Tart cherries have a bevy of health benefits. Whether you consume them raw, take it in extract form, or drink the juice—opt for 100% cherry juice with nothing added, since some fruit juices can have lots of added sugar—check out these notable health benefits they offer:
1. Bolster Your Brain – Tart cherries may be the key to a brighter brain, according to research published in the Journal of Medicinal Food, which reports that high levels of antioxidants and anthocyanins (which give tart cherries their bright red color) in tart versus sweet cherries may slow degenerative brain diseases.
2. Reduce Stress from “Wear and Tear” Arthritis – If you feel like you’re living in the body of someone 10-20 years your senior because of the pain and stiffness you suffer after long training sessions, you might benefit from supplementing your diet with tart cherry juice.
3. Beat Insomnia – Drinking tart cherry juice twice a day can help you get up to 90 more minutes of sleep each night, according to research from Louisiana State University. . . . The tart cherry juice prompted participants to get, on average, 84 more minutes of sleep each night compared to the placebo. One working theory why? Tart cherries have more melatonin (the hormone responsible for sleepiness) than any other fruit. They also have tryptophan, a slow-metabolizing amino acid your body uses to create melatonin.
4. Ease Muscle Pain – You may not need the ibuprofren or ice packs after a grueling run: Tart cherries may be more effective for beating muscle pain, according to a study from Oregon Health and Science University. In the study, researchers found runners who drank cherry juice right after a long run had 23 percent less pain later on than guys who didn’t. Another study, published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, found that tart cherry juice also has a protective effect on muscles and helps reduce pain during strenuous exercise.