As it turns out, cherries are not only delicious with milkshakes but they are also great for pain, inflammation and sleep issues. Tart cherries possess strong anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. Two key items that help alleviate joint pain and neutralize joint damage. It is estimated that 20 tart cherries are equivalent to 2 ibuprofens.
Tart cherries are not only one of the strongest anti-inflammatory fruits but they also contain the highest amount of melatonin of any food. Melatonin is a hormone/potent anti-oxidant that is widely known for its sleep enhancing properties. A recent study demonstrated that taking tart cherry concentrate twice daily helped improve sleep quality and lengthened the time spent asleep.
Recent research has focused the attention on melatonin serving as a protector against certain types of cancers. Some experts believe that low amounts of melatonin might be a factor in the development of cancers. Some pharmaceutical agents may cause a reduction in melatonin production from the pineal gland. These drugs are anti-depressants known as SSRI’s, and anti-anxiety agents known as benzodiazepines, beta blockers and (NSAIDS) non steroidal anti-inflammatory medication.
Since cherries are not always available due to growing seasons and it is not always easy to carry them around, the extract in pill form can be convenient. Since pesticides can accumulate in the fruit, organic tart cherries or organic tart cherry extract is always best. Without any known side effects to consuming cherries, why shouldn’t you add this superfruit to your diet?
– Chris McMullen Pharm. D., RPh