If you suffer from any inflammatory condition or maybe your just an athlete it may benefit you to switch your juice to tart cherry juice. As a migraine sufferer I gave up my O.J. roughly a year ago when I started my migraine plan. Recently, I have been drinking tart cherry juice instead. I will now try to explain why I made the switch.
Tart cherries contain anthocyanins which are potent antioxidants that give cherries their red coloring. The anthocyanins 1 and 2 which are in tart cherries are linked to reduced levels of inflammation because of their ability to block cyclooxygenase at levels comparable to aspirin. The concentrations found in tart cherries are significantly higher that other fruits including sweet cherries.
While inflammation may be part of our bodies natural healing process, chronic states of inflammation are not good and increase the risk for disease. Chronic inflammation is linked to obesity, diabetes, atherosclerosis, high blood pressure, Alzheimer's, osteoporosis, Parkinson's, cancer, and depression. So, from my point of view everyone including the migrainuer could benefit from preventing this chronic state of inflammation.
Studies on tart cherry juice have been conducted in the areas of:
Gout--Cherry consumption and decreased gout attacks: Researchers found cherry intake over a 2-day period was associated with a 35% lower risk of gout attacks compared with no intake. When cherry intake was combined with allopurinol (gout medication) the risk of attacks was 75% lower than intake of neither product.
Arthritis and Pain Relief Research: Baylor researchers did a 12-week pilot study where a daily dose of tart cherry extract reduced osteoarthritis pain by more than 20% for men and women.
Muscle Recovery in Athletes: University of Vermont researchers saw a strength loss of only 4% in cherry juice drinkers compared to 22% in placebo drinkers. Pain was significantly decreased in the cherry juice group as well. The experts believe athletes can manage and reduce symptoms of muscle damage and inflammation with tart cherry juice consumption.
Another study of marathoners showed a faster recovery of strength, increased total antioxidant capacity and reduced inflammation and lipid peroxidation in subjects who drank cherry juice 5 days before and up to 2 days following a marathon.
Heart: University of Michigan researchers found cherry-enriched diets in animals lowered cholesterol levels, reduced total body weight and fat (specifically “belly fat” associated with heart disease).
Insomnia: University of Pennsylvania and University of Rochester and VA Center of Canandaigua researchers saw a reduction of insomnia and time spent awake after going to sleep in tart cherry juice drinkers.
As a migrainuer drinking tart cherry juice I read my labels! Not all tart cherry juice is just tart cherry juice and I steer clear of those drinks containing citrus juice. I have found a brand at a local Whole Foods that contains tart cherries and apple juice only. My kids are fans of this beverage as well.