Looking for something new to add to your superfood shopping list? Then consider black cherries! There are countless benefits of black cherry juice and these go way beyond the more typical fruits in your basket (apples, oranges, and pears, oh my!).
In fact, all cherries and any cherry juice will do you a ton of good. But black cherries in particular have a great taste and a few benefits of their own. In this article, I will outline several of these benefits, and let you know why you should consider adding cherries as a more substantial part of your diet.
To discover all the benefits of black cherry juice, read on!
What Are Black Cherries?
Black cherries are known as prunusserotina. This literally translates as ‘woody plant species’ and is found throughout North America and South America. Black cherries often find their way into jams, pies, and jellies and they have a slightly sharper taste than regular cherries. They’re also ideal for ice creams.
Note that most of the benefits you find here will also come from regular fresh cherries. Choosing black cherries just changes the flavor slightly and may slightly alter some of the benefits. The best option? Mix both into a bowl! Keep reading below to discover why dietitians are dancing with joy about the health benefits of black cherry juice!
Black Cherry Juice
Of course, one of the most popular ways to get your fix of black cherries these days is with black cherry juice. Many companies make and sell black cherry juice, and you can find it in most grocery stores.
Your primary concern in picking a black cherry juice is to find one that is unsweetened. Added sugar just means more calories. Check the labels on bottles for high-sugar contents and stay away from added sugars. All fruit contains natural sugar, but added sugar is highly processed and best to avoid. You want a natural juice that won’t have the unhealthy aspects of your typical brand-name fruit juice. Keep in mind that the lack of sugar typically results in tart cherry juice, but many people find it to be a taste that they grow to enjoy.
Cherry juice can be made from several different varieties of cherries – including Montmorency cherries, or a sweeter type of black cherries.
Powerful Heath Benefits of Black Cherry Juice
Of course, you probably came to this article to learn about all the benefits of cherry juice. As with any “superfood” variety, there are a lot of benefits to consider, so many that it can be tough to keep track. So read on to learn about all the positives of this powerful fruit juice.
Anti- Inflammatory properties
If you suffer from arthritis or osteoarthritis, then increasing your intake of cherries and cherry juice can’t hurt. That’s because uric acid is one of the main culprits behind the joint pain and inflammation associated with these conditions – which also happens to be reduced by up to 15% if you get a regular intake of cherries. Nutrients in black cherries are proven to reduce inflammation.
According to one study a few years back, one cherry’s worth of juice doesn’t just contain a lot of antioxidants, but five times the amount of some of the other best sources.
One 250ml glass of the juice apparently contains more antioxidants than five portions of tomatoes, which is pretty crazy. That’s actually what gives cherries (and their juice) the red color: it comes from flavonoids which are powerful antioxidants. Note that this is a particular brand however (called ‘CherryActive’) and not every glass will pack quite the same punch.
Many people use a warm glass of milk before bed as a way to stimulate melatonin production and help themselves get better sleep. Drinking tart cherry juice can work even better for this purpose, as it contains a large amount of said melatonin. This works especially well with ‘tart cherries’. The effects of melatonin can be great for helping with a good night’s sleep, and can even help with insomnia.
Let’s be honest – most people aren’t all that bothered with superfoods unless they can help them lose weight and shed that belly fat. Good news then, as cherry juice can do that too! Thanks to high quantities of thiamine, riboflavin, and vitamin B6 – all of which play crucial roles in increasing your metabolism and helping your body convert glucose into usable energy. The cherries themselves are also low in calories (a cup is around 90 calories) and high in fiber, so they’re a great and filling snack.
But bear in mind, cherry juice does contain a large amount of sugar – as do most fruit drinks. As well as potentially adding weight, this can also damage your teeth and so for these reasons you probably don’t want to drink too much of it. So while juice concentrate can be a great way to get the benefits of cherries, sometimes the best form of consumption is the old-fashioned way.
As mentioned, cherries can help your body to get more out of the carbs you eat. This doesn’t just mean that they won’t be as likely to head to your hips, but it also means that you’ll get more benefits from them and keep yourself from flagging. A glass of tart cherry juice is a great pick-me-up when your blood sugar is getting low.
As an added black cherry juice health benefit, you’ll also get a good amount of iron from this fruit. That’s good news because iron is what is used to create the red blood cells – the ones that carry oxygen around the body. When you don’t have enough iron, you suffer from a condition called anemia that results in pale skin, low energy, and other health problems. Add iron to your diet conversely, and you’ll feel more energetic!
Blood Pressure and Cramps
Cherry juice is also a great source of potassium which has the effect of removing unneeded sodium from our bodies. This helps to keep the two in balance which can help to reduce high blood pressure and improve heart health. Meanwhile, much like bananas, cherry juice can also prevent cramping through the night – if you wake up often with pain in your foot or calf then this could help to solve the issue.
Black cherry juice may also be effective at fighting migraines. That’s because – as we have seen – cherries have incredible anti-inflammatory properties. Well, as it turns out, inflammation might just be one of the key causes of migraines.
Anthocyanin and bioflavonoids found in the cherry extract can help to reduce this inflammation and potentially help to ease the discomfort you get from headaches.
Research shows sweet cherries can soothe some side effects of gout. Some studies have suggested that regular consumption of cherries will help to reduce the risk of gout attacks. However, the data is unclear as to how often you should be consuming cherries to achieve this effect. Other research has shown cherries to result in a lower uric acid level in the blood (which can trigger gout attacks).
Although more research certainly needs to be done on the relation between cherry consumption and gout, initial results are positive, and you can’t really go wrong adding cherries to your diet regardless.
For an Active Lifestyle
Based on all the beneficial effects listed so far, it probably wouldn’t surprise you to learn that cherries can help in recovery from exercise and muscle activity. Some studies have shown that drinking cherry juice leading up to a long run can help to decrease post-run muscle pain. Other studies have pointed to the effects of cherry juice in aiding muscle recovery in general. Tart cherry juice accelerates strength recovery after a workout which can reduce muscle damage. Researchers studying the health benefits of black cherries on professional athletes suggest 8-12 ounces of tart black cherry juice a day. Or 1 ounce of juice concentrate. Results have shown black cherry juice to be beneficial in recovery because it reduces oxidative stress, lessens pain, and may improve your performance.
So maybe consider adding some cherries to your diet alongside your protein.
Healthy Skin and Hair
Anything that is this rich in vitamins and minerals is going to be a fantastic choice for your skin. When you don’t get enough vitamins in your diet, your skin is one of the first places this becomes apparent, as it starts to suffer from a lack of healthy oils and important building blocks.
One of the health benefits of black cherry juice, in particular, is that it is high in iron. This means that it can help to prevent hair loss potentially, as well as to improve healthy circulation for a better-looking complexion. It also contains high amounts of vitamin C and vitamin A, both beneficial for skin health.
DOMS is ‘delayed onset muscle soreness’ – AKA the aching muscles you get after a good workout (especially on leg day). DOMS is yet one more thing that can be helped by black cherry juice. Apparently, 1 pill containing cherry concentrate can reduce muscle soreness by 24%!
We all know that fruit is good for us, but you might be surprised to learn just how many benefits of tart cherry juice there are! Reducing the risk of heart disease, improving sleep quality, and lowering hypertension are just a few!
How you consume your cherries is up to you. While black cherry juice is certainly a popular option, there is nothing wrong with simply consuming fresh sweet cherries from the local produce market. Another option is a cherry concentrate. It is very similar to cherry juice but allows you to dilute the concentrate with your preferred flavors and liquids.
How do you like to eat your cherries? Are there any other benefits you have noticed since adding cherries to your diet? Let us know in the comments below!