With the holiday season in full swing, you’re running out of time to gather your ingredients and order those dinner packages. Chances are that cranberries, an American favorite, are on that list. But don’t reach for those berries just yet, there is another healthy and organic ingredient you can use instead.
Tart cherries, a main ingredient in our dark red drink, may be a healthier and better alternative for your family this year.Why? Let’s check out some of these reasons.
Tart cherries provide a great source of melatonin, which helps your body rest easy. While our body naturally produces this chemical, these dark red cherries contain large amounts that are readily absorbable. What does that mean? Well, a swig of its concentrate can help you sleep through the night without waking up. And let’s be honest – that’s exactly what we’re craving after cleaning the house after all the hours lost preparing for parties. Considering how sleep and mood are connected, we need as much pillow-time as possible to be on our best behavior.
These sour fruits are also loaded with antioxidants. These nutrients help boost your immune system. That’s something we’re definitely going to need with all the kiddos running around while we sneak an extra serving of scrumptious holiday foods. Some studies even say that the antioxidant-count is among the highest compared to other foods, even being superior to vitamin-E supplements (that’s super important for skin care).
Just as a quick refresher, anthocyanins and cyanidin (active nutrients in tart cherry) help create antioxidant-properties. These properties help fight free radicals in the bloodstream. Free radicals contribute to inflammation and could lead to health issues down the road. Thanks to its antioxidant-power, The Oregon Health & Science University referred to this fruit as the as having “the highest anti-inflammatory content” of any food.
Uric Acid & C-Reactive Protein
A UK study from Northumbria University found a correlation between extract-consumption, and decreased uric acid and C-reactive protein. Why is this important? The researchers explained that finding demonstrates the cherry’s strong healing power, especially in terms of gout (a form of arthritis associated with swelling and pain) and inflammation.
A second study, published in the same journal, found similar results. Instead of taking extract, the participants ate 45 to 90 whole frozen cherries (which equals around 8 oz of the juice). Still, researchers found increased antioxidants and decreased uric acid for 12 hours after consumption. In a Medical Daily review of the studies, the study’s author Dr. E. Mitchell Seymour, extended his hope that continual consumption of the cherry could lead to longer-lasting benefits.
Ways to Incorporate
Working tart cherries into your diet is actually pretty easy, even during the holidays. Here are some tips:
- Substitute tart cherries for cranberries in pie fillings and toppings recipes. Try substituting in Bon Appetit’s recipe here.
- Use our Apothe-Cherry Concentrate in mocktail drink recipes. Mix it with sparkling water, organic lemonade or kombucha for a refreshing, iced drink. And for cold nights: mix it in your warn herbal tea.
- Try switching out cranberries for these cherries in sauces or use our a tart extract. This would work well in recipes like Vegan Hugg’s gluten free and vegan creation.
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