If I’m being truthful, sometimes following a healthy lifestyle gets a little boring. Using the same food, drinks and exercise routines gets tedious pretty quickly. Spicing things up is the best way to keep your motivation high and your attention on point.
I recently found myself sick and tired of the same old routine, so I started researching new foods with impressive health benefits. I came across some amazing information about cherries along the way.
While there are a few different types of cherries out there, black cherries are my favorite type. They have a slightly sharper taste than sweet cherries – I find they’re a great contrast when used in recipes that call for cherries and dark chocolate (another one of my favorite things!).
Aside from going well with dark chocolate, black cherries actually have a surprising range of health benefits. The more I researched, the more I realized how incredibly impressive these little red fruits were. That being said, let me take a minute to share all of these amazing black cherry benefits with you.
All About Black Cherries
Black cherries, also known as Prunus serotina, is a “woody plant species” according to Wikipedia. This plant is common throughout North America and South America. Black cherries are most popular for their use in jams, jellies and pies. They are also an ingredient in many sodas and ice creams. The wood of the plant is often used for smoking foods too.
Since pies and sodas aren’t the most ideal way to get your daily intake of cherries, I want to talk to you today about black cherry juice. Drinking black cherry juice or black cherry juice concentrate is a quick and simple way to get all the benefits cherries have to offer, without the added sugar.
As you read on, you’ll be surprised at just how many benefits you’ll be served in a simple helping of these tasty little fruits.
8 Health Benefits of Black Cherry Juice
While research isn’t extensive when it comes to black cherry juice benefits, some of their main ingredients are said to help with a variety of health issues. This is mainly due to an important antioxidant family called “anthocyanins”. Anthocyanins are plant pigments that have highly powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory characteristics. Cherries are a great source of anthocyanins.
Not only do black cherries contain important antioxidants, they’re also packed with vitamins and minerals that are integral to good health. On the nutrition label of black cherry juice drinks you’ll see that it contains protein, calcium, iron and potassium; all amazing and necessary ingredients for a happy, healthy life.
Vitamins, minerals and antioxidants are great, but I want to get down to the nitty gritty about what truly makes black cherry juice a great addition to your diet. So without further ado, here are 9 black cherry juice benefits.
1. Reduces Pain Symptoms from Arthritis and Gout
When scouring the internet, it suddenly seemed like common knowledge that black cherries have the power to reduce inflammation. This is very important if you suffer from arthritis or gout. Inflammation is the main cause of these conditions and by reducing the inflammation in your body, you can often ease your symptoms.
Gout, in particular, is a type of arthritis that is caused by buildup of uric acid in the body. This causes your joints to become inflamed. The University of Maryland Medical Centerfound that gout attacks can be reduced within two weeks by drinking 8 to 16 ounces of cherry juice a day. Isn’t that truly incredible? I love hearing about natural “painkillers” like this.
It doesn’t stop there. The Arthritis Foundation mentions a study carried out by Boston University Medical Center. It was found that “eating at least 10 cherries a day protected people with existing gout from recurrent attacks.” One of the co-authors on the study states that “Cherry intake was associated with a 50 percent lower risk of gout flares over a 48-hour period.”
As mentioned, these effects are most likely linked to the anthocyanins in cherries. You can find this antioxidant in red and purple fruits like blueberries and raspberries.
However cherries, especially tart cherries, have higher levels, making it a great treatment for gout. If you want to see the benefits for yourself, you can find plenty of reviews on black cherry juice for gout relief on YouTube.
2. Decreases Exercise-Induced Muscle Soreness
Since anthocyanins help reduce inflammation, this means they can also help reduce muscle soreness after workouts. This Huffington Post article states that research has proven that “drinking cherry juice helped reduce muscle soreness and damage after exercise.”
Several studies have been done in this area. The health experts over at Greatist state that one study found “cherry supplements (1 pill had the anti-inflammatory content of about 100 cherries) reduced muscle soreness by 24% two days after a strenuous resistance workout.”
Another study found that drinking tart cherry juice 7 days prior to and during a strenuous running event can help reduce post-run muscle pains and strains. This tidbit of information was especially important for me as I’m currently training for my 3rd marathon! The last one I did was just plain brutal on my legs. I’ll definitely be implementing some cherry juice into my routine for a week prior to my next race.
3. Eliminates Migraines
Black cherry juice is also known to help eliminate migraines. Migraines may be triggered by inflammation. As we already learned, black cherry juice is a great way to help reduce inflammation.
Mercola states, “By helping reduce inflammation in the body, the anthocyanin and bioflavonoids in cherries also help eliminate migraine headaches. These compounds are known to have similar activity to aspirin and ibuprofen.”
This is another amazing finding for migraine sufferers. I have so many friends who suffer from migraines and sharing this information with them made their day. They just got started on cherry juice regimens so I’m still waiting to hear how things pan out.
4. Improves Sleep Quality
According to Forbes, cherries are one of the few foods that have naturally-occurring melatonin.
Melatonin is the chemical that helps control your body’s internal clock and regulates your sleep patterns. Researchers recommend eating cherries one hour before bedtime for the best results.
Mercola backs this information by explaining that your body rapidly absorbs melatonin so increasing your intake through cherry consumption can up your levels and therefore improving your sleep quality.
5. Fights Cancer
As we’ve mentioned several times now – cherries are rich in antioxidants. Do you know something else that antioxidants can do? They fight cancer! There are these nasty little things called free radicals that damage the cells of our body. Most free radical damage is a product of environmental toxins. Unfortunately free radicals and the damage they cause can increase your risk of cancer. The way to fight free radicals is with antioxidants!
According to Mercola, queritrin is a flavonoid that is found in cherries and is said to be an extremely potent anti-cancer agent. Making cherries a part of your diet means you are sending these cancer-fighters out into your body and decreasing your risk of disease.
Cherries also contain a naturally-occurring plant phenolic called “ellagic acid”. According to some researchers, this acid might be one of the best ways to prevent cancer.Cherries also have an ingredient called perillyl alcohol or POH.
This is said to be effective at reducing all type of cancer. According to Mercola, “Researchers found that POH stops the growth of cancer cells by depriving them of the proteins they need to grow. It has worked on every kind of cancer that POH has been tested against.”
Again, wow! I feel like I don’t even have to keep going here, but I will, because there are still more benefits to talk about!
6. Keeps Hair & Skin Healthy
Since cherries are rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, they’re are also good for your skin and hair. We often think of nutrition for our internal body only.
What we don’t’ realize is that our skin and hair and outer appearance actually suffer when our diet is lacking too. Adding foods that are rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants will improve the health of your outer body too.
According to StyleCraze, black cherry juice is rich in iron. Iron deficiency is suspected to be one of the most common causes of hair loss. Black cherry fruit extract is often an active ingredient in many hair supplements and vitamins.
7. Helps with Weight Maintenance
According to Fox News, eating cherries can help you stay thin and lose weight. One cup of cherries contains less than 100 calories and has 3 grams of fiber. Fiber is integral to helping you feel fuller longer which means fewer cravings and bad choices. Cherries also contain several B-vitamins which are integral in helping your metabolism convert nutrients into energy.
All these things make it clear that black cherries are a great snack option if you are looking to maintain your weight or lose a few excess pounds.
You could try adding black cherry juice to your morning smoothie to get that added boost of fiber and vitamins to keep you going strong for the rest of the day or just keep a bowl full of cherries in your fridge and pop a few each time you peek in.
8. Lowers Blood Pressure
Fox News explains that cherries can help you naturally lower your blood pressure. This is because black cherries are an excellent source of potassium. Potassium helps lower blood pressure by regulating the amount of sodium in your body. As you might have already guessed, too much sodium can cause high blood pressure.
Making sure you get an adequate amount of potassium in your diet will help prevent full-blown hypertension. According to FoxNews “one cup of cherries has the same amount of potassium as a banana…”. So if you are getting sick and tired of bananas for breakfast, try a black cherry juice smoothie instead!
Where to Find Black Cherry Juice
Black cherry juice can easily be found in the juice aisle of most grocery stores or you can almost always find it in your local natural grocery store. You can also find plenty of all-natural options on Amazon or even go the capsule route if you prefer to swallow a pill.
Be aware that cherry juices often come in concentrate form so you’ll want to be sure to mix with an adequate amount of water before consuming. Another option is to simply take a shot or two of the actual concentrate each day.
The great thing about black cherries is that you can consume them in a wide variety of different ways. If black cherry juice isn’t your thing you can always just eat them raw, toss them in your morning yogurt, cook them into a pie or cake or juice them.
Will You Give Black Cherry Juice a Try?
As you can see, the amount of black cherry juice benefits is really intriguing. Since learning all this, I’ve kept a bottle of black cherry juice in my fridge and have started eating them raw too. It makes me excited to know that adding one simple and tasty treat to my diet can really affect my health so positively.
As a recap, I shared that black cherry juice has several amazing benefits for your health and body. These include:
- Decreasing arthritis and gout symptoms
- Reducing post-exercise muscle soreness
- Eliminating migraines
- Improving sleep quality
- Fighting Cancer
- Promoting healthy hair and skin
- Managing your weight
So what do you think? Will you try out black cherry juice next time you are at the store? If you try it and notice any positive effects I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!