Health Boost: Tart Cherry Juice
Article by Registered Dietitian Amy Bragagnini, MS, RD, CSO
Over the 15 years that I have been a registered dietitian, patients have often asked me, “What foods are the best for me?” Early on in my career, I readily rattled off many foods like broccoli, kale, apples, and blueberries. Nowadays, I have added a new food to that list: tart cherries and Old Orchard 100% tart cherry juice!
Tart cherries are filled with antioxidants and disease fighting vitamins and minerals. Research suggests that they may help lower risk of hypertension, improve sleep, aid muscle recovery, and help reduce joint pain.
The Centers for Disease Control suggests that nearly 70 million Americans have high blood pressure and it is important that people make diet changes to help reduce risk. If left untreated, high blood pressure can cause damage to the heart and coronary arteries, including heart attack, heart disease, and congestive heart failure. One healthy addition to the diet can be 100% tart cherry juice! A study published by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported that consuming tart cherry juice can help lower systolic blood pressure in men with early hypertension.
Sleep is a vital part of a healthy lifestyle. Many people have trouble falling asleep and staying asleep. A lot of my clients tell me that they don’t want to take sleeping pills, so I recommend a potential natural sleep aid: Old Orchard 100% tart cherry juice! In one study, participants in two groups consumed either tart cherry juice or a placebo. Results showed that those consuming tart cherry juice produced more melatonin, a hormone that our body produces to help regulate sleep cycles.
Many athletes put their bodies through grueling training schedules. Post workout soreness almost always sets in after an intense workout and may hinder the athlete in competing at his or her full potential. One great way that may help athletes recover faster is drinking tart cherry juice. A 2010 study published in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports hypothesized that tart cherry juice would aid in the muscle recovery of marathon runners. Results indicated the cherry juice drinkers reported significantly less pain following the marathon. Tart cherry juice can help decrease inflammation and oxidative stress associated with endurance exercise, which can help people feel better faster.
Given that tart cherry juice can help reduce inflammation, it can also help ease the pain associated with osteoarthritis. I have arthritis and for many years have taken medication to help me feel better. I decided to take a more natural approach to easing my pain, so I added Old Orchard’s 100% tart cherry juice to my diet. I absolutely love the taste and have noticed a significant reduction of joint pain, especially in my knees! With a great taste and a myriad of health benefits, what’s not to love? Cheers!