I have never been a fan of cherries. Maraschino, sweet, sour, pie, or any other kind, never held any appeal. So when a friend asked if I wanted a tart cherry margarita, I hesitated. Then she told me that cherries have anti-inflammatory properties. What?? I can have a tasty libation that is healthy? This required more research. I watched her pour measured amounts of tequila and, ok, I don’t actually know how to make a margarita, so I don’t know what she poured. But as I watched, I became more curious. Would I like the taste? Would I feel relaxed? Well, probably relaxed, but that would be the tequila speaking. It turned out to be a lovely beverage, though it looked murky and foreboding. For someone who doesn’t drink much, I was pleasantly surprised that I experienced no aftereffects the next day. As a lifelong athlete, I am no stranger to inflamed knees, hips, etc. So my research extended beyond the rim of the glass and I discovered that they are quite beneficial to your health.
In 2008 surveys conducted by IRI Data and The Hartman Group, cherries were identified on a trend as a homegrown ‘super fruit’. The studies claimed that tart cherries in a variety of forms have among the highest levels of disease-fighting antioxidants, when compared to other fruits, and 19 times more beta carotene than blueberries or strawberries.
Tart cherries contain:
• Anthocyanins - provides natural pain relief and neutralizes inflammation
• Flavanols - improves blood flow and lowers blood pressure
• Phenolic Acids - powerful antioxidants
• Phytochemicals - reduces risk of major chronic diseases
• Terpenes - essential oils from plant elements
• Melatonin - helps regulate natural sleep patterns
Consuming just a few tart cherries daily can make a difference. Can you imagine not having to take aspirin or pain relievers any longer? Seems pretty easy! I’m off to go look up how to make a margarita.