Picked from the black cherry tree, black cherries are sweet and juicy fruit, also known as wild cherry, rum cherry, and mountain black cherry. They start orange and turn to red and then black when fully ripe. Black cherry extract is gaining popularity as a supplement due to its age-fighting and disease-preventing properties. They’re chock full of antioxidants, electrolytes and other nutrients, including vitamins A and C, folate, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus. Besides providing antioxidant support, black cherries can also treat gout, arthritis and other inflammatory conditions. They also protect your skin from UV damage and improve weight loss efforts
1. Helps Fight Aging and Oxidative Stress with Antioxidants
Black cherries contain powerful antioxidants that fight aging and disease by neutralizing free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that, when unchecked by antioxidants, steal electrons from cells and DNA, causing oxidative stress. Oxidative stress causes cells to die early and plays a role in premature aging. One type of antioxidant in black cherries, known as anthocyanins, are responsible for the black cherry’s color, and its concentration level increases as the fruit ripens . Anthocyanins, as a result of reducing oxidative stress, are linked to the prevention of cancer, heart disease, diabetes and obesity .
2. Helps Treat Gout
Gout is a condition in which excess uric acid causes pain and swelling in the feet and toes, where crystals have formed on the joints. High uric acid levels can also cause diabetes, kidney disease, and cardiovascular disease. In a study on 633 gout patients given either cherry extract or a placebo for just two days, the cherry extract group reduced gout attacks by 75 percent. These amazing results suggest that black cherry could be used for instant gout pain relief and to keep gout under control in the long term without adverse side effects .
3. Helps Protects Against Cancer
The antioxidants in black cherries called anthocyanins are shown in test tube studies to prevent the development of human cancer cells. Additionally, animal experiments found that anthocyanins stop the proliferation of intestinal tumors, suggesting that black cherries could help prevent colon cancer . Oxidative stress and inflammation are known contributing factors to the development of cancer. Antioxidants found in black cherries can help lower your risk of cancer by neutralizing free radicals that cause damage and reducing inflammation.
4. Helps Lower Inflammation
Inflammation is at the root of several chronic diseases, such as arthritis, diabetes and heart disease. Black cherries are loaded with inflammation-lowering compounds, which work by neutralizing free radicals that trigger inflammation. In a study, participants who ate cherries daily for 28 days were shown to have reduced biochemical markers of inflammation. On average, participants had a 25 percent reduction in C-reactive protein in the bloodstream, which is a key marker of inflammation. Elevated levels of C-reactive protein are linked to a higher risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke, suggesting that black cherry’s inflammation-lowering abilities can help protect against heart disease and other diseases hallmarked by inflammation .
5. Improves Arthritis
Black Cherry can help alleviate arthritis pain by reducing the buildup of uric acid and lowering inflammation. In a study on patients with arthritis, drinking 16 ounces of cherry juice daily led to reduced pain and stiffness, as well as improved mobility, after six weeks. The participants also showed a significant decrease in C-reactive protein, indicating that inflammation had been lowered. Another study showed that cherries in pill form also relieved pain and stiffness associated with arthritis after eight weeks .
6. Benefits Your Skin
The antioxidants in black cherries are developed in the fruit to protect itself from UV radiation. They also protect your skin from UV light damage that can lead to skin cancer. Anthocyanins are known to protect against skin cancer due to their anti-carcinogenic qualities. Black cherries also contain beta-carotene (vitamin A), known to protect against sun damage .
7. Supports with Weight Loss and Helps Prevent Diabetes
The anthocyanins in black cherries have been directly linked to weight loss and obesity prevention. One study looked at the effects of anthocyanins on obesity risk factors in mice fed a high-fat diet. The results showed that anthocyanins helped lower blood sugar and insulin levels, indicating a reduction in the risk of diabetes. The mice fed anthocyanins also had less body fat than mice that did not consume it, suggesting this natural plant compound could help with weight loss and weight management .
8. Improves Sleep Quality
Black cherries contain melatonin, which is an antioxidant your own brain also produces as a hormone. Melatonin regulates your sleep-wake cycle, promoting better sleep at night. As an extra source of melatonin, black cherries can help facilitate sleep and fight insomnia . Since melatonin production declines with age, black cherry extract can be a helpful supplement to maintain better melatonin levels in senior citizens .
9. Reduces Post-Exercise Muscle Damage and Soreness
Black cherry supplements may help your muscles recover faster from exercise-induced stress. In a review of studies on the effects of cherries on muscle damage caused by strenuous exercise, researchers concluded that cherries help relieve stress from the immune system, lower inflammation and reduce oxidative damage after exercise. They attribute these effects to the anthocyanins and other phenolic compounds in cherries .
As the disease-fighting power of antioxidants continues to come to light through medical research, the benefits of delicious black cherries can’t be ignored. Black cherries are the sweet variety of cherries, but they’re much more than delicious; they’re packed with nutrients and flavonoids (plant pigments) that promote health in every cell of your body. Besides being a source of vitamins and minerals, black cherries provide antioxidants. Most notably, they contain anthocyanins, which give cherries their color. Anthocyanins have been linked to a reduced risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. They also help fight aging. Black cherries can improve sleep, help with weight loss and reduce muscle soreness after workouts. You can get these benefits by taking black cherry pills or liquid extract. It’s generally suggested to take 5 to 12 drops per day, but you should always check the product label’s instructions, as concentration levels can vary .