5 Game Changing Health Benefits of Tart Cherry Juice for Women [Ultimate Guide]
It’s cherry season! Here in NY state that means I can switch from frozen cherries to fresh- without having to mortgage my house. I love all cherries, even a maraschino in my Shirly Temple, but my favorites are sweet dark cherries and tart cherries, and both have amazing health benefits. Also, pie -cherries make awesome pies.
You probably don’t want to hinge your nutrition goals on pie, so keep reading to learn seven ways to use both sweet dark cherries and tart cherries in your meal plan. Before we get to the how, let’s look at why cherries are good for you.
Important nutrients in cherries
The nutritional benefits of both sweet dark cherries and tart Montmorency cherries are pretty close. Dark cherries have the same dark red color that indicates anthocyanins and phytonutrients as tart cherries, they are similar in calories, fiber, and anti-inflammatory properties, plus they both boast some important vitamins like vitamin A, B6, and vitamin C. So why all the hype around tart cherries? Because tart cherries are more widely studied. So, while you can experiment with both and make your own conclusion, the data is currently based on tart cherries and tart cherry juice, but that is no reason to skip sweet cherries if they are your favorite. All cherries have benefits and can be part of your meal plan.
Anthocyanins: these antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds are found in red, blue, and purple plants and they protect your body against oxidative stress and aging. These compounds are responsible for a number of benefits, but most importantly removing free radicals that age you from the inside out.
Vitamins: cherries contain some helpful vitamins, notably vitamin A, C, beta-carotene, and B6- supporting your immune system and overall wellness. While you would have to eat a large amount to get your daily recommendation from cherries alone, every little bit helps.
Fiber: helping you to detox every time you eat, fiber containing foods balance hormones, lower cholesterol, and balance blood sugar. If weight control, hormone imbalance, and gut health are on your agenda you need more cherries in your life.
Melatonin: if you’ve struggled with sleep, you have likely heard about the benefits of adding melatonin to your bed-time routine. A study done at Louisiana State University found that tart cherry juice not only helped getting to sleep but also how well participants slept as well- a real problem for women of any age, but especially the menopause years.
5 Surprising Benefits of Tart Cherries for Women
Anti-inflammatory- Tart cherry juice taken daily can help by counteracting stress and body wide inflammation caused by stress. This means less pain in your joints as well as reduced body wide aches and pains.
Sleep- tart cherry juice taken in the evening can help you get to sleep faster, stay asleep longer, and have more productive sleep. Creating a sleep friendly room and adding tart cherry juice can be exactly what you need to get your beauty sleep.
Muscle soreness- a study by Oregon Health & Science University found that tart cherry juice reduced muscle pain during running. Numerous other studies have found similar benefits for DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness). No more excuses to skip your favorite workout!
Brain fog, memory, and cognition- inflammation is tough on your brain health, the antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds in tart cherry juice support healthy brain tissue and function. A bowl of cherries while you work on your Sudoku puzzles will keep you sharp for a long time.
Lowers blood pressure- last but not least are the benefits to your blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar. These fiber containing stone fruits can help you keep your important numbers where they need to be. Make sure you enjoy them in moderation, because there is too much of a good thing- at almost 100 calories per cup too many will add up fast.
In addition to the 5 surprising benefits of cherries listed above, you can count on cherries to help you manage your weight, trim belly fat, and reduce your overall risk of cancer. In fact, you can consume cherries regularly in moderation to boost your overall wellness.
How to use cherries as part of your meal plan
There are many ways to indulge in both dark cherries and tart cherries, but beware that you don’t over consume these wonderful fruits. A 1 cup serving has about 75 calories and 2g of fiber, 18g of carbohydrates, and 1g of protein, you can enjoy cherries for the entire season as long as you are mindful of what you are eating.
When and how you enjoy your cherries depends on your goals. If sleep is the goal, a shot of tart cherry juice (1oz) in the evening is the way to go. You may opt to include frozen cherries in your post workout smoothie to help with post workout muscle soreness, and if blood sugar control is important to you then a cup of cherries with some almonds in the mid-afternoon is a great mid-day snack. A quick trip to Pinterest will give you an endless supply of ideas, or check out this recipe booklet.
Try these ideas for incorporating cherries in your daily meal plan:
Smoothies- whole cherries or tart cherry juice
Tart cherry spritzer- combine tart cherry juice with sparkling water
Fresh cherries with almonds
Toss cherries in your salad
On your breakfast cereal
Garnish your favorite beverage
The bottom line, whether fresh from the farm stand, frozen during the off season, or in the form of tart cherry juice mixed in your smoothie, cherries can be a beneficial piece to your wellness plan- especially if you are looking to lose weight, manage diabetes, or want to defy aging. Except for an allergy there are very few reasons to not eat cherries.
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