Blueberries, cranberries and oranges are the antioxidant superstars.
But could there be a new one above all these?
Tart cherry surely qualifies for this spot.
The best way to consume tart cherries is in the form of juice and that’s what today’s blog is.
We will describe its types, benefits, side effects and some scrumptious recipes.
So, let’s slide.
What Is Tart Cherry?
Sour or tart cherries have a smaller size than the average Bing cherries and have less sugar in them. While a cup of bing cherries have 18g of sugar, the same amount of tart cherries have 10g.
They are darker (almost black) in color and possess a shine. Juice extracted from tart cherries is called tart cherry juice.
How many forms of Tart cherry juice are there?
There are three forms in which it can be taken.
- From concentrate: It means the tart cherries were dehydrated, frozen and then rehydrated with water.
- Not from concentrate: It means no water was removed during the processing. Its simply packaged fresh juice.
- Frozen concentrate: It means cherries were dehydrated, condensed and frozen. It is actually a syrup.
What does it have?
One cup of tart cherries without pits (155g) contains 78 calories and the following.
- Carbohydrate: 18.9g
- Fat: 0.5g
- Protein: 1.6g
- Vitamin A: 40% of DVA
- Vitamin C: 26% of DVA
Other than this, it contains traces of Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Potassium and Copper and a high amount of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory polyphenol compounds.
Tart Cherry Juice Benefits – Why should you take it?
There are several benefits of including it in your daily intake. Proven by scientific researches, here’s what you can achieve by drinking it.
1. Reduces inflammation and Arthritis pains
Enzymes that cause inflammation in joints and muscles have to be stopped. It does that and there is scientific proof to support that.
A study was conducted on 20 women who were given 10.5 oz drink twice daily for 21 days. All of them experienced a significant decrease in inflammation and OA (Osteoarthritis) pains.
Another study done on the runners before their marathon experience, also confirmed reduced inflammation and fast recovery after the intake of tart cherry juice.
This was due to the high level of antioxidants present in it. So if you are a runner, you should certainly start adding this drink in your routine.
Because it can reduce your lap time and increase efficiency. Another great product rich in antioxidants is purple tea.
Arthritis is a common problem and apart from this juice, requires some consistent additions in daily routines.
2. Reduces heart diseases
It has been confirmed by studies that regular consumption of the juice lowers the risk factors of CVD (Cardiovascular diseases).
It reduces bad cholesterol (known as LDL or low-density lipoprotein) and systolic blood pressure due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
3. Improves your sleep
And there are no second thoughts about it.
One thing which sets tart cherries apart from other fruits and vegetables is the high percentage of melatonin which is responsible for managing your sleep patterns.
Activities like watching movies on the laptop, using your mobile before sleeping, watching excess TV can disturb the secretion of melatonin and unless the brain receives it, you aren’t unable to sleep well.
Tart juice gives your body this hormone and assures a good sleep. In case any of your friends have insomnia or any other sleep disorder, you should recommend it to him/her now.
All the three benefits above are depicted beautifully by Dr.Oz in this video.
4. Enhances cognitive abilities
Montmorency tart cherry juice is naturally loaded up with anthocyanins which are linked to improved brain function. Researchers found that to be true on the part of it having these compounds.
Sheau Ching Chai said in the conference that “ The potential beneficial effects of tart cherries may be related to the bioactive compounds they possess, which include polyphenols, anthocyanins and melanin.”
It reduces stress levels, improves your memory and information processing.
Talking about melanin, it is a polymer responsible for giving color to your skin. Higher levels of melanin give dark skin color like bronze, brown and black.
5. Decrease the occurrence of gout pains
We have mentioned in the first point how it is helpful in arthritis. Gout is a painful form of arthritis characterized by stiffness and soreness in knees, big toe, elbows and wrists due to the accumulation of uric acid.
Intake of cherries reduces the amount of uric acid and thus is helpful for gout pains. That being said, it is not permissible by doctors to have tart cherry extract or juice during acute gout attacks.
A research done in 2012 was published in the American College of Rheumatology which concluded that the intake of cherries reduced levels of gout-causing uric acid.
While this research was not specifically on tart cherries; however considering both cherries and tart cherries are not very different in terms of constituents, the similar effect can be linked to tart cherry juice as well.
How to add tart cherry juice in your diet
So what are the different ways of adding this antioxidant master in your diet?
- The simplest way is to have one or two cups of unsweetened tart juice daily (without additives and excess sugar). You can store a full jug in the fridge with the help of seal lids and continue consuming it for days.
- 2 spoons of frozen concentrate can be added in a cup of cold water to make a delicious tart juice instantly.
- Powdered form of tart cherry extract can be mixed with water to prepare juice as well. They are sold in packets in grocery stores.
- Make your own natural tart cherry juice by boiling them, mashing them, sieving them and then transferring in a can. Fill your glasses anytime with the help of an electric dispenser.
How much tart cherry juice should you drink a day?
That depends on your choice. But considering the dosages given to the subjects of the research experiments, we recommend 2 glasses (8-10 ounces each) per day.
And don’t expect all the benefits to come across you in a day or two. Give it time. It will eventually become a helpful part of your lifestyle.
Tart cherry juice recipes
We can’t leave you without some mouthwatering recipes that can be made with the juice.
Not everyone will like tart cherry juice so you would need to mix and match it with other edibles. Especially the children because it is not very sweet.
1. Tart Cherry Smoothie
|Coconut Water||Half glass|
|Tart Cherry Juice||One glass|
|Greek Yogurt||4 Tablespoon|
|Sugar||According to taste|
|Mix all the ingredients and add ice in it|
2. Tart Cherry Yogurt Parfait
|Greek Yogurt||One cup|
|Tart Cherry Juice Concentrate||3 Tablespoon|
|Dried Tart Cherries||7-8|
|1. Mix the concentrate with yogurt.
2. Shift half of it in a cup.
3. Garnish with granola and dried cherries.
4. Make another layer of yogurt.
5. Top it up with granola, dried cherries, almond powder and white chocolate
3. Tart Cherry Pie
4. Chocolate Cherry Brownies
5. Tart Cherry Salad
|Tart Cherry Concentrate||1/4 cup|
|Rice Vinegar||4 Tablespoon|
|Olive Oil||3 Tablespoon|
|Grainy Mustard||1 Tablespoon|
|Salt+Pepper||According to taste|
|Bell pepper||Half cup|
|1. Mix the concentrate, rice vinegar, olive oil, grainy mustard, salt and pepper together.
2. Add the other ingredients.
3. Mix them using a spatula, fork or spoon.
Why you shouldn’t eat tart cherry juice – Possible side effects
Are there any side effects to this brilliant beverage?
Yes, but only if consumed in a large amount.
It could cause diarrheas and indigestion (in people with a history of poor digestive system). There is not enough medical information to prove these effects so it can be said that it is fully safe.
That being said, pregnant ladies or people with ailments must ask their doctors before its consumption.
Can your pets eat tart cherry juice?
Dogs and cats are the top pets of Americans.
And both of them can have it!
A sigh of excitement for sure for the pet owners – yet another treat for their canines!
While non-fruity parts of the cherries are harmful to cats, its juice is completely risk-free.
And that applies to dogs as well. They can drink juice whenever they like.
But the quantity is the key. There is always “too much” for the pets when we talk about such treats so do consider that.
Where to buy?
It’s largely available in superstores and grocery stores but you should look to buy pure and unsweetened cherry juice to gain the advantages fully.
Tart Cherry Concentrate is the most advised option as it can suffice for a healthy juice supply for half a month (or month) unlike the juice which either has the problem to be stored (if bought in plenty) or being consumed quickly (if bought 1-2 packs daily)
Then, there are online stores that sell high-quality extracts and juices. You can easily find various options there as well which shows how popular it is among the communities.
So the conclusion is that tart cherry juice is a great beverage to include in your daily routine. It is helpful with no proven side effects. Have you ever tried it? Let us know in the comment section.