Tart cherries are a bright red acidic fruit with a sour taste.
Compared to fresh sweet cherries, sour cherries are rich in vitamin A and antioxidant nutrients.
The tart cherries are used to make tart cherry juice.
One cup of tart cherry juice (8oz or 240ml) contains about 37 g of carbohydrates, 0.8g of protein, 1.5g of fat, and the following nutrients: iron, copper, magnesium, vitamin A, potassium, and manganese.
Keep reading to learn some key health benefits of drinking tart cherry juice.
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10 health benefits of tart cherry juice
The following are some of the health benefits of tart cherry juice.
1) Promotes retrieval after a workout
The high potassium levels of tart cherry juice make it more useful in recovery after a workout as it helps electric impulses through the whole body.
Potassium helps maintain hydration, blood pressure, digestion, heart rate, nerve impulses, and pH, improving muscle recovery.
In this way, tart cherry juice promotes exercise endurance and blood flow.
2) Promotes adequate sleep
Melatonin is a hormone generally produced as a response to a dark environment by the brain. People experiencing sleeping difficulties may have low levels of melatonin in the brain.
Tart cherry juice can help improve sleep duration and quality as it increases the amount of melatonin in the brain.
Moreover, tart cherry juice contains another special chemical called tryptophan, an amino acid that converts into serotonin, also known as the happy hormone.
Serotonin helps improve sleep quality and duration and overall mood. Considering the sleep-related benefits of tart cherry juice, drinking it before bed is advisable.
3) Boosts immunity
Tart cherry juice contains powerful nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. It contains vitamins A, C, and K and minerals such as zinc, potassium, copper, magnesium, manganese, iron, antioxidants, anthocyanin, and phytonutrients.
Most of these nutrients prevent cellular damage and decrease oxidative stress on different body organs.
It can increase immunity against diseases and infections, promoting overall body health.
4) Relieves pain from arthritis and gout
Tart cherry juice aids in reducing inflammation and lowering joint pain, such as in arthritis or gout.
Arthritis-related joint pain is common among American adults, affecting about 15 million people.
Tart cherry juice reduces the pain and local inflammation around an affected joint, resulting in decreased swelling of the joint and an increase in its mobility.
Gout is a medical condition caused by increased levels of uric acid and characterized by joint pain and swelling.
Drinking tart cherry juice decreases the amount of uric acid in the body, relieving the symptoms of gout.
5) Decreases inflammation
Long-term inflammation can lead to several health problems, including heart disease, lung disease, liver failure, and pain.
Tart cherry juice reduces the amount of inflammatory marks in the body, resulting in decreased inflammation and a lesser risk of developing chronic diseases.
6) Enhances physical strength
Active people who do physical activities need tart cherry juice to reduce cramps and muscle soreness.
Runners taking it before and after the race can prevent excessive fatigue and muscle soreness.
This juice promotes muscle strength and physical endurance, decreasing muscle cramps and soreness.
7) Reduces cancer risk
Tart cherry juice aids in reducing the risk of cancer by decreasing the production of free radicals. These free radicals are usually responsible for tumor formation in the body.
Furthermore, tart cherry juice is rich in a special chemical called Quercetin that reduces the risk of certain types of cancer and cardiovascular diseases.
8) Reduces peripheral neuropathy
Damage to the peripheral nervous system can lead to peripheral neuropathy, in which nerves get impaired and cause pain.
Tart cherry juice can decrease nerve pain and inflammation, improving the symptoms of peripheral neuropathy.
9) Regulates metabolism and helps in fat reduction
Tart cherry juice regulates the body’s metabolic rate, improving body functioning and reducing the risk of type-2 diabetes and other metabolic disease.
Moreover, it also helps decrease abdominal fat and the fat mass percentage in the body.
10) Improves brain functioning and cognition
Oxidation of free radicals leads to oxidative stress, which harms brain health and causes Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s diseases.
Tart cherry juice has antioxidants that prevent brain cells from oxidative stress, keeping them healthy and functional.
Sourish cherry juices improve cognition, promote healthy memory, and improve individuals’ activities.
A study revealed that individuals who drink tart cherry juice for 12 weeks may see improvement in working memory and visual attention.
How to make tart cherry juice
Tart cherry juice can be made using different methods, such as blending, juicer, hand squeezing, or meshing techniques. Let’s have a look at these methods.
- Step 1: Take some cherries, wash them, and abolish the pits of the cherry.
- Step 2: Put cherries into a blender. Add some water, and for 1 cup of cherries, add 1/4 cup water. Blend it until it gets smooth and appears like juice.
- Step 3: If you like pulpy, drink it as it is. Otherwise, use a fine mesh strainer to remove the pulp.
Meshing or hand-squeezing method
- Step 1: Wash the cherries and pit them.
- Step 2: Put it into a bowl or a flat dish. Use a masher such as a potato masher or a tool that can mesh cherries to extract the juice.
- Step 3: Strain it and mesh the pulp to extract the juice as much as possible.
- Similarly, in the hand-squeezing method, use your hand to squeeze the cherries, get the extract, and drink it after pouring it into the glass after straining.
- Step 1: Take some cherries, wash them, and pull out pits.
- Step 2: Put them into the juicer.
- Step 3: Take out the juice, pour it into a glass, and drink. Water can also be added to dilute it.
Moreover, you may mix tart cherry juice with other ingredients like soda, cocktails, or apple or orange juice. A small amount of summer lemonade can also be added to tart cherry juice.
Are there any side effects of drinking tart cherry juice?
Yes, tart cherry juice can cause some side effects. It contains high quantities of sorbitol, a natural sugar present in some plants or fruits like prunes.
Sorbitol can cause many gastrointestinal issues, such as diarrhea, bloating, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Common side effects associated with tart cherry juice include the following:
- Abdominal discomfort
- Sleep problems
- Unexpected weight loss
- Poor appetite (or excessive hunger)
It may sometimes lead to severe conditions, such as the following:
- Excessive sleep
- Cognitive failure
- Memory changes
If you experience these side effects while drinking tart cherry juice, it is better to stop taking it and discuss these side effects with your healthcare provider.
Moreover, tart cherry juice may also interact with certain medications, including blood pressure and cholesterol-lowering medicines; thus, discussing it with your healthcare professional before drinking it is recommended.
Tart cherry juice is extracted from fresh cherries of bright-red colored tart cherries. It is unique to other cherries due to its tartness, which gives a bit of a bitter taste.
Tart cherries are rich in minerals, vitamins, phytochemicals, and anthocyanins with antioxidant properties.
Tart cherry juice aids digestion, helps prevent cancer, improves sleep, reduces infection, and boosts immunity.
It also acts as an anti-inflammatory and maintains blood pressure, reducing the risk of gout, muscle soreness, weak muscles, and joint pains, including arthritis-related pain.
Tart cherry juice is helpful for athletes or marathon racers as it promotes muscle strength and reduces cramps.
It can be extracted by many methods, such as squeezing with a hand, a masher, a juicer, or a blender.