Cherry juice is not only refreshingly delicious, but it provides some solid health benefits, too. With about 120 calories per 1-cup serving, it’s rich in nutrients like potassium and iron. There are many different varieties of cherry juice. Look for juices that use 100-percent cherry juice with no added sweeteners. Cherry juice “cocktails” typically add sugar and preservatives.
You will also see juice “from concentrate” and “not from concentrate.” Both options are nutritionally similar. “Not from concentrate” means they put the fresh juice directly into the bottle. “From concentrate” means they squeezed and then filtered the juice, extracting water. It is then rehydrated and packaged.
There are also different types of cherries used to produce juice. Tart cherry juice is sour to taste and provides a higher amount of anthocyanins compared to black cherry juice, which is sweeter in taste and has less anthocyanins. Anthocyanins promote anti-inflammatory processes in the body. Both are great, nutritious options.
Read on for seven reasons to sip and savor.
1. Helps post-workout recovery
Cherry juice may help recovery post-exercise. It is naturally high in potassium, which conducts electrical impulses throughout the body. This mineral also helps maintain blood pressure, hydration, muscle recovery, nerve impulses, digestion, heart rate, and pH balance. Cherries contain about 330 milligrams (mg) of potassium per cup, which is almost 10 percent of your daily recommended value.
2. Fights inflammation and arthritis pain
Research shows that the antioxidants in tart cherry juice can reduce pain and inflammation from osteoarthritis (OA). A 2012 study showed that drinking cherry juice twice a day for 21 days reduced the pain felt by people with OA. Blood tests also showed that they experienced significantly less inflammation.
3. Reduces swelling
When people experience pain from swelling, they often turn to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). However, the effects of these drugs can be harmful, especially when you take them too often or have allergies. A 2004 study found that cherry juice supplements can reduce inflammation and pain-related behavior in animals, showing promise as a treatment for swelling in humans.
4. Boosts immunity
Like all fruits and vegetables, cherries pack a powerful antioxidant and antiviral punch. Flavonoids, a type of antioxidant in cherry juice, are made by plants to fight infection. Research shows that these chemicals can have a significant impact on immune system function.
5. Regulates metabolism and fights fat
There is some evidence in animals that tart cherries can help adjust your body’s metabolism and your ability to lose abdominal body fat. One study showed that anthocyanins, a type of flavonoid responsible for cherries’ red color, act against the development of obesity. Another study in rats found that tart cherries can help reduce inflammation and abdominal fat, and lower the risk of metabolic syndrome.
6. Helps you sleep
The anti-inflammatory properties of cherry juice combined with a dash of sleep-regulating melatonin may help you sleep better, according to a small 2010 study. The results suggest that tart cherry juice has similar effects as insomnia medications like valerian or melatonin on older adults.
7. Blocks cancer growth
In a 2003 study, researchers pitted cherry juice against the NSAID sulindac, which is the most common preventive anti-inflammatory treatment for colon tumors. Although an animal study, it is notable that cherry juice — unlike the NSAID — reduced the growth of cancer cells.
Even without its antioxidants and nutrients, cherry juice is deliciously tart and refreshing. Try replacing sodas and sports drinks with something that can really make a difference to your health.