Drinking pure cherry juice provides your body with powerful health benefits. It does, however, have a couple of downsides. To avoid unnecessary additives or added sugar, choose 100 percent cherry juice. In addition, of the two types available, tart cherry juice contains more vitamin A and C than sweet cherry juice, giving you more nutrient value for your dollar.
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Supplies Antioxidant Power
As you age, your body loses much of its ability to protect cells from free radical damage. Cherry juice contains antioxidant substances known as anthocyanins. Antioxidants are powerful compounds that help protect your body from free radicals, which are unstable molecules that damage healthy cells. A study published in "The Journal of Nutrition" in October 2009 found that drinking tart cherry juice improves the body's antioxidant defenses.
Contains Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Tart cherry juice reduces pain and inflammation. A study published in "Journal of Food Science" in May 2012 investigating the inflammatory properties of processed cherries found that concentrated tart cherry juice contains the highest levels of anti-inflammatory properties provided by cherries.
Blood Sugar Concern
Your body is designed to digest whole, natural foods. The fiber in whole cherries, for example, helps slow down and stabilize sugar absorption from the digestive tract into your bloodstream. Cherry juice is a concentrated form of the fruit that contains no fiber but is high in natural sugar. Drinking it causes your blood sugar levels to rise quickly, triggering production of insulin to lower the glucose level. Your blood glucose then drops, sending your blood sugar on a roller coaster ride. A 3.5-ounce serving of tart, or sour, cherries contains about 8 grams of sugar, while sweet cherries contain 13 grams of sugar.
Drinking too much cherry juice could result in digestive problems. Cherries contain sorbitol, a naturally occurring indigestible form of sugar that has a laxative effect. According to Dr. Carlos Lifschitz of Baylor College of Medicine, sweet cherry juice is one of the most common sorbitol-containing juices that cause problems in children. Since both tart and sweet cherries contain sorbitol, drinking too much cherry juice could result in stomach cramping, gas and mild diarrhea.
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Cherries, Sour, Red, Raw
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Cherries, Sweet, Raw
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration: Guidance for Industry: A Food Labeling Guide
- Oregon Health & Science University: Tart Cherry Juice Reduces Muscle Pain and Inflammation
- Journal of Food Science: Processed Tart Cherry Products -- Comparative Phytochemical Content, In Vitro Antioxidant Capacity and In Vitro Anti-Inflammatory Activity
- The Journal of Nutrition: Tart Cherry Juice Decreases Oxidative Stress in Healthy Older Men and Women
- University of Cincinnati, Clermont College: Biology: Carbohydrates
- Baylor College of Medicine: Too Much Juice Can Cause Intestinal Discomfort Usually Blamed on Milk
- University of Utah Health Care: Huntsman Cancer Institute: Diarrhea Management