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natural source of melatonin
Cherries, sweet cherries or tart cherries, are the smallest member of the stone fruit family. This family includes apricots, peaches, plums, and nectarines. Both sweet and tart cherries have long been used for medicinal remedies like gout, inflammation, pain, arthritis, neurodegenerative diseases, muscle recovery and diabetes.
Sweet and tart cherries contain a naturally occurring plant compound called phenolics that have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. The most effective form of cherry phenolic is called anthocyanins. So the darker the cherry, the more of this compound you will find. Tart cherries like the Montmorency and Balaton, both contain high levels of melatonin , which aid in a good nights sleep.
According to Traverse Bay Farms, the comparison of tart cherries versus the sweet black cherry can be summarized as follows.
Amount of anthocyanins in tart vs black (sweet) cherries:
Approximately 310 milligrams in 100 grams of fruit.
Approximately 100 to 150 milligrams per 100 grams.
Here is side-side comparison of 8 ounces of the juice of each of the varieties:
|Tart Cherry Juice||Black Cherry Juice|
|Vitamins A||0||4% DRV|
|Vitamin C||15% of DRV||25% of DRV|
|Sodium||20 mg||10 mg|
|Potassium||410 mg||560 mg|
Another big consideration is how they taste. Tart cherry juice is, well, tart. Black cherry juice has a higher amount of natural sugar, carbs, and most people will find it to be more palatable. To make tart cherry juice easier to drink, it can be diluted in water, or mixed with tea or soda. You could even mix it into your favorite smoothie recipe!
Any way you eat them, or drink them, cherries, both sweet and tart have health benefits. Research on those benefits continue to grow, and in the mean time, enjoy some summer cherries!