Varieties of the ‘sweet’ cherry have been native to areas throughout the world, from Asia and North Africa, to Northern Europe. Varieties existed in the US, though its sweet relative wasn’t introduced to North America until the eighteenth century. Its consumption dates to prehistoric times, as early as the Stone Age (roughly beginning nearly 3 million years ago!). Anthropologists believe our early ancestors may have appreciated cherries for their antioxidants, although from ancient Greece to modern times, the fruit has been most beloved for its sweet flavor and flowering tree.
Research Updatecherry juice
A recent study shows that runners who drank 2 10-oz glasses of tart cherry juice per day for 1 week before a race reported 67% less pain following exercise than runners who did not drink the cherry juice.
Both sweet and tart cherries are a rich source of vitamins and minerals that help the body fight disease and stress. Special nutrients in tart cherries have been shown to prevent pre-diabetes, neurological disease, cancers, and aging.
Sour cherries are particularly good for insomnia! In a recent study, participants drank eight ounces of tart cherry juice in the morning, and again in the evening for two weeks. All participants reported better sleep. All cherries are naturally high in melatonin, a compound that makes us sleepy.
cherry benefitsCherry juice is an excellent source of copper, iron, manganese, potassium and zinc which are all key components of heart health. Anti-oxidants beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin fight aging and certain cancers. Yet another anti-oxidant, melatonin, especially concentrated in cherries, diminishes stress, headaches and insomnia.
While low in calories, cherries are exceptionally high in polyphenolic flavonoid compounds termed ‘anthocyanin glycosides.’ These compounds are concentrated in the fruit skin, and act as strong anti-oxidants, helping remove harmful free radicals which cause aging. By blocking certain enzymes (cycloxygenase-1 and 2), this anthocyanin has exceptional anti-inflammatory qualities which are believed to help relieve painful chronic diseases such as arthritis, fibromyalgia and gout.
Cherry Juice & Smoothie Recipes
25 Cherries – keep the skin but not the pits
1/2 Cucumber, peeled
4 leaves Mint
Cherry Apple Juice
10 Cherries – without pits
2 Apples – seeds, core, skin and all!
2 spears Broccoli
More delicious and powerful recipes can be found in Juicing & Smoothie Recipes That Heal! available here in the box on the right and for Kindle, Nook and iPad users at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and iBooks.