Cherry pie is an American favorite, as it our classic cherry preserve. But there’s so much more to know about our sour cherries than meets the eye...
Thanks to years of scientific research, sour cherries have taken the superfruit stage. The research has many praising the versatility, nutrient density and health benefits of sour cherries.
Studies on these homegrown superfruits have included research on arthritis and gout, exercise recovery, sleep, heart health and gut health.
Sour cherries are nutrient dense, and a good source of vitamin C, vitamin A and copper, and contain 56 mg of flavonoids. A preliminary investigation of 12 patients with arthritis and gout found that daily consumption of a half pound of various water-packed canned cherries helped to relieve self-reported gout attacks and the symptoms associated with arthritis.
After eating about a can of sour or yellow cherries a day, the participants had lower blood levels of uric acid. Excess uric acid is the culprit behind the onset and progression of gout.
Since this study, additional studies have supported this finding, including a study from USDA’s Human Nutrition Research Center at the University of California, Davis, where researchers found that healthy women ages 20 to 40 who consumed 2 servings (280 grams) of cherries after an overnight fast showed a 15% reduction in uric acid levels, as well as decreased inflammatory markers nitric oxide and C-reactive protein.
Who would have ever thought sour cherries would be so beneficial to your health?!
Not only this, but sour cherry juice has also been found to aid in exercise recovery. Positive results have been found with long-distance running, cycling, sprinting, field sports and strength training. In one of the first sour cherry studies on exercise, it was found that sour cherry juice decreased some of the symptoms of exercise-induced muscle damage. Similarly, it was found that sour cherry juice improved muscle recovery after intensive strength exercise.
Although studies on cardiovascular health are still emerging, preliminary studies explore sour cherries and the effect on blood pressure and blood lipids. A randomized, placebo-controlled, doubleblind, crossover study of 15 men with early hypertension found that the participants who consumed sour cherry juice concentrate (60 mL, or the equivalent of 180 sour cherries) experienced a reduction in systolic blood pressure, but not microvascular reactivity or arterial stiffness.
Similarly, 27 men and women (ages 45-60 years) with moderately elevated blood pressure were randomly assigned to receive 60 mL of sour cherry juice concentrate or a placebo beverage. Those consuming sour cherry juice experienced a significant reduction in systolic blood pressure over a 3-hour period after consumption.
From this data, it is clear that sour cherries can not only be a tasty table-side companion, but also a benefit to your health.