What is Antioxidant?
Antioxidants are compounds that deactivate damaging free radicals.
Free radicals are highly reactive compounds that cause damage to cells and contribute to the diseases and signs associated with the ageing process.
Free radicals are formed naturally in the body through normal metabolism. External sources, which include chemical pollutants, smoke, radiation and over-cooked foods, can increase the body’s exposure to free radicals.
Maintaining a high antioxidant diet may lower a person’s risk for disease, stimulate and protect the immune system and possibly slow the ageing process.
Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) is a laboratory test that measures the antioxidant levels in food. The higher the ORAC score, the better a food may be in defending our cells from free radical damage.
Antioxidants are found in abundance in fruit and vegetables. However, particular fruits and vegetables, the “superfoods”, have significantly higher ORAC values than regular ones.
What makes us age?
The entire process of ageing, from your first wrinkle to worsening eyesight, depends on oxidation. Put simply, we run on oxygen. We make energy by combusting carbohydrate with oxygen. The net result is our own exhaust fumes called ‘free oxidising radicals’, sometimes called oxidants or free radicals.
Anything burned, whether it’s a piece of bacon or the fuel in your car, creates these harmful by-products. These literally age you by damaging cells. The average cell has millions of tiny ‘scars’ caused by oxidation. As a consequence, your body and brain gradually work less and less well and look less and less youthful.
But you can dramatically slow down the process by upping your intake of antioxidant nutrients. These are plentiful in certain fruits and vegetables. Most people are aware that they should be eating at least five portions of fruits and vegetables daily.
How Montmorency Cherries Help?
Montmorency cherries are rich in antioxidants and contain potent, naturally-occurring phytonutrients, including anthocyanins and melatonin, which have been linked to a variety of health beneﬁts.
Montmorency cherries are one of the richest sources of anthocyanins, which provide the distinctive red colour and may hold the key to many of the beneﬁts locked inside. Studies suggest that these health-promoting pigments possess antioxidant, anti-inﬂammatory and anti-carcinogenic properties. Anthocyanins that give Montmorency cherries their deep, rich colour belong to a large group of phenolic compounds called ﬂavonoids. Of the 150 different ﬂavonoids found in plants, anthocyanins appear to have the greatest antioxidant capacity
Montmorency cherries are one of the few known food sources of melatonin. A natural compound produced in the brain’s pineal gland that controls the body’s natural sleep cycles and circadian rhythms. Montmorency cherries are one of the few known food sources of melatonin
A study from Northumbria University found that after drinking Montmorency cherry concentrate, uric acid levels in the body significantly reduced in just a few hours.
In the single blind, two-phase study, healthy participants were invited to drink CherryActive Concentrate (100% Montmorency cherry concentrate) to test how it affected the levels of uric acid in their blood and urine. They drank either 30ml or 60ml of the concentrate mixed with 100ml of water. Blood and urine samples were taken at regular intervals following consumption of the concentrate.
Two hours after drinking the cherry concentrate, uric acid levels in urine had increased by around 250%, indicating that the body was quickly excreting uric acid. This was reflected in blood tests, with uric acid levels in blood decreasing by around 36% eight hours after drinking the concentrate.
The results also showed a reduction in an inflammation marker.
The findings also revealed that while the 60ml dose of cherry concentrate increased the volumes of anthocyanins within the blood, it brought no additional benefit in lowering uric acid or inflammation compared to the 30ml dose, demonstrating that only a small volume of the cherry concentrate was needed to bring about the beneficial effects.
Read The Montmorency Cherry Report
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