Here's a cheer for cherries!

Here's a cheer for cherries!

I wanted to share this article with you first published in Running Fitness magazine(UK) following research into the huge benefits to be gained from taking Cherryactive. Exceptional!

The health benefits of cherries are simply amazing, and if they aren't in your diet at the moment, we recommend that they should be! Used medicinally for thousands of years, Montmorency cherries can reduce inflammation associated with heart disease and arthritis, lower blood cholesterol levels, encourage restorative sleep, build muscle strength, improve muscle recovery and encourage healthy joints. This fruit packs a super food punch that could see your health, strength and running soaring to new heights.

One cherry to 103 carrots!

A new ORAC 5.0 study has shown that one glass of CherryActive , a concentrated form of Montmorency cherries, has the same antioxidant level as 103 carrots. ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) is a method that was developed to quantify the antioxidant level of food sources. The ORAC 5.0 test enables antioxidant testing against five primary radicals - peroxyl, hydroxyl, peroxynitrite, superoxide anion and singlet oxygen. It measures a food’s ability to combat these five most common and harmful free radical compounds. Free radicals are compounds that wreak havoc in our bodies, causing damage to cells and organs. Research shows they contribute to a host of illnesses and diseases, including heart disease and cancer, whilst also speeding up the ageing process. A normal by-product of breathing, free radicals are also found in polluted air, cigarette smoke and over-cooked food. Antioxidants combat free radicals. Leading nutritionist Patrick Holford comments: “Whilst I agree that as much fruit and vegetables in the diet as possible are imperative to our health, I also understand that for many people the recommended seven portions a day is an unrealistic benchmark. Therefore, it’s important to make sure that if you are only consuming five a day, you maximise the nutritional benefit. A shot of CherryActive is the most direct way I know of getting a major antioxidant boost. When you realise that's the equivalent of 100 carrots it puts it all into perspective. Of course, eating lots of fresh vegetables and fruits is a must but, in reality, you have to eat a mountain to get the same antioxidant power as this concentrate of the Montmorency cherry. If you struggle to reach the quantity of fruit and vegetables recommended, it’s essential to optimise the quality of the ones you do eat.”

Essential recovery

In March this year, results from a study from the University of Northumbria demonstrated that consuming Montmorency cherry concentrate enhanced performance and accelerated recovery for endurance cyclists. Lead researcher, Glyn Howatson, explained: “The results showed that cyclists consuming the concentrate had lower inflammation and oxidative stress throughout the trial than those taking the placebo. Montmorency cherries can be of benefit when competing and training on repeated days, and might help facilitate an accelerated recovery.” This study is the first of its kind to investigate the impact of Montmorency cherry concentrate with regard to both its anti-inflammatory properties as well as the effect on oxidative stress, when it has been induced by a series of challenging cycling training intervals. Trained cyclists were divided into equal groups and consumed 30ml of CherryActive or the placebo twice a day for seven consecutive days. The cyclists were then put through their paces with a high intensity stochastic road cycling trial lasting 109 minutes per day over three days. Blood samples were taken to measure their reaction to the exercise. The CherryActive group had a significantly better reaction to exercise compared to that of the placebo group. Howatson said: "When we exercise, particularly at high intensities for extended durations, there is a degree of inflammation and oxidative stress associated with the exercise. Too much inflammation and oxidative stress has the potential to be detrimental to recovery. Therefore the cumulative effect of consecutive days’ exercise could be even more damaging in scenarios where several repeated days’ exercise is necessary and recovery between days is essential.”

Maintaining your muscles

Research has also indicated that the anti-inflammatory properties of tart cherries can significantly reduce muscle pain following rigorous exercise. A study by the Oregon Health and Science University in America showed that runners who drank tart cherry juice before a long-distance relay experienced less muscle pain after the race than those who drank a placebo. Recent research from London South Bank University also showed that after drinking cherry juice, athletes returned to 90 per cent of normal muscle force in 24 hours. Montmorency cherries can also be used to help regulate sleep cycles. Researchers from Louisiana State University found that drinking Montmorency tart cherry juice twice a day for two weeks helped increase sleep time by nearly 90 minutes among older adults with insomnia. Montmorency cherries are a natural source of melatonin, a hormone that helps regulate the sleep-wake cycle. They believe the ruby red pigments in tart cherry juice, known as proanthocyanidins, also play a role. These natural polyphenolic compounds are especially abundant in Montmorency cherries. In the study, tart cherry juice helped to increase the availability of tryptophan, an essential amino acid and a precursor to serotonin that helps with sleep.

Let your libido go

We thought we should also mention that tart cherry juice is packed with vitamins A and C, which boost libido in men and women. Vitamin A increases testosterone and oestrogen levels, while vitamin C boosts sexual appetite and increases men’s semen volume. There is, it seems, significant evidence to encourage all of us to include a super food such as Montmorency cherries in our diet.

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