Pomegranate and cherry juices have a number of health benefits to offer in addition to their great taste. Both cherry and pomegranate trees originated in Asia but are now found all over the world, with cherry trees growing in moderate temperate zones and pomegranates in the more tropical areas. In addition to the juice adding healthful benefits, the fruits themselves are a great addition to a balanced diet. Before attempting to treat any health condition with pomegranates or cherries, consult your health care provider.
One of the most potent antioxidant juices available is pomegranate juice, with black cherry juice also ranking high as an antioxidant. In a study conducted at the University of California in Los Angeles, a selection of beverages including pomegranate juice and black cherry juice were tested in vitro to determine their antioxidant abilities. The results, published in the February 2008 issue of "Journal of Agriculture & Food Chemistry," showed that pomegranate offers the highest antioxidant properties of the juices tested by a margin of over 20 percent. Cherry juice was ranked fifth overall in antioxidant ability.
Cherry to Protect Against Cancer
Cherry juice may help prevent cancer and help guard against the cancer-causing substances created when cooking meats at high temperatures. This ability was confirmed in a study held at Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz in Germany, where researchers tested a wide variety of wines, fruit juices and vegetable juices for their ability to guard against these substances. Cherry juice was found to be the most effective in protecting against the harmful effects of these cancer-causing materials.
Pomegranate to Protect Against Prostate Cancer
With prostate cancer now considered the most common form of cancer in men, it’s important to make dietary changes to help prevent this disease. One study, published in the September 2010 issue of “Progres en Urologie,” concluded that pomegranate is one food that offers some protection against prostate cancer. In addition to increasing pomegranate intake, other recommendations to help prevent prostate cancer include reducing dietary fats and increasing consumption of lycopene, omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D.
Pomegranate to Protect Against Breast Cancer
Pomegranate may help protect against breast cancer. In a study published in the October 2010 edition of "Oncology Reports," researchers performed animal studies to investigate whether pomegranate is able to offer protection against this form of cancer. The results showed that pomegranate was able to stop the spreading of the breast cancer cells in the animal subjects. More research needs to be done to show if it also has this level of success in humans.
Cherry Juice Decreases Pain for Distance Runners
One of the common problems facing long-distance runners is muscle pain and damage to muscles. Tart cherries may have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects that help protect the muscles and reduce the pain in distance runners without the potentially harmful effects of NSAIDS. In a double-blind study in long-distance runners, published in the May 2010 issue of "Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition," it was discovered that when the runners began to drink tart cherry juice seven days prior to a major running event, they suffered less pain afterward.
Pomegranate Antiviral Effects
Pomegranate may also help protect against food-bourne viruses. Researchers at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, Tennessee performed in vitro studies of pomegranate and its effects on several common food-bourne viruses. They found that both pomegranate juice and pomegranate pulp were effective in destroying the virus cells.
Cherry Juice to Treat Insomnia
People who suffer from insomnia may be able to benefit from drinking tart cherry juice. In a double-blind study at University of Rochester Medical Center in Rochester, New York, researchers studied the sleep quality of insomnia sufferers after incorporating tart cherry juice into their diet. The sleep quality of the test subjects was somewhat improved after drinking the cherry juice each day.
Pomegranate to Lower Cholesterol
Pomegranate may lower serum cholesterol. Researchers at Università degli Studi di Parma in Parma, Italy performed in vitro studies to investigate the abilities of pomegranate in reducing cholesterol levels. They determined that pomegranate can help modulate cholesterol levels and warrants more study to help understand how it is able to do this.
Cherry Juice for Disease Prevention
Older adults have less ability to fight off infections, resist diseases and survive traumas. Tart cherry juice may be able to increase resistance to disease in older individuals. One 2009 study, conducted at Kronos Longevity Research Institute in Phoenix, Arizona, looked at volunteers’ ability to ward off illnesses and recover after traumas. The results showed that tart cherry juice reduces the potential for infections, diseases and improves recovery from trauma.
- “Journal of Agriculture & Food Chemistry”; Comparison of antioxidant…; NP Seeram; Feb. 2008
- “Mutation Research”; Fruits and vegetables protect…; KL Platt et al.; Aug. 2010
- MedicinalHerbInfo.org: Pomegranate
- “Progres en Urologie”; Nutrition, supplements & prostate cancer; F Desgrandchamps; Sept. 2010
- “Oncology Reports”; Pomegranate extract inhibits…mammarycancer stem cells; Z Dai et al.; Oct. 2010
- “Journal of Int’l Society Sports Nutrition”; Efficacy of cherry …; KS Kuehl et al.; May 2010