interesting information about purchasing, using, and storing
At some point you may have
been in the grocery store and been browsing through the produce department and
come across the wide variety of fruits that are offered. Right away you probably
notice the large displays of apples, oranges, and bananas. You may even notice
the various melons that are out, or the pineapples. Occasionally you see a
large display of strawberries or even blueberries.
However, there is one fruit
that I feel almost magically appears in the store one day. Heck, I think Kiwi’s
are even on display rather frequently relative to this elusive fruit. When we
buy it, it’s such a treat, that it’s almost as if we are eating a dessert rather
than a nutritional and valuable part of our diet. This fruit would be none other
than the Cherry.
From the description above, I
bet you are thinking about sweet cherries. The display alone for sweet cherries
found in a produce department is often as bright and beaming as sunshine looks
coming through the clouds. The best part is that their look compliments their
taste. Whether you eat them whole, or cut them for use in a favorite salad or
dessert they are usually eaten fresh and, simply put, they just satisfy your
craving from something sweet and healthy.
However, if you think that
finding sweet cherries in the grocery store is like finding a pot of gold, well
then I’d like to introduce you to a very close relative of the sweet cherry
whose appearances are even rarer to spot, unless you are specifically looking
for it and know where to find it. I’m not talking about maraschino cherries
either. We know where to find those. That is the lush of the cherry family often
found swimming in a sea of gin with Tom Collins, or soaking up puddles of
bourbon while hanging in the all infamous Manhattan. He lives near
the jars of olives during the week and spends his weekends hanging out with the
mixers in the juice aisle. So, I’m not talking about him. No, no. I’m talking about
the tart cherries.
For analytic purposes, the
tart cherry would be the younger brother of the sweet cherry forever living in
his older brother’s shadow because of the less appealing nature of his first
name. Unfortunately, less appealing than his name, is the location of his
home. They are not on a prominent display so that looks alone can sell. Rather,
they fight for recognition amongst other canned goods and jams as their use in
jams and pies are their primary purpose. Their curb appeal boasts nothing unique
except for the last name “Cherry” on their packaging. Rest assured, however,
that the confidence of the tart cherry is strong as he knows that once you get
to know him on the inside, you’ll respect all he has to offer and learn that the
name “Tart Cherry” is unique and powerful, thus giving him a spotlight of his
own. Soon you’ll know why you find yourself seeking him out on the shelves of
your nearest grocer.
Despite their primary purpose
of being great ingredients for jams and pies, we find that tart cherries are now
becoming a part of many health drinks and diets. The naturally occurring
nutritional and medicinal value that tart cherries possess ranks above that of
most other fruits. Regular consumption of them is extremely beneficial to an
individual’s health and wellness.
Fruits provide nutrients that
play a strong role in reducing risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes,
Alzheimer disease, cataracts, and functional deterioration due to age. However,
besides the nutrients that many fruits provide, there is a list of other
bioactive compounds found in tart cherries that promote health and prevent
diseases. It is here that we find the answer to the question, “Why Tart
Tart cherries contain:
Anthocyanins which help
reduce inflammation and inhibit tumor growth.
Flavanols and Flavonols
which improve blood flow, heart and brain health, and lowers blood pressure.
Phenolic Acids which are
Phytochemicals (antioxidants) are associated with
reducing the risk of major chronic diseases.
Plant Hormones that help
regulate physiological functions.
Terpenes that are
essential oils from plant elements.
While some other fruits
may have some of these bioactive compounds (such as antioxidants), tart cherries
possess a wider variety of them and in greater amounts. For this reason, it is
extremely beneficial to seek out tart cherries at your local grocery store and
make them a regular part of your diet. Look for the can of tart cherries, the
jam made from tart cherries or the tart cherry juice health drink made from all
natural tart cherries
Tart Cherry Juice:
Although tart cherries are
speculated and recommended to be best consumed whole in order to get the maximum
amount of nutritional value out of them, we are finding that consuming tart
cherries in the form of a liquid is now an option. While eating tart cherries
whole or mixed into a pie or jam is still beneficial, it often takes time to
prepare them in this manner. In addition, we are often combining them with other
sweets when they are part of a dessert ensemble. So, what happens when we want
to get our daily dose of tart cherries if we are on the go or if we want to eat
them without all the other sweets riding coattails and still have it
taste good? Well, thanks to manufacturing processes, cherry juice can be
extracted from cherries so that the nutrients and flavor can be consumed in
liquid form. This makes it extremely easy to take cherry juice on the go with
The extraction process of
tart cherry juice from whole tart cherries can reduce the amount of nutrients you get
out of them. Therefore, the healthier
tart cherry juice drinks are the drinks
that are made from whole tart cherries and come from a delicate extraction
process. Therefore, squeezing the juice out of a whole tart cherry is not the
same as freshly squeezed orange juice. You also want to make sure that the
cherry juice is all natural and does not contain a lot of (if any)
preservatives. The main objective is to keep it healthy! That being said, you
should be able to tell which cherry juice drinks are offered simply because the
taste is preferable, and which drinks are being offered because they actually
are an effective health drink. A cherry juice drink made from all natural whole
tart cherries is probably healthier than a cherry juice or juice cocktail made
from cherry extracts and/or packed with preservatives. If it’s thick, it
probably retained more of the actual tart cherry throughout the extraction
process, thus giving it a healthier profile.
In summary, tart cherries
provide an extremely beneficial aspect of a healthy diet. There is no better
way to get all of the healthy benefits of tart cherries than eating them whole. However, the option to consume it in liquid form is still a great way to benefit
from them. Just be sure to look at the label before you drink it to determine
what you can expect from it.
Written by Matt Kerwin for
CherryPharm – CherryPharm
is a cherry juice health drink made from tart cherries that is
loaded with antioxidants and clinically proven to reduce strength
loss, protect muscles, lessen pain, speed recovery, improve sleep
habits, and increase wellness.