Antioxidants in Tart Cherries
Various fruits are considered to be an important source of antioxidants. Acai berries are exotics fruits that are known to contain powerful antioxidants. However, they are rare to find so they aren’t always the most ideal option as an antioxidant source. By the time you obtain the fruit, many of the nutrients that were present in the Acai berry when it was fresh will have broken down. This is one reason that the tart cherry may be a better choice as a source of powerful antioxidants. Aside from the convenience factor, it may surprise you to find out that in some categories, the tart cherry actually outranks the Acai berry.
Antioxidants in Tart cherries are much easier to come across than the Acai berry. For example, while Acai berries are mostly found in the Amazon forests of Brazil, tart cherries can be produced domestically. As a matter of fact, Traverse City, Michigan (U.S.) is known for their abundant supply of cherries, and they can grow tons of them year after year. The ability to grow them domestically and in huge quantities makes them highly accessible, and for that reason alone they provide incentive to use them as a source of nutrients.
At the same time, tart cherries contain a combination of 32 different bio-active compounds (anthocyanins, flavANols, flavONols, hormones, phenolic acids, vitamins/minerals, and terpenes) that all benefit your health in one way or another. In these same 7 categories, the Acai berry only contains 11 bio-active compounds. So, not only are tart cherries easy to locate and faster to deliver to your doorstep, but studies suggest that they quite possibly might be a source of even more nutrients than the Acai berry in many categories.
With the purpose of this website in mind, a comparison of the antioxidant properties of the antioxidants in Acai berries and the antioxidants in tart cherries is beneficial. Phenolic acids are powerful antioxidants. Tart cherries contain 6 different types of them. They are Ellagic Acid, Caffeic Acid, Chlorogenic Acid, Coumaroylquinic Acid, Neochlorogenic Acid and p-Coumaric Acid. Acai berries only contain 2 of those same 6 powerful antioxidants. In summary, not only do Acai berries only contain around 33% of the overall types of bio-active compounds that the tart cherry contains, but they only contain 33% of the same antioxidants in tart cherries have; a nutrient that Acai are best known for.
The antioxidants in tart cherries contain 7 variations of anthocyanins. Acai contain 4 of those same 7 variations. They both contain the same variations of flavANols, but tart cherries contain 10 variations of flavONols that Acai berries contain none of. Although tart cherries and Acai both contain Iron and Calcium, tart cherries also contain Vitamin A and Potassium.
As mentioned above, benefiting from these nutrients is most efficiently done by eating the fruits in their whole fresh form. As a result, tart cherries gain an edge on Acai because tart cherries can be grown in a greater number of areas. This proves very beneficial when time constraints determine nutritional value. Since tart cherries are grown in more locations, they can be distributed to a greater number of local areas without having to be packed with preservatives.
If you don’t prefer the taste of fresh tart cherries, there are nutritional tart cherry juice drink options that you might like better. The healthiest tart cherry juice drinks use a juice extraction technique that will retain the greatest number of nutrients from whole form to liquid form. They will also be made from all natural tart cherry juice, that isn’t from concentrate and is not reduced to powdered form. A couple of tart cherry juice drinks have been known to have an antioxidant ORAC (oxygen radical absorbance capacity) that is nearly twice as high as most other fruit juice drinks, including the Acai berry. This is because of the number of tart cherries that are used in each bottle as well as the nutritional properties of natural tart cherries. Since tart cherry juice is available in bottled form, good nutritional value can be conveniently taken on the go with you. This is a huge bonus since consuming fruits as a prepared meal or in desserts is not as convenient and may not be as healthy for you either.
Ultimately, tart cherries provide a large amount of powerful antioxidants and a plethora of other bio-active compounds. The health benefits they provide are better than many of the assumed leaders in the fruit and vegetable food group. Locating them is getting to be much more convenient. Access to them in the form of cherry juice is making it easier to add them to your daily diet. Look for fresh, whole tart cherries at your local farmers market, or for tart cherry juice that is made from all natural whole tart cherries, (not from concentrate). You want one that hasn’t been packed with preservatives and one that hasn’t been sitting on a shelf somewhere in storage while the bio-active compounds continue to break down. Regardless of what fruit juice you opt for, shopping online for an all natural juice drink with factory direct shipping may prove to be the healthiest since these types of juice drinks generally retain the most amount of nutritional value. Cheers.
Written by Matt Kerwin
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