The Surprising Benefits of Tart CherriesSep 06, 2023
Tart cherries, often referred to as sour cherries or Montmorency cherries, are small, red fruits that pack a big punch when it comes to health and performance benefits. Beyond their delicious tangy flavor, these cherries are loaded with essential nutrients and compounds that can positively impact overall well-being. Here are some of the impressive benefits of incorporating tart cherries into your daily nutrition plan:
1. Anti-inflammatory properties - tart cherries are a rich source of antioxidants, particularly anthocyanins. These powerful compounds have anti-inflammatory effects and may help reduce inflammation in the body. This can be beneficial for managing conditions like arthritis and muscle soreness.
2. Improved sleep quality - tart cherries are naturally high in melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep-wake cycles. Consuming tart cherry juice or cherries themselves in the evening may help improve sleep duration and quality, making them a natural remedy for insomnia or sleep disturbances.
3. Enhanced exercise recovery - the anti-inflammatory properties of tart cherries can aid in post-exercise recovery. Using tart cherries may help reduce muscle soreness and speed up recovery time.
4. Heart health - regular consumption of tart cherries may contribute to heart health. Their anthocyanins can help lower blood pressure, reduce cholesterol level and decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease.
5. Brain health - emerging research suggests that the antioxidants in tart cherries may support cognitive function and protect against age-related cognitive decline.
6. Gut health - tart cherries contain dietary fiber, which can promote a healthy digestive system by aiding in regular bowel movements and supporting gut bacteria.
How to Enjoy Tart Cherries:
Try these various ways of incorporating tart cherries into your daily nutrition plan:
- Fresh - enjoy them as a snack or add them to salads, yogurt or oatmeal.
- Dried - tart cherries make a delicious addition to trail mix or baked goods.
- Juice - tart cherry juice is a convenient way to reap the benefits.
- Supplements - tart cherry supplements, available in various forms, can be an option if you prefer a concentrated source of the fruit's compounds.
There are many great ways to enjoy tart cherries and I would highly recommend incorporating them into your daily nutrition plan. Try various forms for about 4 weeks to note any benefits they provide you. One of my favorites is THIS ONE from Cherry Bay Orchards. I personally like mixing 1-2 tablespoons with 6-8 ounces of water and enjoy it after dinner.
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