Tart cherries, also known as sour cherries are a different species from the better known sweet cherry.
These cherries are also known as “Balaton cherries” after their place of origin, Batalon in Hungary.
There are 2 main groups of tart cherries – morello and amarelle. While amarelle cherries have red pigment only on the skin, the morello variety such as balaton cherries is red throughout.
Tart cherries have a sharp taste and are very juicy. This makes them ideal for cooking purposes, and several dishes are made from these cherries.
The most popular dish made from tart cherries is cherry pie. Tart cherries also have several medical uses, some of which are given below.
There are several benefits from drinking tart cherry juice. Some of them are:
The primary function of tart cherry juice is that of an antioxidant. It is an extremely powerful antioxidant. Tart cherries contain up to 17 antioxidant compounds.
Due to the antioxidant properties of tart cherries, they are also believed to help in combating cancer.
Tart cherries also are loaded with several nutrients including a high concentration of vitamin A.
Studies in animals showed that tart cherries can reduce risk of heart disease and lower cholesterol levels.
There are no contraindications for giving tart cherry to children. It is however recommended to consult a doctor before giving concentrated extracts of tart cherry to children. Adults of all age groups can however take this and even enjoy it, as tart cherry juice makes a really delicious and refreshing drink.
There are no adverse effects for pregnant and breast feeding women to take tart cherry, it is taken in the normal food quantities. It is recommendable to avoid taking this in concentrated form for this group. If concentrated extracts are taken, the chances of ingesting a higher level of melatonin are there, which could result in insomnia and nightmares. There are no other significant side effects of tart cherry reported.
There is no set dosage of tart cherry. So it is advisable to go with the recommended dosage on the packaging. One would do well to consult a nutritionist who would be able to give a clear picture of how much to take on a daily basis.
Disclaimer: While there are several benefits from taking tart cherry, the inferences of this article are not conclusive, as research still continues in matters regarding tart cherry.