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Differences Between Tart Cherry and Black Cherry Juice

author image Jill Corleone, RDN, LD
Jill Corleone is a registered dietitian and health coach who has been writing and lecturing on diet and health for more than 15 years. Her work has been featured on the Huffington Post, Diabetes Self-Management and in the book "Noninvasive Mechanical Ventilation," edited by John R. Bach, M.D. Corleone holds a Bachelor of Science in nutrition.
Differences Between Tart Cherry and Black Cherry Juice
Both tart and black cherry juice are rich in antioxidants. Photo Credit: Hyrma/iStock/Getty Images

Your taste buds may prefer one juice over the other, but that's not the only difference between tart and black cherry juice. Nutritionally, there are some slight differences between the two juices, but either one makes a healthy addition to your diet when consumed in moderation. Talk to your doctor about how you might benefit from adding cherry juice to your diet rotation.

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Calories and Carbs

The sweeter black cherry juice is slightly higher in calories and carbs than the sour tart cherry juice, but both are fat-free. A 1-cup serving of black cherry juice has 160 calories, 37 grams of carbs and 2 grams of protein. The same serving of tart cherry juice has 140 calories, 34 grams of carbs and 1 gram of protein. While black cherry juice tastes sweeter than tart juice, both juices contain the same amount of sugar, 25 grams per serving.

Vitamins and Minerals

When it comes to vitamins and minerals, it's a bit of a toss-up. The sweet juice is a slightly better source of potassium, meeting 16 percent of the daily value, versus 11 percent in the same serving of the tart juice. Getting more potassium in your diet may help lower your blood pressure, reduce your risk of kidney stones and promote bone health.

But tart cherry juice is a better source of iron, meeting 8 percent of the daily value versus 6 percent. Although neither juice is very high in iron, every little bit counts. Iron is an essential component of hemoglobin and is necessary for delivering oxygen to the tissues in your body.

Antioxidant Content

Both juices are an excellent source of antioxidants, but tart cherry juice is a better source, according to the American Institute of Cancer Research. Antioxidants are substances found in food that may help prevent or delay the onset of illnesses such as heart disease or cancer by protecting your cells from damage by free radicals. The two juices are rich in phenols, specifically anthocyanins, which are substances in the juice that help create the bright red color and provide some of its antioxidant activity.

Juice and Your Diet

Tart and black cherry juice make healthy additions to your diet, but more is not better. One cup of either juice counts as a serving of fruit, but when you drink the juice instead of eating the fruit, you miss out on the filling fiber. Plus, consuming too much juice may increase your overall caloric intake, which may lead to weight gain. To get the benefits without the weight gain, limit your intake to 1 cup a day and track your overall calorie intake to help you stay in balance.

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