Pros & Cons of Cherry Juice

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.

Both tart and sweet cherry juice contain valuable vitamins. (Image: GYRO PHOTOGRAPHY/amanaimagesRF/amana images/Getty Images)

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.

Digestive Discomfort

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.

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