Tart Cherry Juice Benefits. All about Tart Cherries.
Cherry Facts and Nutrition Information
Cherries are drupes, or stone fruits, related to plums and more distantly to peaches and nectarines. They have been enjoyed since the Stone Age-pits were found in several Stone Age caves in Europe. The Romans carried cherries throughout Europe and England along the routes of conquest.
Cherries are grown in several regions, but seventy percent of the cherries produced in the United States come from four states (Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Utah).
There are two main types of cherries: sweet and sour. Sour cherries (tart cherries) are lower in calories and higher in vitamin C and beta carotene than sweet cherries. The Montgomery Sour Cherry (Montgomery Tart Cherry) is the best known sour cherry or tart cherry.
What is the difference between tart cherries and sweet cherries?
Sweet cherries are grown primarily for fresh eating. The tart cherry, also called “red tart”, “sour cherry”, or Montmorency, is widely used for canning and processing to make jams, preserves, and pies. Tart cherry pie filling is the number one pie filling sold in the U.S. The name “Montmorency” refers to the most widely grown variety of tart cherries.
Tart cherries have a distinctive, bright red color. In fact, the same compounds that give tarts their color contain the antioxidant properties that researchers are investigating.
While sweet cherries are grown in several parts of the country, tarts are grown primarily in northwestern Michigan. Michigan has 3.8 million tart cherry trees. All of the recent research into the health benefits of cherries is referring to tart cherries.
The tart cherry offers a number natural health benefits and is a source for a number of nutrients. The amazing stories of the natural health benefits have been passed down from generation to generation. They have been passed from mother to daughter and grandfather to grandson.
Cherries to Help you Sleep
The University of Texas Health Science Center recently began to quantify the availability and activity of the melatonin in cherry products. Melatonin is a potent antioxidant for which there is extensive evidence showing it to be significant in improving the body’s circadian rhythms and natural sleep patterns.
In their preliminary work, Dr. Russel Reiter and Dr. Dun-xian Tan used radioimmunoassay (RIA) and high performance liquid chromatography with electrochemical detection (HPLC-EC) to identify substantial levels of melatonin in tart cherry juice concentrate. The amount of melatonin found, says Dr. Reiter, “is extremely significant.”Although melatonin is found in the body in extremely small quantities, slight increases in melatonin levels can produce very positive results.
Researchers are now working to determine the amount of active melatonin available to the human body after the consumption of tart cherry juice or other cherry products. Once identified, researchers will be able to calculate the optimum level of cherries that should be consumed to achieve the greatest health benefit. Dr. Reiter points out, “as we age, the human body’s ability to produce melatonin decreases,” so it may be beneficial to find a way to increase melatonin levels, particularly for the elderly. Including cherries as part of a healthy diet could be a way to do this.
Melatonin is a powerful antioxidant considered more potent that vitamins C, E, and A, because it is soluble both in fat and water.
New Research Shows the Power of Cherries
Recently published research conducted at Michigan State University investigated a range of fruits and berries for the level and activity of anthocyanins found in each.
Researchers analyzed the ability of the fruits to help maintain a healthy body and act as antioxidants to destroy free radicals. The researchers then quantified the anthocyanin levels of tart and sweet cherries, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, cranberries, elderberries and bilberries.
Researchers discovered that the antioxidant activity of anthocyanins from cherries was superior to vitamin E at a test concentration of 125 g/ml.
Anthocyanins 1 and 2 are present in both cherries and raspberries. The yields of pure anthocyanins 1 and 2 in 100 g in cherries and raspberries were the highest of the fruits tested at 26.5 and 24 mg, respectively. Fresh blackberries and strawberries contained only anthocyanin 2 at a total level of 22.5 and 18.2 mg/100 g, respectively; whereas anthocyanins 1 and 2 were not found in bilberries, blueberries, cranberries or elderberries.
Cherries and a healthy cardiovascular system
Cherries are packed with powerful health-promoting properties. Research indicates tart cherries contain at least 17 natural compounds including beta carotene, vitamin A, Melatonin and phenol compounds known as flavonoids.
Studies suggest flavonoids help promote cardiovascular health. Some of the specific flavonoids in cherries include anthocyanins, proanthocyanins and anthocyanidins. Anthocyanins are naturally occurring compounds that give fruits, vegetables and plants their vibrant color. Tart cherries are a good source of these vital flavonoids.
Brunswick Labs located in Wareham, MA discovered that tart cherries also contain a class of compounds called SOD (super oxide dismutase), which act as super scavengers of dangerous free radicals throughout the body. Very few foods contain SOD and the human body is often lacking in SOD.
Cherries and healthy joint function
The good news about the health benefits of cherries continues to increase. According to ongoing research, Montmorency tart cherries are a rich source of antioxidants. In addition, there are beneficial compounds in Montmorency tart cherries that may help maintain healthy joint function.
Other fruits and vegetable do not have the unique anthocyanin and antioxidant makeup similar to those of tart cherries.
While the research on the exact mechanisms that give cherries their unique ability to maintain healthy joint function, many consumers are discovering that tart cherry juice and other cherry products can help maintain an active lifestyle.
- Nature’s sleep support -supports natural sleep and relaxation
- Fight free radicals
- Supports the Immune system
- Supports balanced mood
- Anti-aging properties
- Supports the body’s response to stress, and worry
- Tart cherries are a potent antioxidant, packed with Melatonin
- Support joint mobility
- Support joint and muscle comfort
- Support cardiovascular health
- To manage post-exercise recovery with cherries
Tart Cherry Supplements and Tart Cherry Products
The tart cherry offers a number of ways to enjoy the natural health benefits including dried tart cherries, tart cherry juice concentrate, tart cherry capsules and more. Below are some of the ways and sources to incorporate tart cherries into your daily diet.
- Dried Tart Cherries: A handful of dried cherries make a great healthy snack or an addition to your morning cereal. They also make a good alternative to the candy in the candy jar next to your computer. Dried cherries make a great choice since they are available year round.
- Tart Cherry Juice Concentrate: It takes approximately 100 tart cherries to make one ounce of tart cherry juice. Tart cherry juice concentrate is a concentrated way to get the natural health.
- Tart Cherry Extract (Super Fruit Supplements): Tart cherry supplements are the most convenient and easiest way to get the natural health benefits of the tart cherry. These super fruit dietary supplements start with the whole cherry. The entire tart cherry, excluding the pit and the stem, is used to produce the tart cherry capsules, including the skin and the flesh of the fruit.
Sources for Tart Cherry Supplements and Products:
Traverse Bay Farms is based in in Bellaire, Michigan – the epic-center region of tart cherry farming. This area of Northwestern Michigan is often referred to as the “Traverse Bay” area.
The unique micro-climate and mineral-rich soil area of northwestern Michigan produces a wide variety of agricultural products. In fact, the area stretching along hundreds of miles of Lake Michigan shoreline produces some of the world’s finest fruit.
Traverse Bay Farms products pair the highest quality fruit with the most innovative manufacturing processes to produce gourmet fruit products and the proprietary line of fruit-based dietary supplements.
|Tart Cherry Juice Concentrate||Tart Cherry Capsules (capsules):
Traverse Bay Farms – The award winning Fruit advantage formula for Sour Cherry Extract Supplement
|Dried Tart Cherries:
Traverse Bay Farms has 4 different options available for you:
Dried Sweetened Tart Cherries,
Dried Natural Tart Cherries (no added sugar),
Organic Dried Tart Cherries and Chocolate-Covered Dried Tart Cherries
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