Cherry Juice is one of the latest in a long line of super foods. What is it that makes it so special?
The first somewhat spectacular claim being made for it is that drinking a glass of cherry juice is equivalent to consuming 23 portions of fruit & vegetables! So in theory, drinking a glass of it a day would do away with the need for your five a day!
Cherry juice is loaded with antioxidants, & research - led by Dr Robert Verkerk and published in Nutritional Practitioner – discovered that 250ml of the cherry juice contained more antioxidants than 5 portions of peas, tomatoes, watermelon, carrots & bananas. Antioxidants are known to combat harmful free radicals in the body & can help prevent cancer, heart disease, & stroke. Cherries also have anti inflammatory properties & can be used in the treatment of arthritis & gout to relieve pain.
Research has suggested that eating cherries may not be as potent as drinking the juice.
Scientists in Canada found that drinking cherry juice can help alleviate the pain associated with long distance running. In an experiment sixty adults aged 18 – 50 drank cherry juice twice a day for 7 days prior to, & on the day of a long distance relay race. Following the race it was discovered that they had significantly less muscle pain than those who drank another fruit drink.
A not dissimilar conclusion resulted from research carried out at the Sports and Exercise Science Research Centre at London South Bank University. Ten trained athletes were given an ounce of cherry juice concentrate to drink twice a day for 7 days both before & after intense strength training. The athletes recovered muscle force to 90% in 24 hours compared with 85% without the concentrate. It is thought that the muscle damage that normally occurs at such times was reduced by the antioxidant & anti inflammatory effects of the concentrate.
The high levels of both antioxidants & anti inflammatory are due to the pigments which give the cherries their colour. These pigments belong to a group of natural dyes called anthocyanins which have been referred to as “Mother Nature’s all-natural chemotherapy agents”.
As well as their antioxidant & anti inflammatory, cherries also contain lots of vitamin A & have antibacterial properties.
And if all that is not enough to convert you, scientists have also discovered that due to the high melatonin levels found in the cherry juice, it can help you feel sleepy at night time & help you stay awake during the day!