THE SCIENCE BEHIND MONTMORENCY CHERRIES.
What is Montmorency Cherry?
The Montmorency Cherry(Prunus Cerasus) is a type of sour cherry (tart) that gets its name from a valley just north of Paris France. A valley named after one of the oldest and most distinguished families of the French nobility dating back to the 12th Century.
Good quality Montmorency Cherries should be large and bright red, with clear yellowish flesh. Although a cherry tree can grow almost anywhere, the quantity and quality of its fruit depend on specific climatic conditions. Montmorency provided the ideal conditions for growing this fruit and became widely known for its’ ‘special’ healing properties in centuries past.
Tart cherries are known to have higher nutritional boost than the sweet cherries.
Researchers continue to explore the beneﬁts of “superfoods” – a unique group of nutrient-rich fruit and vegetables that contain natural compounds shown to have potential health-promoting properties. Few foods fall into this category and emerging science shows Montmorency cherries (Prunus Cerasus) are among them. 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.
A number of recent research studies suggest consumption of Montmorency cherries may help reduce inﬂammation and ease the pain of arthritis, reduce the occurrence of gout, help maintain healthy sleep patterns and accelerate sports recovery.
ANTIOXIDANT IN MONTMORENCY CHERRIES
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.
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.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF MONTMORENCY CHERRIES
A healthy level of uric acid and joint mobility
– Research studies show that consumption of Montmorency cherry can lower uric acid in the bloodstream. Lowering uric acid levels in the blood can prevent it forming crystals of urate that cause gout attacks. Analysis of Montmorency cherries shows they contain signiﬁcant levels of anthocyanins which give the fruit its bright red colour. Scientists believe these compounds are behind the fruit’s uric acid lowering effects. Studies have also shown anthocyanins to possess anti-inﬂammatory properties. This may help reduce the inﬂammation and pain associated with acute gout attacks. Therefore, individuals, with a susceptibility to gout, may be able to reduce uric acid levels and inﬂammation associated with gout attacks by including Montmorency cherries in their diet.
The anti-inﬂammatory properties in Montmorency cherries may also help reduce the inﬂammation and pain associated with painful joint conditions, including osteo and rheumatoid arthritis.
Restorative Sleep Patterns
– Studies have shown that many sleep disorder such as insomniacs has low levels of circulating melatonin, which may be the cause, or a contributor, to their sleep problems. Studies show that drinking Montmorency cherry juice may signiﬁcantly improve the quantity and quality of sleep.
– Continuous research and studies show that maintaining a high antioxidant defence system protect the body from damaging ‘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.
– Studies by sports science researcher show consumption of Montmorency cherries juice can reduce post-exercise muscle soreness and speed recovery of muscle function after strenuous bouts of training/sporting activities. A mix of natural antioxidants and anthocyanins prominent within Montmorency Cherries help reduce cell damage from free radicals and speed up recovery rates. Naturally occurring Melatonin helps to improve sleep quality enhancing body functions. Faster recovery + restful body = harder training + performance gains.
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