that may be able to help relieve chronic arthritis, and arthritis which comes with old age may be TCJ. Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, it has been found to help alleviate some of this pain.
One study found in 633 individuals with recurring gout took the cherry juice over the course of two days prior to an attack had a 35% lower risk of gout attacks compared with no intake.(8)
4. Tart cherry juice is good for heart health
The number one killer in North America is the cardiovascular disease in both men and women. Tart cherries have been proven to be beneficial to the heart because of the intense amount of anthocyanins.
They can be found in red and purple fruits and vegetables. They have been associated with a risk decrease for myocardial infractions (MI) in young and middle-aged women.
One study found dietary benefits from foods rich in anthocyanins associated with a decrease in MI risk.(9)
The University of Michigan also found a reduced risk of strokes after the cherry consumption, because they act similar to prescribed drugs that regulate fat and glucose in patients with metabolic syndrome.(10)
Heart disease factors rise without a healthy balance of exercise, diet, and low triglycerides(11). Tart cherries have been found to lower these triglycerides that my otherwise raise your risk to heart disease. Triglycerides are a pesky fat lipid found in the blood and can affect the heart greatly.
5. Tart cherry juice relieves from muscle pain due to running
It feels great to run and exercise, but we all have to admit that a few days after it makes us want to quit. The pain we get from running can sometimes be unbearable. This pain associated with working out is found in the chemical With TCJ we can rest assure it won’t be so bad.
TCJ has anti-inflammatory properties that help relieve the pain that comes with working out.(12)
In one study done with long distance runners, researchers found that those who drank 12 ounces of TCJ twice daily leading up to their run found that they had less pain associated with the after-run.(13)
Because the juice is rich in antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties may be why it gives us a protective effect of reducing muscle –damage and pain relief during strenuous exercise.
6. Tart cherry juice is good for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers
Women have enough to worry about while they are pregnant, so why to give them something else to fret over. I surely won’t! Tart cherries have been found to be an incredibly beneficial and a yummy fruit to consume during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Cherries are great for morning sickness and keeping away those pesky illnesses away while the immune system is working double time, and with the amazing about of fiber they work as a diuretic getting rid of harmful toxins and salts stored in the body.
With seven times the amount of anthocyanins compared to other cherries, Balaton cherries help boost that pregnancy brain for more memory storage(14) , as well as reduce the risk of dementia-related diseases.(15)
All these benefits are extremely helpful for a worried mother-to-be. One top worry for older mothers is preeclampsia. These cherries thankfully, keep the threat at bay with all the added effects of help with blood pressure and the heart seen in the above sections.
7. Tart cherry juice helps diabetics
Millions suffer from diabetes every year and being diagnosed on a daily basis. For my family, the risk is as high as one in three. But with this superfood and its anthocyanins seem to be a recurring benefit. Cherries might actually fight diabetes.(16)
Not only do these cherries boost insulin which is highly needed for people who suffer from diabetes, but it also helps control blood pressure.
8. Tart cherry juice helps you manage cholesterol levels
Cholesterol can become harder to handle as we get older, no matter how many cheerios we eat.
But with tart cherries managing these levels will become easier as we grow older.
Scientists have found a 26% decrease in the total cholesterol levels in mice who had been given the tart cherry powder. Surprisingly, there was also a 65% reduction in the early death.
For human clinical trials, this would be an amazing wow factor. This reduction is likely due to the improved cardiovascular health as well. Which has also been proven to help humans already.
9. Tart cherry juice helps control your blood pressure
Controlling blood pressure is obviously important considering if it wasn’t then the doctor wouldn’t check it every time we go in to see them.
But do we really know what it is, and why it is important?
It is the highest level your pressure of blood in the circulatory system reaches when your heart beats as well as its force and rate. It is also closely related to the diameter and elasticity of the arterial walls.
TCJ contains quercetin a polyphenolic flavonoid that decreases blood pressure and oxidative stress. In this study, they found 74.5 million Americans have hypertension most commonly defines as systolic blood pressure, whereas 25% of Americans have yet to be diagnosed with hypertension.
TCJ contains antioxidants such as Quercetin which has been studied in cell-based assays and human clinical trials. The trials found that with the flavonoid one was able to use it as a natural therapy for hypertension and vascular health.(17)
10. Tart cherry juice improves the overall look of your skin
Every year the seasons seem to be getting hotter in the summer and colder in the winter. With TCJ we can rest easy knowing our skin won’t suffer.
TCJ‘s plentiful oxidization abilities promote the right amount of Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capability (ORAC) units needed for the body, and antioxidants to help protect the body.
Since cherries are a good source of vitamin A, B, E, and C to help keep our body looking radiate all year round.
Researchers have also found that cherries have skin lightening abilities keeping your skin radiating, regenerating, and rejuvenated all at the same time.(18)
Ways to consume tart cherry juice:
Like most things in life, you can’t get all the nutrients you need from store bought juice. Drinking the bottled juice is refreshing, but loaded with added sugars.
You’d be on a sugar high before you obtained all the nutrients, and antioxidants an entire bag of tart cherries would give instead.
Some other ways to consume are dried, or sun-dried out in a bag, canned and frozen. Personally, I prefer them in their original, non-GMO, organic form. This is mainly because I know nothing has been added, or taken away from their nutrients.
Side effects of the juice:
A potential side effect found from drinking TCJ is the fact it has anti-inflammatory properties means it may be less dangerous than other over-the-counter medicines that have been chemically altered to relieve inflammation. It may cause abdominal discomfort and diarrhea because of its high sorbitol content.(19)
You should also be aware that the amount of calories that are in a one cup serving of cherries is 140. There is a potential to weight gain if you consume too much.
It is unknown if the medicinal amounts of a sour cherry fruit, stems, or supplements containing sour cherry fruit stems are safe for pregnant or breastfeeding mothers. To be on the safe side I would suggest to just sticking with the fruit and staying clear of the stems altogether.(20)
As we see tart cherry juice is widely underestimated. With its sour, tasteful qualities we can enjoy a healthy and easy snack with many benefits along with its ease. It is great to have for when you have trouble sleeping, and drinking, or eating it after a workout would help ease the pain of over-exerted muscles.
Article is written by: Breana Cranford