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Tart cherry, also known as sour or dwarf cherry, is a tree native to much of Europe and South West Asia. It is closely related to the sweet cherry but has more of an acidic fruit. Tart Cherry has been used since ancient times. The Persians and the Romans introduced them into Britain long before the 1st century AD. Tart Cherries have many health benefits including enormous antioxidant benefits and help with sleep disorders.
Tart Cherry Supplements
Tart Cherry comes in many different forms. You can get it in capsule form(also chewable tablets or gummies), which you take as an added vitamin to your daily supplement regimen. There is also tart cherry powder which you could add to a smoothie and tart cherry juice that you can drink. You can also buy actual tart cherry fruit that you can buy when in season, usually from June to July. Some stores offer them frozen when you cannot get them in season. I really like this brand by Townsend Farms and they usually have it at Costco. I tried these Nature’s Way brand capsule form and they work Great!
Tart Cherry Lowers Blood Pressure and Cholesterol
In a study done on a total of 37 people, participants between the ages 65-80 were randomly assigned to consume 480 mL of tart cherry juice daily for 12 weeks. The findings were, the tart cherry juice significantly increased the plasma levels of DNA repair activity. The study suggests the ability of tart cherry juice to significantly reduce systolic blood pressure and lower LDL cholesterol. It is believed in part to be due its anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory properties.
Decreases Muscle Pain and Soreness
Multiple studies have shown the benefits of Tart Cherry on effectively reducing inflammation, muscle damage, and muscle soreness following exercise. In one study 23 resistance trained men volunteered to participate and were randomly assigned to ingest in a double blind manner capsules containing a placebo or tart cherry capsules one time daily for 10 days. They then performed designate exercises. There was a significant difference in pain and muscle damage with the participants that received the tart cherry capsules than the placebo. Overall, the findings suggested that supplementation with a powdered tart cherry product surrounding an intense resistance event reduces pain perception in addition to hepatic and catabolic stress in the post-exercise period.
Tart Cherry can help Increase Sleep
Both sweet and tart cherries are packed with the biochemicals involved in sleep, including melatonin, tryptophan, and serotonin. One study set out to find if tart cherry could help with insomnia. All of the participants with insomnia all experienced increased sleep time. In conclusion the study found, Cherry juice increased tryptophan availability, reduced inflammation, and may be partially responsible for improvement in insomnia.
Tart Cherry is an amazing superfood. The antioxidant rich fruit has many awesome health benefits. Tart Cherry can help with sleep, reduce muscle soreness and damage, and reduce blood pressure and cholesterol. Tart Cherry has also been known to reduce inflammation and help with arthritis. As always it is best to consult your doctor before starting any new vitamins if you have serious health issues.
Chai, Sheau C, et al. “Effects of Tart Cherry Juice on Biomarkers of Inflammation and Oxidative Stress in Older Adults.” Nutrients, MDPI, 22 Jan. 2019, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6413159/.
Kelley, Darshan S, et al. “A Review of the Health Benefits of Cherries.” Nutrients, MDPI, 17 Mar. 2018, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5872786/.
Levers K;Dalton R;Galvan E;O’Connor A;Goodenough C;Simbo S;Mertens-Talcott SU;Rasmussen C;Greenwood M;Riechman S;Crouse S;Kreider RB; “Effects of Powdered Montmorency Tart Cherry Supplementation on Acute Endurance Exercise Performance in Aerobically Trained Individuals.” Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, U.S. National Library of Medicine, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27231439/.
Levers, K, et al. “Powdered Tart Cherry Supplementation Demonstrates Benefit on Markers of Catabolism and Muscle Soreness Following an Acute Bout of Intense Lower Body Resistance Exercise.” Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, BioMed Central, 1 Dec. 2014, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4271620/. Losso JN;Finley JW;Karki N;Liu AG;Prudente A;Tipton R;Yu Y;Greenway FL; “Pilot Study of the Tart Cherry Juice for the Treatment of Insomnia and Investigation of Mechanisms.” American Journal of Therapeutics, U.S. National Library of Medicine, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28901958/.