Categories:Fruit Buying Guide Healthy Lifestyles Sour, Tart or Pie Cherries
Learn more interesting information about purchasing, using, and storing Tart Cherries.
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 would 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 am 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 am 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 will 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 Cherries?”
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 powerful antioxidants.
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 you.
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. I f it is 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.
Article 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.